Cink Takes 36-hole Lead at Travelers

By Associated PressJune 20, 2008, 4:00 pm
Travelers ChampionshipCROMWELL, Conn. -- Stewart Cink moved to the top of the Travelers Championship leaderboard Friday, making two long eagle putts in a 6-under 64 that left him a stroke ahead of defending champion Hunter Mahan and two others.
 
Cink, the 1997 winner at TPC River Highlands, is seeking his first victory of the season after six top-10 finishes.
 
I hope its just a matter of time, Cink said. I hope its a matter of about two days.
 
It didnt look good early for Cink, who began the day at 4 under and promptly bogeyed the first two holes. He got one back with a birdie at the third before knocking in a 26-foot putt for eagle on the par-5 sixth. He bettered that shot by curling in a 49-foot right-to-left eagle putt on the 13th.
 
I just kept staying down and staying focused on doing what I can do and thats just stroking the putter through the ball, almost not looking up to watch it, said Cink, who opened with a 66 on Thursday en route to a 10-under 130 total.
 
Mahan shot a 63, the best round of the day, to join Ken Duke and Lucas Glover at 9-under. Duke and Glover shot 66s.
 
Mahan has been under par in 10 of his last 11 rounds at the TPC River Highlands, where he won last year in a playoff with journeyman Jay Williamson. Mahan tied for second in 2006, and has made five consecutive cuts on the course.
 
I just feel comfortable here, Mahan said. I make a lot of free swings and I can play golf and I dont have to worry about where the ball might end up.
 
On Friday, the ball usually ended up in the fairway, on the green or in the hole. The 26-year-old Mahan shot a bogey-free round, with seven birdies, including four on his first seven holes. He hit all 14 of fairways and 15 of 18 greens.
 
Mahan would be only the second back-to-back winner in the 55-year history of the tournament. Phil Mickelson won in 2001 and 2002.
 
Duke and Glover followed first-round 65s with their 66s.
 
It was a good day, I mean a steady day, Duke said.
 
Ninety-eight players finished the first two rounds under par, and 72 made the cut at 3 under, the lowest cut on tour this season.
 
This course is playing fairly simple, and the scores are definitely out there, said amateur Michael Thompson, who was the low amateur at last weeks U.S. Open.
 
Thompson (67) finished at 8 under Friday, tied for fifth place with Brad Adamonis (68), the tours oldest rookie at 35, and Kevin Sutherland (65).
 
Adamonis, from nearby Cumberland R.I., had to make a save on his final hole of the day. He hit his second shot over the green and underneath a small tree. But he managed to chip it onto the green, and sink the par putt.
 
Im thinking maybe its out of bounds, he said. Luckily, I had a window where I can get it on the green and I made about a 15-footer and it was a great way to end the day.
 
Adamonis, who suffers from vertigo, had missed six cuts and withdrawn once in 14 starts coming into the Travelers.
 
A group of five finished the day at 7-under 133, including Tom Pernice Jr. (68), Heath Slocum (66) and Kenny Perry (67), who eagled his first hole of the day, pitching in a shot from 133 yards out.
 
I had not holed a shot in a long time, and that was quite a way to open your eyes a little bit and put a big smile on your face, Perry said.
 
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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.