Molinari returning to site of dramatic victory

By Associated PressAugust 24, 2011, 3:52 pm

GLENEAGLES, Scotland – Edoardo Molinari will be under a different kind of pressure when he returns to Gleneagles to defend the Johnnie Walker Championship title he won in dramatic circumstances last year.

On that occasion, the 30-year-old Italian needed a victory in Scotland to effectively seal his place on Europe’s team for the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor—and did so by making birdies on the final three holes to pip Australia’s Brett Rumford by one shot.

It helped establish Molinari as a high-profile member of the European Tour but he hasn’t won a tournament since then, and his struggles with the putter have resulted in just one top-10 finish this season.

The 50th-ranked Molinari said he hopes a return to the scene of the “most special week of my career” sparks an upturn in fortunes.

“Obviously, I have great memories of last year. I like the course and it’s one that sets up to me eye really well,” said Molinari, whose win earned him the right to stay in one of the Gleneagles Hotel’s plushest suites this year. “I have been hitting the ball very well lately - probably the best I’ve ever hit the ball in my career.

“My putting hasn’t been working, so I’ve been trying a few things and hopefully things start solid for this week.”

With Ryder Cup points not at stake at Gleneagles this year, the 156-man field is lacking major names. At No. 22, Edoardo Molinari’s older brother, Francesco, is the highest-ranked player at an event that has a total prize money of $2.3 million.

But those who are present - the list also includes Colin Montgomerie, Ross Fisher and the winner of last week’s Czech Open, Oliver Fisher - will get another opportunity to check out the PGA Centenary Course that will host the 2014 Ryder Cup against the United States, the competition’s first return to Scotland in 41 years.

“It’s a great venue, we have known that for a long time,” said Scotland’s Paul Lawrie, the 1999 British Open champion. “(Course designer) Jack Nicklaus coming back on board to make a few changes is a positive step.

“I think in two or three years’ time the course will be ready, there’s no question. It’s going to be a good Ryder Cup here.”

Changes to three holes - Nos. 7, 12 and 14 - and a firming-up of the greens, at the request of players, have been well received, with Montgomerie saying the course “has never looked better.”

Montgomerie, who is also the tournament’s chairman, hasn’t played since the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart at the start of July. He failed to qualify for the British Open for the first time in 22 years and also missed out on the PGA Championship.

The 48-year-old Scot, an eight-time winner of the European Order of Merit, is down to No. 285 in the rankings but believes he has a chance this week on home turf.

“It’s the longest (playing) gap I’ve had ever in the middle of my career, so it has been difficult,” said the 2010 Ryder Cup captain. “But I’ve been practicing quite hard and my putting is a lot, lot better than it was.

“If I can putt well and keep the ball in play, I have a chance to content, not just compete.”

Montgomerie will play alongside next year’s Ryder Cup captain, Jose Maria Olazabal of Spain, for the first two rounds.

Edoardo Molinari, who also won the Scottish Open last year, tees off alongside Danish veteran Thomas Bjorn while Francesco Molinari is paired with fellow Ryder Cup player Fisher in the 13th edition of the tournament.

“So far, Edoardo has had all the success in Scotland and I’m keen to follow his example this year,” Francesco Molinari said. “We’ve won a number of tournaments between us but have yet to win the same title, so that’s what I’ll be aiming for this week.”

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


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Rory faces criticism

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President at the Presidents Cup


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Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

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Cart on the green


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Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open


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Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open


Trump golf properties

Vandalism

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Finances


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Reportedly fake TIME covers


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Pros comment on the president

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm