Garcia Putts Out with a Wedge

By Mercer BaggsJanuary 10, 2003, 5:00 pm
KAPALUA, Hawaii -- Sergio Garcia had a bit of explaining to do when he was seen putting out on the 18th hole Friday with his wedge.
 
I didnt break it, Garcia said of his putter. On 11, I missed a short one for birdie and I kind of just, what we do all the time, just threw it to the bag and (the shaft) bent just a little bit.
 
Under Rule 4-3b in the USGAs Rules of Golf (which the PGA Tour abides by), a club that has been altered from its normal state outside the conditions of normal play cannot be subsequently used or replaced for the remainder of the round.
 
Because of this, Garcia was forced to go a different route on the greens, even though he said the putter was still in putting shape.
 
I tried 8-iron on 12, 3-wood on 13 and from 14 on I used the wedge, and I hit some good putts, Garcia said.
 
The defending champion shot even-par 73 in round two and is 15 strokes off the 36-hole lead, at 2-under par.
 
For the record, he had 32 putts Friday, one less than in the opening round.
 
Welcome Return for Price
 
Nick Price has won 18 times on the PGA Tour, at least once in eight of his 20 years on the circuit. However, this is only his fourth appearance in the Mercedes Championships, which is only on offer to the winners of the previous season.
 
But his absence was never a slight to the tournament.
 
I felt obliged and also my duty to play in South Africa during that period because the sponsors wanted all the top players at the time, explained Price, who is at 8-under par through two rounds.
 
So why did he return this year after winning the 2002 MasterCard Colonial?
 
They dont want me anymore (in South Africa) because Im not a top player, he joked.
 
The soon-to-be 46-year-old Zimbabwean will head to South Africa in two weeks for the Dimension Data Pro-Am. He will play his next PGA Tour event at the Nissan Open in February.
 
Price played this tournament in 1984, 92 and 98. His best finish was a tie for fourth in his last appearance. All three, however, were at the La Costa Country Club in Carlsbad, Calif. This is the first time hes played the event on the Plantation Course in Maui.
 
I think this is a great place to have it this time of year. It certainly is a soft start to the year, he said. I couldnt think of a better place to play now this time of year, to be honest. Im very happy to be here.
 
Perking Up
 
Craig Perks year couldnt have gotten off to a worse start Thursday, but it got dramatically better.
 
The reigning Players Championship winner double bogeyed his first hole in the first round and then added another double at the fourth. Four-over through four holes, he finished the day at 4-under thanks to eight birdies over his final 13 holes.
 
He continued that run Friday with three birdies over his first six holes, but made his third double bogey of the tournament at the par-5 15th. He shot 2-under 71 in round two to get to 6-under par for the event.
 
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    Five-time Open champ Thomson passes at 88

    By Associated PressJune 20, 2018, 1:35 am

    MELBOURNE, Australia – Five-time Open Championship winner Peter Thomson has died, his family said Wednesday. He was 88.

    Thomson had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for more than four years and died at his Melbourne home surrounded by family members on Wednesday morning.

    Born on Aug, 23, 1929, Thomson was two months short of his 89th birthday.

    The first Australian to win The Open Championship, Thomson went on to secure the title five times between 1954 and 1965, a record equaled only by Tom Watson.

    On the American senior circuit he won nine times in 1985.

    Thomson also served as president of the Australian PGA for 32 years, designing and building courses in Australia and around the world, helping establish the Asian Tour and working behind the scenes for the Odyssey House drug rehabilitation organization where he was chairman for five years.

    He also wrote for newspapers and magazines for more than 60 years and was patron of the Australian Golf Writers Association.

    In 1979 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his service to golf and in 2001 became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his contributions as a player and administrator and for community service.

    Thomson is survived by his wife Mary, son Andrew and daughters Deirdre Baker, Pan Prendergast and Fiona Stanway, their spouses, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

    Funeral arrangements were to be announced over the next few days.

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    Gaston leaves USC to become head coach at Texas A&M

    By Ryan LavnerJune 19, 2018, 11:00 pm

    In a major shakeup in the women’s college golf world, USC coach Andrea Gaston has accepted an offer to become the new head coach at Texas A&M.

    Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Gaston, who informed her players of her decision Monday night, has been one of the most successful coaches over the past two decades, leading the Trojans to three NCAA titles and producing five NCAA individual champions during her 22-year reign. They have finished in the top 5 at nationals in an NCAA-record 13 consecutive seasons.

    This year was arguably Gaston’s most impressive coaching job. She returned last fall after undergoing treatment for uterine cancer, but a promising season was seemingly derailed after losing two stars to the pro ranks at the halfway point. Instead, she guided a team with four freshmen and a sophomore to the third seed in stroke play and a NCAA semifinals appearance. Of the four years that match play has been used in the women’s game, USC has advanced to the semifinals three times.  

    Texas A&M could use a coach with Gaston’s track record.

    Last month the Aggies fired coach Trelle McCombs after 11 seasons following a third consecutive NCAA regional exit. A&M had won conference titles as recently as 2010 (Big 10) and 2015 (SEC), but this year the team finished 13th at SECs.

    The head-coaching job at Southern Cal is one of the most sought-after in the country and will have no shortage of outside interest. If the Trojans look to promote internally, men’s assistant Justin Silverstein spent four years under Gaston and helped the team win the 2013 NCAA title.  

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    Spieth 'blacked out' after Travelers holeout

    By Will GrayJune 19, 2018, 9:44 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – It was perhaps the most-replayed shot (and celebration) of the year.

    Jordan Spieth’s bunker holeout to win the Travelers Championship last year in a playoff over Daniel Berger nearly broke the Internet, as fans relived that raucous chest bump between Spieth and caddie Michael Greller after Spieth threw his wedge and Greller threw his rake.

    Back in Connecticut to defend his title, Spieth admitted that he has watched replays of the scene dozens of times – even if, in the heat of the moment, he wasn’t exactly choreographing every move.


    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    “Just that celebration in general, I blacked out,” Spieth said. “It drops and you just react. For me, I’ve had a few instances where I’ve been able to celebrate or react on a 72nd, 73rd hole, 74th hole, whatever it may be, and it just shows how much it means to us.”

    Spieth and Greller’s celebration was so memorable that tournament officials later shipped the rake to Greller as a keepsake. It’s a memory that still draws a smile from the defending champ, whose split-second decision to go for a chest bump over another form of celebration provided an appropriate cap to a high-energy sequence of events.

    “There’s been a lot of pretty bad celebrations on the PGA Tour. There’s been a lot of missed high-fives,” Spieth said. “I’ve been part of plenty of them. Pretty hard to miss when I’m going into Michael for a chest bump.”

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    Pregnant Lewis playing final events before break

    By Randall MellJune 19, 2018, 9:27 pm

    Stacy Lewis will be looking to make the most of her last three starts of 2018 in her annual return to her collegiate roots this week.

    Lewis, due to give birth to her first child on Nov. 3, will tee it up in Friday’s start to the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Arkansas. She won the NCAA individual women’s national title in 2007 while playing at the University of Arkansas. She is planning to play the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship next week and then the Marathon Classic two weeks after that before taking the rest of the year off to get ready for her baby’s arrival.

    Lewis, 33, said she is beginning to feel the effects of being with child.

    “Things have definitely gotten harder, I would say, over the last week or so, the heat of the summer and all that,” Lewis said Tuesday. “I'm actually excited. I'm looking forward to the break and being able to decorate the baby's room and do all that kind of stuff and to be a mom - just super excited.”

    Lewis says she is managing her energy levels, but she is eager to compete.

    “Taking a few more naps and resting a little bit more,” she said. “Other than that, the game's been pretty good.”

    Lewis won the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in 2014, and she was credited with an unofficial title in ’07, while still a senior at Arkansas. That event was reduced to 18 holes because of multiple rain delays. Lewis is a popular alumni still actively involved with the university.