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Defending champ Goydos leads in Phoenix

By Associated PressNovember 12, 2017, 12:31 am

PHOENIX - Defending champion Paul Goydos took a one-stroke lead Saturday in the PGA Tour Champions' season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship.

Goydos shot a 5-under 66 to reach 12-under 130 at Phoenix Country Club, the tree-lined course hosting its first tour event since the Phoenix Open left for TPC Scottsdale in 1988.

''This golf course doesn't hide where it wants you to hit the ball,'' Goydos said. ''You kind of follow the line of the trees and you'll be OK. I mean, you need to drive it good.''

Lee Janzen was second after a 67. The two-time U.S. Open champion birdied the par-5 18th playing alongside Goydos in the final group.

''Even on good shots today sometimes it was a challenge,'' Janzen said. ''I expect a challenge. I think even if I was in complete control of my golf game in all regards I should expect a challenge because that's just the way golf is. But right now, I'm expecting a little bit more of a challenge because I'm not super confident with how I'm swinging.

''I hit some wild shots, but I just keep hoping I have a swing and some sort of opening and I'll figure out a way to get it near the green and make a par.''


Full-field scores from the Charles Schwab Cup Championship


Goydos made a 7-footer for birdie on the par-4 16th, then missed a 6-foot try on 18.

''I get in there, I want to hit a fast one, I looked at the hole and all I saw was the sun,'' Goydos said. ''I should have backed away and I didn't. ... You talk about the difference between a Langer or a Watson or a Woods or a Spieth and a Goydos is that I was too quick there. I should have stopped.''

Bernhard Langer, trying to sweep the three playoff events and win the Charles Schwab Cup season points title for the fourth straight year and fifth overall, was tied for 22nd at 3 under after a 68.

Kevin Sutherland and former Arizona State player Billy Mayfair were 10 under. Sutherland eagled the 18th for a 63, the best round of the week. Mayfair shot 65.

Goydos won last year at Desert Mountain in Scottdale, about 35 miles northeast of the new venue just north of downtown Phoenix. He's trying to join Mike Hill (1990-91), Jim Thorpe (2006-07) and John Cook (2009-10) as the only players to win the season finale in consecutive years.

The two-time PGA Tour winner took the 3M Championship in Minnesota in August - shooting a tour season-best 60 in the second round - for his fifth senior title.

Janzen won his lone senior title in 2015.

Sutherland hit a 4-iron from 231 yards to 5 feet to set up the closing eagle.

''That was the best 4-iron I've hit in a while,'' Sutherland said.

Winless on the senior tour, Sutherland entered the week fifth in the Charles Schwab Cup season points standings, the last spot where the player has to only win the tournament to top the yearlong competition.

''I played good, got myself back in the tournament,'' Sutherland said. ''But you're going to have to go out and probably shoot something similar to that tomorrow.''

The only player to shoot 59 in senior tour history, the 53-year-old Sutherland has 14 top-10 finishes this season, finishing second three times and third twice. His lone PGA Tour victory came in 2002 at La Costa in the Accenture Match Play Championship.

''I can't change what happened yesterday, what's happened in the past, so I just keep moving forward,'' Sutherland said. ''I can't change what happened at a tournament earlier this year, so I'm not going to dwell on that at all tomorrow. It will have no effect.''

Scott McCarron is second in the season standings, followed by Kenny Perry, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Sutherland. McCarron was tied for eighth at 8 under after a 66, Perry was tied for 17th at under after a 66, and Jimenez was tied for 34th at 1 over after a 69.

''I had a lot of really good putts that just didn't go in,'' McCarron said. ''They're right on the edge all day long. So it was one of those days that could have been really, really low. But I've got a chance tomorrow. I've got one round left, and if you had told me at the start of the year you have one round left to win the Schwab Cup, I'd would say what a wonderful opportunity.''

Langer opened the playoffs with victories in the Dominion Energy Charity Classic in Richmond, Virginia, and took the PowerShares QQQ Championship two weeks ago in Thousand Oaks, California.

The 60-year-old Geman won three of the tour's five majors this season and has a tour-best seven victories. He has never won the season-ending event, finishing in the top 10 seven times in nine starts.

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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.


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.