Hegarty Headed Home

By Mercer BaggsApril 19, 2011, 9:29 pm

Editor's note: GolfChannel.com will be following fourmini-tour players – Tim Hegarty, Zack Sucher, Benoit Beisser and JackNewman – over the course of 2011 in our new feature, 'The Minors.' Checkin each week for the players' progress, updates, photos and more.

Home. There’s no place like it.

That’s Tim Hegarty’s sentiment, even if he doesn’t wear ruby red slippers.

Hegarty is in Blythewood, S.C., for this week’s eGolf Professional Tour’s Columbia Open. After he takes care of business in the Palmetto State, he’ll head back to his rented residence in Orlando, Fla., pack up his belongings, pick up his girlfriend, and then head north on I-95.

Orlando is a nice enough place. Hegarty’s oldest brother, Matthew, lives there, along with his sister-in-law, niece and nephew. His girlfriend, Amanda, goes to the University of Central Florida, and he knows plenty of people through golf and Matt.

But it’s not home. New York is home. Briar Cliff Manor, specifically.

“I’m jacked, man,” Hegarty said about his impending change in mailing address. “My girlfriend has her finals coming up, so she’s going to be able to come up with me. It’s the whole nine – I have more of a support group up there; I have a friend up there who I train with; better practice facilities; my friends and family are up there. It’s good for me.”

Hegarty grew up in Briar Cliff Manor and his parents, Michael – Big Mike, as Tim calls him – and Anita, still live there.  His swing coach, David Glenz, is nearby in Franklin, N.J., and his new mental coach, Nick Molinaro, is also in Jersey.

Hegarty is looking forward to seeing more of Dr. Molinaro – in person.  “We’ve had three or four sessions over Skype,” he said. “It’s exciting.  We’re working on imagery, internal and external imagery – proprioception.”

Proprioception sounds like an incurable disease, but it’s really the body's sixth sense. Without getting too technical – and overly confusing – it relates to the central nervous system and how the body functions. In Hegarty’s case, this is relevant to the way he swings a club. The brain has what is essentially a “golf swing” program that it employs when you want to hit a ball. Through optimization – what he and Dr. Molinaro are working on – that “golf swing” program can be revised and improved.

It involves neurons and muscle memory, a way in which Hegarty can implement an optimally repetitive swing. In even more simple terms:  Be the ball.

Professionally, Hegarty is fresh off a frustrating couple of weeks in North Carolina. He got a relatively inexpensive flight to travel to an eGolf event in Concord two weeks ago. That tournament was wiped out due to flooding and he had to rebook his ticket for an early return – and airlines don’t do that for cheap.

He drove last week from Orlando to Southport, N.C., for another eGolf event but missed the cut after rounds of 82-71.

A couple of bad swings on his back nine led to two O.B. balls and a pair of triple bogeys. It took him a few holes to regroup mentally, but he finished his first 18 with a birdie and then tacked on four more birdies and an eagle in Round 2.

The weekend wasn’t lost for Hegarty. It allowed him to join some friends for a bachelor party in South Carolina and play some leisure golf in Myrtle Beach.

“It was a good week, overall,” Hegarty said. “I actually feel pretty good. The last 18, 19 holes were promising and it was a good chance to have fun playing golf. It’s not always like that.”

On a serious note, Hegarty has minor surgery scheduled in Orlando, after he competes in Columbia, to remove two moles, which his dermatologist diagnosed as atypical and said could become cancerous if left untreated.

“It’s part of being part Irish and part German, and spending a lot of time in the sun,” Hegarty said.

And then it’s off to New York.

Aside from an eGolf event in Southern Pines, N.C., Hegarty will focus on events in and around the Empire State. He plans on playing a U.S. Open local qualifier at Brae Burn Country Club in Purchase, N.Y., May 17. If he gets past that, he’ll go to Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit, N.J., for sectional qualifying on June 6.

He’s three times advanced to sectionals and should he finally make it through both stages he would fulfill a life-long dream of competing in his National Championship at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md.

The summer months are the busy months for Hegarty as he will also try and qualify for the Westchester Open, N.Y. State Open and some Met Golf Association events, including the Met Golf Association Open Championship, which will be contested at his home course of Sleepy Hollow.

His game isn’t where he would like it to be at the moment, but he’s fine with that. There’s no need to be playing his best in the present, when the future is so filled with meaningful tournaments.

What gives him confidence is that he’s making every effort off the course to be successful on it. He believes in his instructor and his new mental coach, and everything the two are teaching him.

He’s always had a great deal of talent, just not the greatest outlook as he tends to side with anger when he can’t manipulate his ball properly.

“I’ve always been hard on myself,” he said a few months ago. “I know it’s cost me some strokes and caused me to miss some cuts. It’s something I have to work on.”

And now he is.

You can hear the excitement in his voice when he talks about the upcoming months. He’s ready to put to work all the mental and physical practice he’s going through. He’s got a positive vibe, his girlfriend by his side and he’s headed home.

“I like it,” Hegarty said about summer time in New York. “There’s something about being [at home] that makes me feel more accountable, like all eyes are on me and I have to play well. It’s a good time for all of this in my life.”

Thomas Wolfe wrote, “You Can Never Go Home Again.” Certainly, the dynamics of home life change as you grow older and one can never truly recreate one’s youth. But as Maya Angelou countered, “You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it's all right.”

Briar Cliff Manor, N.Y., isn’t just a place for Hegarty to lay his head, not just a place where his parents live and his friends reside nearby. It’s in his heart. The kid’s a New Yorker – a Met and a Jet. And the heart never feels more fulfilled than when it’s surrounded by love and friends and support – when it’s home.

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.