Trio Share Top Spot at Buick

By Sports NetworkJuly 30, 2004, 4:00 pm
GRAND BLANC, Mich. -- Defending champion Jim Furyk, overnight leader Vijay Singh and Billy Andrade distanced themselves from a crowded leaderboard Friday to share the 36-hole lead of the Buick Open.
The trio came in at 11-under-par 133.
Furyk, who has played only three events since returning from wrist surgery, shot a 5-under 67, while Andrade fired a 7-under-par 65 on Friday. Singh, the 1997 winner, only managed a 2-under 70 at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club.
Olin Browne (70) and three former winners this season are tied for fourth place at minus-10. Carlos Franco, last week's winner at the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee, shot a 67, while John Daly, who titled at the Buick Invitational, fired a 64 and Stewart Cink, the champion at the Heritage, carded a 7-under 65.
Tiger Woods, who is 0-9 in majors over the last two years, posted a 4-under 68 and is part of a group in eighth at minus-9.
'I'm right there,' said Woods, who won here in 2002. 'I'm two shots back, if I can just play the way I've been playing, you never know. There are some good names, but no matter who is on the board, you're going to have to make a bunch of birdies.'
Woods will be chasing the three co-leaders starting Saturday.
Furyk, No. 9 in the world rankings, began on the back nine at Warwick Hills and wasted little time in breaking into red numbers. He birdied three of his first five holes to race up the leaderboard, but his bogey-free play on the second nine is what got him into first.
He drained a 21-foot birdie putt at the par-3 third, then added another at No. 6 to join Andrade in a share of first.
'I like my spot,' said Furyk, who won last year's U.S. Open. 'I just need to keep making some birdies and keep firing some low numbers on the weekend. I'm happy with the way things went today.'
Singh did not play as well as his seven birdie and one eagle, first round of 63. He started on the back nine like Furyk, but collected his first birdie at the 14th. Singh added his only other birdie at the fourth.
Singh, ranked third in the world, switched from the belly putter to a more conventional putter this week. While his putting was not as strong as it was in the first round, Singh also struggled more with his iron play in Friday's second round.
'It didn't work as good as yesterday, obviously,' said Singh. 'But I hit it very close yesterday. I missed a lot of chances on the front side, but I don't know if I was tentative or what. You know, I'm surprised I'm still leading, but it's good to be leading still.'
Andrade, ranked slightly behind his co-leaders at No. 213 in the world, recorded four birdies in his first 11 holes, but fell down the leaderboard with a bogey at 12.
Andrade parred his next two holes before a fantastic run to close his round. He hit a 7-iron to 4 feet to set up birdie at the 15th, then made it back-to-back birdies with a tap-in birdie at the par-5 16th.
The Rhode Island native knocked a 6-iron 10 feet short of the hole at the 17th and Andrade rolled home the birdie putt. He wedged his approach to 4 feet at the last to polish off his fourth birdie in a row, and grab part of the 36-hole lead for the first time on tour since the Pennsylvania Open in 2002.
'Obviously when you finish with four in a row, it's pretty cool,' said Andrade, whose last win on tour came in Las Vegas four years ago. 'I'm ecstatic where I'm at and I'm looking forward to the next couple of days.'
Craig Barlow (69), Pat Bates (65) and Bob Tway (67) joined Woods in eighth place at 9-under-par 135.
The 36-hole cut fell at 4-under-par 140 and among those who did not make the weekend were: Shaun Micheel (143), who will defend his PGA Championship in two weeks, and Jeff Maggert (146), who is 10th on the current United States Ryder Cup points list.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Buick Open
  • Full Coverage - Buick Open
  • Getty Images

    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."

    Getty Images

    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.

    Masters victory

    Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

    Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

    Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative

    Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ

    Green jacket tour

    Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

    Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

    Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket

    Man of the people

    Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

    Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

    Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief

    Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together

    Ace at 17th at Sawgrass

    Growing family

    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

    Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018

    Departure from TaylorMade

    Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

    Squashed beef with Paddy

    Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

    Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'

    Victory at Valderrama

    Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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