Cardinal Cruise to NCAA Mens Title

By Associated PressJune 2, 2007, 4:00 pm
NCAA Division I MenWILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- Stanford ran away with the NCAA golf tournament title Saturday, capturing its first championship since Tiger Woods led the school to the crown in 1994.
 
Southern California freshman Jamie Lovemark took the individual title, using three late birdies in his second consecutive 6-under 64.
 
Stanford won the tournament by 12 strokes after shooting a 1-over 281 for an 11-under 1,109 total. Gorgia rallied to finish second at 1 over, and Lamar and Charlotte shared third, another four shots back. Lamar shot 5 under Saturday.
 
The Cardinal's consistency took the suspense away early.
 
'It's pretty surreal,' said Zack Miller, who closed with a 1-over 71 on the 6,803-yard Golden Hoseshoe Gold Course to finish tied for 15th. He said the Cardinal set a goal this season of winning a tournament for the first time in their careers.
 
Instead, they won seven, including their eighth national championship.
 
'We came here wanting to be competitive, not just a participant,' Miller said. 'Everyone's all smiles now.'
 
Lovemark, the Pac 10 champion, was three off the lead when the round began. He was four behind Clemson freshman Kyle Stanley when he reached the 14th tee, then followed a par with three consecutive birdies. Bogeys by Stanley at No. 12 and 14 gave Lovemark the lead all to himself, and Stanley came to the final hole needing birdie to tie.
 
Stanley hit a good drive on the final hole, but his ball came to rest in a divot. His approach on the par-4 missed the green to the right, and his chip came up about 5 feet from the cup. Disappointed, he two-putted for his third bogey of the round.
 
That left Stanford's top player, Rob Grube, as the lone likely challenger. He was 7 under through 14 holes, but three pars and a finishing bogey left him third.
 
The national title, though, was a very nice consolation prize, he said. It was the goal of the Cardinal players since the start of the season.
 
'There's probably only about seven people that thought that was a possibility, but that's fortunately all you need,' he said after a closing 71 for a 6-under 274 total.
 
The victory was a nice cap to the season for Lovemark, who plans to leave Sunday for the Palmer Cup that pits amateurs from the United States against Europeans.
 
'It means a lot,' Lovemark said of the victory. 'It means I've improved a lot during the course of the year and during the course of the last couple of years.'
 
But, he said, it doesn't make him think of turning pro.
 
'I still know I have a long ways to go,' he said.
 
Stanley was disappointed to have finished so poorly after starting the day with a share of the lead. He, Grube and Georgia Tech's Cameron Tringale were all 6 under.
 
'After the front nine, I was in pretty good shape,' said Stanley, who made the turn at 4-under but finished with a 69. 'I just didn't play that well on the back.'
 
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - NCAA Men's Division I Finals
  • Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    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.