Paolucci Park win Tournament of Champions

By Ajga StaffJuly 5, 2010, 7:22 pm

Rolex Tournament of ChampionsJOHNSON, Ark. – Six birdies in the final round helped Anthony Paolucci of Del Mar, Calif., capture the 33rd annual Rolex Tournament of Champions to finish as the only player in the field under par at 1-under-par 287. Kristen Park of Buena Park, Calif., birdied the final two holes to win the Girls Division by four strokes at Blessings Golf Club.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Rolex Tournament of Champions was a 72-hole stroke play event held at Blessings Golf Club in Johnson, Ark. The 132-player field boasted junior golfers from 28 states, Colombia, Denmark, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, Thailand, and the Philippines. The Boys Division played the course at 7,119 yards while the Girls Division played at 6,133 yards.

Paolucci, winner of this year's Thunderbird International Junior, had an up-and-down day, but managed to stay in his comfort zone on a course where anything can happen. After four birdies and a double bogey on the front nine, he sat at 2-under-par, tied with Patrick Rodgers of Avon, Ind. Paolucci stayed cool, calm, and collected.

“At the turn Patrick and I were tied and he was playing solid, too,” Paolucci said. “I was very good at keeping a good frame of mind when things started to get tight. For some reason I did a very good job of staying in the moment.”

Paolucci tried not to think about winning throughout the round, but occasionally it snuck into his head.

“I tried not to think too much about winning the tournament, but the thought kept creeping back into my mind,” he said. “When I birdied No. 14 and had that good putt on No. 15, going to 3-under with three holes to go, I started to sense that I could win it. At the same time, anything can happen on this golf course and I knew that going in.”

Rodgers finished in second place, two shots behind Paolucci, with a four-day total of 1-over-par 289. In third place, David Lee of Houston, finished the tournament at 6-over-par 294. Shun Yat Hak of Lake Mary, Fla., and Drew Czuchry of Auburn, Ga., finished in a tie for fourth place at 7-over-par 295.

After leading at one point by six shots, Park bogeyed No. 16 while Emily Tubert of Burbank, Calif., made birdie to cut the lead to two shots. After a spectacular shot by Tubert on the par-3 No. 17 to within five feet, Park chipped in from the rough while Tubert missed her birdie attempt to extend the lead to three shots.

“I felt a little bit of pressure after my lead was cut to only two shots after No. 16,” Park said. “I managed to stay focused and holed out from the rough on No. 17 to increase my lead back to three with one hole to play. The birdie on No. 18 was just icing on the cake for one of the biggest junior wins I have ever had.”

On a very difficult course, Park felt well-prepared coming into the tournament.

“I have been preparing for this summer all year long,” Park said. “I feel very accomplished winning this tournament with all the great players in the field.”

Tubert, whose home course will be Blessings Golf Club for the next four years as a soon-to-be Arkansas Razorback, finished in second place four shots behind Park at 6-over-par 294. Marijosse Navarro of San Antonio, Texas, finished in third place with a tournament total of 8-over-par 296.

Rolex Tournament of Champions results

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Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish

By Associated PressJuly 23, 2018, 12:25 am

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - A thunderstorm has suspended the fourth round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship until Monday morning.

Sunday's third stoppage of play at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came with the four leaders - Hunter Mahan, Robert Streb, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt at 18 under par - and four other contenders waiting to begin the round.

The tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. Lightning caused one delay, and play was stopped earlier in the afternoon to clear water that accumulated on the course following a morning of steady and sometimes-heavy rain.

Inclement weather has plagued the tournament throughout the weekend. The second round was completed Saturday morning after being suspended by thunderstorms late Friday afternoon.

The resumption will mark the PGA Tour's second Monday finish this season. Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January after darkness delayed the sixth playoff hole, and he needed just 13 minutes to claim the victory.

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Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:07 am

It was a collision watched by millions of fans on television, and one that came at a pivotal juncture as Tiger Woods sought to win The Open. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.

Hauck was among dozens of fans situated along the left side of the 11th hole during the final round at Carnoustie as the pairing of Woods and Francesco Molinari hit their approach shots. After 10 holes of nearly flawless golf, Woods missed the fairway off the tee and then pulled his iron well left of the target.

The ball made square contact with Hauck, who hours later tweeted a video showing the entire sequence - even as he continued to record after Woods' shot sent him tumbling to the ground:

The bounce initially appeared fortuitous for Woods, as his ball bounded away from thicker rough and back toward the green. But an ambitious flop shot came up short, and he eventually made a double bogey to go from leading by a shot to trailing by one. He ultimately shot an even-par 71, tying for sixth two shots behind Molinari.

For his efforts as a human shield, Hauck received a signed glove and a handshake from Woods - not to mention a firsthand video account that will be sure to spark plenty of conversations in the coming years.

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Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter

By Will GrayJuly 22, 2018, 9:35 pm

After breaking through for his first career major, Francesco Molinari now has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a 10-year exemption in Europe and has solidified his standing as one of the best players in the world.

But not too long ago, the 35-year-old Italian was apparently thinking about life after golf.

Shortly after Molinari rolled in a final birdie putt to close out a two-shot victory at The Open, fellow Tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted a picture of a note that he wrote after the two played together during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October. In it, Bryan shared Molinari's plans to retire as early as 2020 to hang out at cafes and "become a Twitter troll":

Molinari is active on the social media platform, with more than 5,600 tweets sent out to nearly 150,000 followers since joining in 2010. But after lifting the claret jug at Carnoustie, it appears one of the few downsides of Molinari's victory is that the golf world won't get to see the veteran turn into a caffeinated, well-read troll anytime soon.

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Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose

By Rex HoggardJuly 22, 2018, 9:17 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Sometimes a course just fits a player’s eye. They can’t really describe why, but more often than not it leads to solid finishes.

Francesco Molinari’s relationship with Carnoustie isn’t like that.

The Italian played his first major at Carnoustie, widely considered the toughest of all The Open venues, in 2007, and his first impression hasn’t really changed.

“There was nothing comforting about it,” he said on Sunday following a final-round 69 that lifted him to a two-stroke victory.


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In fact, following that first exposure to the Angus coast brute, Molinari has tried to avoid Carnoustie, largely skipping the Dunhill Links Championship, one of the European Tour’s marquee events, throughout his career.

“To be completely honest, it's one of the reasons why I didn't play the Dunhill Links in the last few years, because I got beaten up around here a few times in the past,” he said. “I didn't particularly enjoy that feeling. It's a really tough course. You can try and play smart golf, but some shots, you just have to hit it straight. There's no way around it. You can't really hide.”

Molinari’s relative dislike for the layout makes his performance this week even more impressive considering he played his last 37 holes bogey-free.

“To play the weekend bogey-free, it's unthinkable, to be honest. So very proud of today,” he said.