Trio on Top at Tour Championship

By Sports NetworkOctober 27, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Nationwide Tour ChampionshipPRATTVILLE, Ala. -- David Morland IV, Kevin Durkin and Jon Mills all posted rounds of 5-under-par 67 on Thursday to share the first-round lead of the Nationwide Tour Championship.
 
Cliff Kresge, Jim McGovern and Rick Price are knotted in fourth place at 4-under-par 68 at the Senator Course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Capitol Hill.
 
This event features the top 61 players on the 2005 Nationwide Tour money list. Jason Gore, second on the money list, already made it to the PGA Tour via the 'battlefield promotion' and subsequently won, so the top-20 other players on the money list after the final round will head to the PGA Tour for the 2006 season.
 
Mills is fourth on the money list and is all but assured of gaining his PGA Tour card. This year's Canadian PGA Champion made the turn at even par, thanks to a birdie and a bogey.
 
He caught fire on the second nine with birdies at 10, 13 and 14. Mills collected back-to-back birdies at 16 and 17 to join the pair atop the leaderboard.
 
Morland traded a birdie and a bogey on his first two holes, but drained a 12-foot birdie putt at the fifth. He made it two in a row with a tap-in birdie at six, then rolled in a 7-footer for birdie at the ninth.
 
Morland hit a pitching-wedge to 5 feet to set up birdie at 11, but struggled to a bogey at the very next hole. At the par-4 15th, Morland played a 9-iron to 8 feet and converted the birdie try.
 
He reached the par-5 17th green in two and two-putted from 40 feet for a birdie. That put Morland in the clubhouse at minus-5 and the man who sits 53rd on the money list needs three more good rounds to return to the PGA Tour.
 
'My scenario is to win to get my PGA Tour card back, that is my No. 1 goal,' admitted Morland. 'Right now, this is just another golf tournament. I've got to perform well for it to benefit me this week.'
 
Durkin, 38th on the money list, bogeyed the second hole, but atoned for the mistake with a 25-foot birdie putt at the third hole. He ran home a 6-foot birdie putt at the sixth and added another from 15 feet at No. 7. Durkin sank a 30-foot birdie putt at nine to make the turn at 3-under 33.
 
Durkin parred his first three holes on the second nine, then broke into red figures on the back side with an 8-footer at the 13th. He collected his second birdie in as many holes with a 5-footer at 14.
 
The 31-year-old missed an 8-foot par putt at the 15th to fall to 4 under, but got it back at the next hole with a 3-foot birdie putt. Durkin parred his last two for a piece of the lead.
 
'I've got nothing to lose,' said Durkin. 'I've already got my Nationwide Tour card wrapped up. I just want to go out and have fun for four days. Today was a good start for me.'
 
Ryan Armour is alone in seventh place at 3-under-par 69. Tom Scherrer, Nathan Green, Jason Schultz, Bill Haas and David McKenzie are in the top-20 at the moment and are tied for eighth place at minus-two.
 
Troy Matteson, the tour's top earner, only managed a 3-over-par 75 and is part of a group tied for 48th place.
 
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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.


    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

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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