Simpson, Snedeker set to make Ryder Cup case

By Will GrayAugust 13, 2014, 10:30 pm

GREENSBORO, N.C. – With the top nine positions on the U.S. Ryder Cup team finalized at last week’s PGA Championship, the race is on to catch the attention of Tom Watson, who will fill out the squad with three captain's picks.

It's a competition that widened significantly Wednesday, when Tiger Woods removed his name from consideration because of health concerns.

While many notable names will begin their audition at The Barclays, bubble boys Webb Simpson and Brandt Snedeker are getting a head start this week at Sedgefield Country Club.

“I feel like there’s a host of things for me to play for this week,” said Simpson, who finished 15th on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list.

Simpson won earlier this season in Las Vegas, and he has seven top-10 finishes in 2013-14. But his game cooled off this summer as he missed the cut in four high-profile events – the Masters, Players Championship, Open Championship and PGA Championship.

“Super frustrating,” he said. “I had two good tournaments last fall to start the year, and I had a decent West Coast swing. March, April and part of May were just tough.”

This is a familiar position for Simpson, who last year failed to earn a Presidents Cup automatic berth. He was added as one of two selections by captain Fred Couples, and he hopes to get a similar phone call from Watson prior to the Sept. 2 announcement of the three captain’s picks.

Wyndham Championship: Articles, videos and photos

“I texted with Tom a little bit, and I want him to know I want to be on that team,” Simpson said. “Hopefully I’ll play well the next three weeks, or at least solid golf, to make it hard for him not to pick me. That’s my goal.”

Snedeker is at the opposite end of the spectrum from Simpson. The 2012 FedEx Cup champ didn’t notch his first top-10 finish this season until the Arnold Palmer Invitiational, but since the U.S. Open he has reeled off six top 25s in his last seven starts.

That stretch was capped by a T-13 finish at Valhalla, where Snedeker closed with 66-67. He heads into this week’s event with no shortage of confidence.

“I feel like I’m playing the best golf of the year,” said Snedeker, who finished 20th on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list. “I feel like I’m doing a lot of really good stuff, and I’m excited about my chances this week and going forward.”

Like Simpson, Snedeker has been in touch with Watson, but he knows his game will speak louder than his words.

“I’ve talked to him numerous times, just letting him know that I know I need to play well, and I’m willing to do whatever I need to do to show him that I want to be on that team,” Snedeker said. “Besides that, it’s in my court. You can talk to Tom all you want to, but you’ve got to prove it to him. He’s not going to pick you because he likes you, he’s going to pick you because he thinks you have the best chance of winning.”

Snedeker was in the same position two years ago, when captain Davis Love III made him one of his four picks for the Ryder Cup team at Medinah. While things went in his favor that year, relying on a captain’s pick is hardly a position that Snedeker finds comfortable.

“It’s tough. You hate being on the outside looking in,” he said. “There’s no certainty. I’ve been on the outside looking in on quite a few of them.”

At No. 69 in the FedEx Cup standings, Snedeker has his eyes on a return to East Lake for the third straight year, with confidence that strong play will take care of his other goals.

“I’m putting everything into making the Tour Championship,” he said. “I know if I do that, that means I’ve had to play some pretty darn good golf, and that would give me a good chance to make the Ryder Cup team as a byproduct.”

Back in 2012, Snedeker was en route to the BMW Championship when Love called to tell him he was on the team. Snedeker still has the message on his phone.

“Really short and sweet,” he said. “Still listen to it every once in a while when things aren’t going good, so I remember what that felt like. Pretty cool phone call to get.”

The chase for another voicemail begins Thursday at Sedgefield.  

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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
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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.