Garcia Wins PLAYERS in Playoff

By Associated PressMay 11, 2008, 4:00 pm
2007 THE PLAYERSPONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Sunday at Sawgrass felt tougher on Sergio Garcia than what he faced last summer at the British Open, a playoff loss that seemed to define a career filled with more talent than trophies.
 
He was tormented by a suspect putter. He heard questions whether he could win a big one.
 
All that changed in the final hour of THE PLAYERS Championship thanks to two clutch putts, a wedge that found safety on an island and a playoff victory that Garcia desperately needed.
 
The best player without a major got the next best thing, making a 7-foot par putt that put him in a playoff, then beating Paul Goydos on the notorious island-green 17th with a wedge into 4 feet and a putt he could afford to miss after Goydos hit into the water.
 
It feels like a major, and it tests you like a major, Garcia said. Im so thrilled to be here standing with the trophy.
 
It was a long time coming.
 
Garcia was in the longest victory drought of his career, stretching over three years and 53 starts on the PGA TOUR. Motivated by criticism of his putting, he rolled in one critical putt after another, none bigger than a slippery par putt on the final hole for a 1-under 71.
 
It put him in a playoff when Goydos missed a 15-foot par putt in the final group behind him.
 
The first playoff in 21 years at The Players didnt last long. Goydos, hitting first, watched helplessly as a gust caused his wedge to balloon into the cloudy skies and land with a splash a few feet in front of the green.
 
Garcia, with no margin for error, followed with a wedge that landed on the green, caught a slope and stopped 4 feet away. He missed the birdie putt, but it didnt matter.
 
Goydos wound up with a double bogey and a horrible coincidence.
 
There were 65 balls hit into the water during the tournament. Goydos was the first to deposit one in the opening round Thursday, and the last at the worst possible time in a sudden-death playoff.
 
For a guy with only two victories in his career, Goydos was abundantly gracious in defeat.
 
Look at the shot Sergio hit in the playoff, Goydos said. I got beat. I played good golf. That doesnt mean you win. Theres no defense. I cant tackle the little guy. Theres no knee-capping. You have to accept the guy beat me.
 
They key is to have the lead with no holes to go.
 
Garcia and Goydos each finished at 5-under 283.
 
The 28-year-old Spaniard, whose seven PGA TOUR victories are the most by players under age 30, earned $1.71 million from the richest purse in golf and again enters the conversation as a major contender with the U.S. Open a month away.
 
The goal is to keep getting better, and the only thing this tells me is to keep working hard and to believe in myself, Garcia said. And when I do believe in myself, I think theres not a lot of guys out there that can beat me.
 
Im looking forward to keep going. I dont want to get stuck here.
 
The consolation for Goydos was $1.026 million for second place, more than he earned for winning the Sony Open last year. And he felt no shame losing to Garcia, whom he raved about earlier in the week as one of the top talents in the game.
 
Hes right there on the precipice of great things, Goydos said.
 
Jeff Quinney had a chance to join the playoff. He went bogey-free for 10 holes in gusts that topped 40 mph at times, but failed to save par from a bunker behind the 18th green and had to settle for a 70 and third place alone, one shot behind.
 
Garcia never needed a victory so badly.
 
He had a 10-foot putt to win the British Open at Carnoustie last summer, then lost in a playoff to Padraig Harrington. No club troubled him more than the putter, and this week on the TPC Sawgrass was no exception.
 
Garcia took 124 putts in regulation, 18 more than Goydos.
 
But he sure came up big in the final round, rolling in a collection of par putts that kept him in the hunt, birdie putts that challenged Goydos and a par on the 18th hole that made this victory possible.
 

Sergio Garcia, of Spain, waves
 
Two of them stood out for the Spaniard.
 
One came on the par-3 17th in regulation, when Garcia lagged a 45-foot putt from the fringe to 3 feet for par. Miss it and he falls two shots behind with one hole to play. It was slick, and he poured it in the heart.
 
The longest 3 feet Ive ever seen, Garcia said.
 
The other came on the 18th after a tee shot into the right rough left him no chance to reach the green. He came up 50 yards short, his pitch ran by the hole and Garcia was discouraged to see it roll so far by. Those are the putts he hasnt made.
 
But he felt a strange sense of calm, knowing he was going to make the par, and he did.
 
I was so happy to see that putt go in, he said.
 
Playing for the first time in his career with a 54-hole lead, Goydos battled to keep it. He made two unlikely birdies, a 50-foot putt on No. 4 and chipping in from 100 feet on No. 10, and led by three shots with five holes to play.
 
But a two-shot swing on the 14th set up the finish. Garcia rolled in a 45-foot birdie putt, while Goydos approach came within inches of hitting the flag, bounding over the green. He missed a 10-footer for par.
 
The wind was relentless, stronger than it had been all week, turning the Stadium Course into a terror.
 
It might have been worse except that tour officials did not cut the greens and applied a double dose of water. That didnt keep Jesper Parnevik from posting an 85, the highest score at TPC Sawgrass in five years. It was one of nine rounds in the 80s, but not the most damaging. Kenny Perry, who started the final round one shot behind, shot 81.
 
Defending champion Phil Mickelson knew what he was up against early. Walking from the putting green to the first tee, a gust blew his cap off his head and sent it tumbling into the pond. Lefty hooked his opening tee shot into a mound and three-putted for double bogey, and his hopes of being the first repeat winner ended with a 3-foot birdie he missed on No. 11 and a tee shot into a palmetto bush on the 12th.
 
He closed with a 78.
 
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    Miller to retire from broadcast booth in 2019

    By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 15, 2018, 9:14 pm

    After nearly 30 years in the broadcast booth, Johnny Miller is ready to hang up his microphone.

    Following a Hall of Fame playing career that included a pair of major titles, Miller has become one of the most outspoken voices in the game as lead golf analyst for NBC Sports. But at age 71 he has decided to retire from broadcasting following the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

    “The call of being there for my grandkids, to teach them how to fish. I felt it was a higher calling,” Miller told GolfChannel.com. “The parents are trying to make a living, and grandparents can be there like my father was with my four boys. He was there every day for them. I'm a big believer that there is a time and a season for everything.”

    Miller was named lead analyst for NBC in 1990, making his broadcast debut at what was then known as the Bob Hope Desert Classic. He still remained competitive, notably winning the 1994 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at age 46, but made an indelible mark on the next generation of Tour pros with his frank and candid assessment of the action from some of golf’s biggest events.

    Miller’s broadcasting career has included 20 U.S. Opens, 14 Ryder Cups, nine Presidents Cups, three Open Championships and the 2016 Olympics. While he has teamed in the booth with Dan Hicks for the past 20 years, Miller’s previous on-air partners included Bryant Gumbel, Charlie Jones, Jim Lampley and Dick Enberg.

    His farewell event will be in Phoenix Jan. 31-Feb. 3, at a tournament he won in back-to-back years in 1974-75.

    “When it comes to serving golf fans with sharp insight on what is happening inside the ropes, Johnny Miller is the gold standard,” said NBC lead golf producer Tommy Roy. “It has been an honor working with him, and while it might not be Johnny’s personal style, it will be fun to send him off at one of the PGA Tour’s best parties at TPC Scottsdale.”

    Miller was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1998 after a playing career that included wins at the 1973 U.S. Open at Oakmont and The Open in 1976 at Royal Birkdale. Before turning pro, he won the 1964 U.S. Junior Amateur and was low amateur at the 1966 U.S. Open at Olympic, where he tied for eighth at age 19.

    Born and raised in San Francisco, Miller now lives in Utah with his wife, Linda, and annually serves as tournament host of the PGA Tour’s Safeway Open in Napa, Calif.

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    Randall's Rant: Tiger vs. Phil feels like a ripoff

    By Randall MellOctober 15, 2018, 7:45 pm

    Usually, you have to buy something before you feel like you were ripped off.

    The wonder in the marketing of Tiger vs. Phil and “The Match” is how it is making so many people feel as if they are getting ripped off before they’ve shelled out a single penny for the product.

    Phil Mickelson gets credit for this miscue.

    Apparently, the smartest guy in the room isn’t the smartest marketing guy.

    He was a little bit like that telemarketer who teases you into thinking you’ve won a free weekend getaway, only to lead you into the discovery that there’s a shady catch, with fine print and a price tag.

    There was something as slippery as snake oil in the original pitch.

    In Mickelson’s eagerness to create some excitement, he hinted back during The Players in May about the possibility of a big-money, head-to-head match with Woods. A couple months later, he leaked more details, before it was ready to be fully announced.

    So while there was an initial buzz over news of the Thanksgiving weekend matchup, the original pitch set up a real buzzkill when it was later announced that you were only going to get to see it live on pay-per-view.

    The news landed with a thud but no price tag. We’re still waiting to see what it’s going to cost when these two meet at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, but anything that feels even slightly inflated now is going to further dampen the original enthusiasm Mickelson created.

    Without Woods or Mickelson putting up their own money, this $9 million winner-take-all event was always going to feel more like a money grab than real competition.

    When we were expecting to see it on network or cable TV, we didn’t care so much. Tiger's and Phil’s hands would have felt as if they were reaching into corporate America’s pockets. Now, it feels as if they’re digging into ours.

    Last week, there was more disappointing news, with the Las Vegas Review-Journal reporting that tickets won’t be sold to the public, that the match at Shadow Creek will only be open to select sponsors and VIPs.



    Now there’s a larger insult to the common fan, who can’t help but feel he isn’t worthy or important enough to gain admittance.

    Sorry, but that’s how news of a closed gate landed on the heels of the pay-per-view news.

    “The Match” was never going to be meaningful golf in any historical sense.

    This matchup was never going to rekindle the magic Tiger vs. Phil brought in their epic Duel at Doral in ’05.

    The $9 million was never going to buy the legitimacy a major championship or PGA Tour Sunday clash could bring.

    It was never going to be more than an exhibition, with no lingering historical significance, but that was OK as quasi silly-season fare on TV on Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 23), the traditional weekend of the old Skins Game.

    “The Match” still has a chance to be meaningful, but first and foremost as entertainment, not real competition. That’s what this was always going to be about, but now the bar is raised.

    Pay per view does that.

    “You get what you pay for” is an adage that doesn’t apply to free (or already-paid for) TV. It does to pay per view. Expectations go way up when you aren’t just channel surfing to a telecast. So the higher the price tag they end up putting on this showdown, the more entertaining this has to be.

    If Phil brings his “A-Game” to his trash talking, and if Tiger can bring some clever repartee, this can still be fun. If the prerecorded segments wedged between shots are insightful, even meaningful in their ability to make us understand these players in ways we didn’t before, this will be worthwhile.

    Ultimately, “The Match” is a success if it leaves folks who paid to see it feeling as if they weren’t as ripped off as the people who refused to pay for it. That’s the handicap a history of free golf on TV brings. Welcome to pay-per-view, Tiger and Phil.

    Celia Barquin Arozamena Iowa State University athletics

    Trial date set for drifter charged with killing Barquin Arozamena

    By Associated PressOctober 15, 2018, 7:28 pm

    AMES, Iowa – A judge has scheduled a January trial for a 22-year-old Iowa drifter charged with killing a top amateur golfer from Spain.

    District Judge Bethany Currie ruled Monday that Collin Richards will stand trial Jan. 15 for first-degree murder in the death of Iowa State University student Celia Barquin Arozamena.

    Richards entered a written not guilty plea Monday morning and waived his right to a speedy trial. The filing canceled an in-person arraignment hearing that had been scheduled for later Monday.

    Investigators say Richards attacked Barquin on Sept. 17 while she was playing a round at a public course in Ames, near the university campus. Her body was found in a pond on the course riddled with stab wounds.

    Richards faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.

    LeBron's son tries golf, and he might be good at everything

    By Grill Room TeamOctober 15, 2018, 5:36 pm

    LeBron James' son seems well on his way to a successful basketball career of his own. To wit:

    View this post on Instagram

    Finally got it down lol

    A post shared by Bronny James (@bronnyjames.jr) on

    But with just a little work, he could pass on trying to surpass his father and try to take on Tiger and Jack, instead.

    Bronny posted this video to Instagram of him in sandals whacking balls off a mat atop a deck into a large body of water, which is the golfer's definition of living your best life.

    View this post on Instagram

    How far, maybe 400 #happygilmore

    A post shared by Bronny James (@bronnyjames.jr) on

    If you listen closely, at the end of the clip, you can just barely hear someone scream out for a marine biologist.