Finally, no more major excuses or alibis needed for Sergio

     
    THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

    April 9, 2017

    AUGUSTA, Ga. -- He couldn't catch a break. Sergio Garcia said that so often at majors like the Masters you were sure it would be etched into his tombstone someday.

    He always had an alibi ready. Bunkers that weren't raked until after he played out of them. Putts that curled around the hole only to spin away. Tee times that put him on the course in the teeth of a storm while rivals like Tiger Woods always drew blue skies and sunshine.

    Garcia seemed so certain that fate had it in for him that like Pigpen from the cartoon strip ''Peanuts,'' he didn't dare look up. There was always going to be a cloud of dirt and dust following him around.

    No more.

    On a picture-perfect Sunday, on what would have been the 60th birthday of his countryman and idol, Seve Ballesteros, the 37-year-old Spaniard made a birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff to beat Justin Rose.

    ''Obviously this is something I wanted to do for a long time but, you know, it never felt like a horror movie,'' Garcia said afterward. ''It felt like a little bit of a drama maybe, but obviously with a happy ending.''

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    Updated list of best golfer never to have won a major

    Former Oklahoma State standout Rickie Fowler is still searching for his first major.
    BY GOLF DIGEST

    March 31, 2017

    Ahhh, the everlasting best-golfer-never-to-have-won-a-major debate.

    The 2016 season produced four first-time major champs in Danny Willett, Dustin Johnson, Henrik Stenson and Jimmy Walker.

    As we approach the 2017 Masters, Golf Digest put a new formula to work to determine who are the best current players who haven't hoisted a trophy at one of golf's four biggest events.

    Golf Digest only used results from the past two years, so heartbreak veterans like Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood took a hit. Not that they should mind. If you're on his list for too long, the last thing you want is to be reminded about it.

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    Is Dustin Johnson the new Masters favorite -- by a mile?

    Dustin Johnson (Photo by Getty Images)
    GOLF WIRE

    March 6, 2017

    Every Sunday night, GOLF.com conducts an e-mail roundtable with writers from Sports Illustrated and GOLF Magazine. Check in every week for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors and join the conversation by tweeting us @golf_com.

    1. Well, that was fun. The World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship had quite the debut, with a star-studded leaderboard young and old, ridiculous hole-outs and a worthy champion in world No. 1 Dustin Johnson. What was your biggest takeaway from the week?

    Alan Shipnuck, senior writer, Sports Illustrated (@AlanShipnuck): That I can't wait to get back to Mexico City. This was the liveliest Tour event I can remember in a long time. The fans brought a great energy and Chapultepec was a very intriguing venue. Not to mention that another week in CDMX solidified it as one of my favorite cities on the planet.

    Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: That's great to hear, Alan. Having been there, what was the vibe you got from the players? How did the Americans feel about being south of the border? Were they talking about Trump? I followed it, as people used to say, in the papers, and was stunned by the lengths the players were hitting their shots, in the thin air.

    Jeff Ritter, digital development editor, Sports Illustrated Golf Group (@Jeff_Ritter): The excitement Alan experienced in person translated beautifully on TV. Big crowds, crazy shots, stellar leaderboard. The single biggest takeaway is probably that DJ solidified what could turn into a long run atop the World Ranking. But this tournament was a home run all the way around.

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    Spieth's victory at Pebble Beach brings Masters into focus

    Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

     

    BY JOHN STREGE

    Golf Digest

    Feb. 13, 2017

     

    Jordan Spieth was not necessarily a forgotten man in recent months, but on a tour with a profusion of young winners the prevailing question they all face is this: What have you done lately?

    What Spieth has done lately is to demonstrate that his slide from No. 1 to No. 6 in the World Ranking was largely illusory, an inaccurate reading of his standing in the game’s hierarchy.

    What have you done lately? Spieth has finished first (in the Australian Open), third, third, ninth and first in his last five international starts, including a four-stroke victory in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Sunday.

    It was easy to forget, in judging Spieth at 23 to an ostensibly unrealistic standard set by Spieth at 21 and 22, that even before his win at Pebble Beach he was still comparing favorably to a man who had set an even higher standard.

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    Gary Player not optimistic about Tiger Woods' future

    Gary Player on Tiger Woods
    Tiger Woods and Gary Player
    BY KEVIN CASEY

    Feb. 6, 2017

     

    Tiger Woods recently flamed out badly in Dubai, opening the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in birdie-free 77 and then withdrawing due to a back spasm. Just two weeks into his comeback to (official) competitive golf, some are already theorizing that the end is rapidly nearing.

    Woods has dealt with some major injury issues in recent years – two back surgeries precipitated a 16-month layoff – and some psychological hurdles, specifically a case of the chipping yips that emerged in late 2014/early 2015. And yes, not playing competitive golf for over a year means it’ll take a little time for the performance to come back.

    But this may be the most talented player of all time. What is really plaguing the 41-year-old?

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    Justin Thomas Breaks PGA Tour’s all-time 72-hole scoring record

    Golfer Justin Thomas Record Holder
    (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
    By: January 15, 2017 10:17 pm

    Here is a recap of Sunday’s final round of the 2017 Sony Open at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii:

    WINNER: Justin Thomas won. Shocker. What an absolutely dominant week from Thomas. Wire-to-wire win, but honestly that’s maybe the least exciting statistic we could list off. Thomas started the week by shooting 59, followed with 64 to break the PGA Tour’s 36-hole scoring record with 123, continued with a 65 to tie the Tour’s all-time 54-hole mark (188) and finished by beating the Tour’s historic previous low 72-hole total of 254 by doing one better.

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    Justin Thomas joins the '59 Club' on the PGA Tour

    Golfer Justin Thomas Joins '59 Club
    Sam Greenwood / GETTY IMAGES
    Doug Ferguson
    The Associated Press

    January 13, 2017

    HONOLULU—Fresh of his victory on Maui, Justin Thomas became the seventh player to join the “59 Club” on the PGA Tour when he made a 15-foot eagle putt on his last hole Thursday at the Sony Open for an 11-under 59.

    Thomas thought his hopes at a 59 were over when his drive on the par-5 ninth hole at Waialae Country Club was a foot from clearing a fairway bunker on the left and rolled back into the sand. He figured he couldn’t reach the green until realizing Daniel Berger hit 4-iron from the bunker onto the green.

    Thomas figured “this wasn’t a time to lay up.”

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