Stadler Leads Haas at Pebble

By Sports NetworkSeptember 4, 2004, 4:00 pm
Champions TourPEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Craig Stadler, fresh from his victory last week at the Tradition, fired a 9-under 63 on Saturday to surge into the lead at The First Tee Open at Pebble Beach. He stands at 9-under-par 135 and leads by one over Ryder Cupper Jay Haas.
Haas, who was picked to the United States team by captain Hal Sutton, shot a 6-under 66 and is at 8-under-par 136.
Tom Kite, who won the 1992 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, and Hale Irwin, each posted rounds of 6-under 66 and are tied for third place with D.A. Weibring (71) and Gary McCord (68). That group is knotted at 5-under-par 139.
This is the inaugural year of the event and it is unique on the Champions Tour. The players are paired with two junior players and an amateur. Play was spread over Pebble Beach Golf Links and Bayonet Golf Course over the first two rounds before Pebble Beach takes over on Sunday.
Stadler played at Pebble Beach on Saturday and holed a 15-foot birdie putt at the first. He knocked a 5-iron to 6 feet to set up eagle at the par-5 second, then added an 8-footer for birdie at the third.
At the par-3 fifth, Stadler hit a 7-iron to 6 feet. He rolled in the birdie putt and made it two in a row at the par-5 sixth, when his third landed in a bunker and he blasted out to 5 feet.
Stadler went over the green into a bunker at the famous par-3 seventh and could not save par. He did save par on his final two holes on the front side and earned his spot atop the leaderboard with his play on the back nine.
He hit a 9-iron to 8 feet for birdie at the 10th, then got up and down for par at the 14th. Stadler holed out a wedge from 115 yards for an eagle at the 15th to get to 8 under par.
Haas matched Stadler in the lead at minus-8 with a birdie at No. 18. Stadler went past him with a birdie at the closing hole. He came up short of the green at the par-5 finishing hole, but he hit a lob wedge to 16 feet and converted the birdie putt.
'This game is so much fun when you're making putts,' said Stadler. 'I darn near made everything today. This is my best round here. I'm looking forward to tomorrow.'
Haas collected a pair of birdies on his front side, then drained a 10-foot birdie putt at the 11th. He hit a sandwedge to 6 feet to set up birdie at the 15th and made it two in a row with a 15-footer at No. 16.
Haas landed in a greenside bunker at the 18th with his second shot, but blasted out to 5 feet. He made the birdie putt, then found out some good family news. His son Bill is tied for second at the Deutsche Bank Championship on the PGA Tour.
'Pretty good week for my family,' said Haas. 'When everyone's playing well and making birdies, it makes it fun to go to the next hole.'
David Eger, who held the first-round lead, struggled to a 1-over 73 and is tied for seventh place with Ed Dougherty, who carded a 3-under 69 on Saturday. The pair is knotted at 4-under-par 140.
Lanny Wadkins and Bob Gilder each carded rounds of 3-under 69 and share ninth place with Gary Koch, who shot a second-round, 1-under 71. The trio is tied at minus-3.
Related Links:
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    Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

    By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

    One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.

    Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.

    "I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."

    Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.

    "I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.

    Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.

    "Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."

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    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm