Watney Captures Tour Championship

By Sports NetworkOctober 31, 2004, 5:00 pm
Nationwide Tour ChampionshipPRATTVILLE, Ala. -- Nick Watney collected two late birdies on Sunday en route to a 3-under 69 and his victory at the Nationwide Tour Championship. He finished at 15-under-par 273 and won by two over Brett Wetterich in the season finale.
Wetterich posted a 2-under 70 on Sunday, but his second-place finish gave him $67,500 and moved him inside the top-20 on the final money list. Those in the top-20 after this event receive their PGA Tour cards for the 2005 campaign.
'For a while I was struggling mentally,' admitted Wetterich, who was the only player to crack the top-20 this week. 'I got to a point where I was just wanting to make pars. That's not good. I made a birdie and that loosened me up.'
Wetterich will be joined on the PGA Tour next year by Jimmy Walker, D.A. Points, Ryuji Imada, Franklin Langham, Euan Walters, Brendan Jones, James Driscoll, Charles Warren, Justin Bolli, Paul Gow, Bradley Hughes, Kevin Stadler, Darron Stiles, Hunter Haas, Scott Gutschewski, Michael Long, Gavin Coles, Chris Anderson and Watney.
Kyle Thompson had a chance to make into the top-20, but his approach at 18 spun back to 50 feet. His birdie chance came up 7 feet short and he missed the par putt.
That bogey dropped him into a share of 10th and that was not enough to get him his card.
'I hit a pretty good shot,' said Thompson, referring to his approach at 18. 'That's the story of my whole year. I should have made $300,000 this year, instead I'm going to be just short. It's just driving me crazy.'
Watney, a Nationwide Tour rookie this season, shared the third-round lead with Bolli, but Bolli went down the leaderboard. Watney mixed three birdies and a bogey on the front nine to take a commanding lead around the turn.
Watney dropped a shot at 12 and Wetterich came charging up the board with birdies at 11 and 15. The birdie at 15 knotted Watney and Wetterich atop the leaderboard, but Watney answered.
At the 15th, Watney ran home a 7-footer for birdie to go one ahead of Wetterich. Watney added another birdie at the 16th and when Wetterich, playing two groups ahead of Watney, bogeyed 18, the tournament was Watney's.
He parred his remaining two holes for his first victory on the Nationwide Tour.
'It was a tough day,' said Watney. 'I'm very happy and relieved.'
Watney was 33rd on the money list two weeks ago, but a runner-up finish last week at the Miccosukee Championship and this victory allowed him to come in fifth on the final money list.
'I dreamed about it and wished it,' admitted Watney. 'It was more than I expected the last two weeks. I wasn't really sure. I'm looking forward to next year.'
Langham (68) and Jason Caron (66) shared third place at 11-under-par 277. Stadler (73), Bolli (74), Nathan Green (72), Brandt Snedeker (67) and Mathew Goggin (70) tied for fifth at minus-10.
Thompson (72), Stiles (70) and Jason Schultz (68) shared 10th place at minus- 9.
Related Links:
  • TGC Airtimes
  • Leaderboard - Nationwide Tour Championship
  • Full Coverage - Nationwide Tour Championship
  • 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
    Getty Images

    Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

    Well, this is a one new one.

    According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

    “No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

    Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

    “If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

    The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

    “I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

    The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

    Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

    Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.