Englishman Fosters Lead at Johnnie Walker

By Associated PressAugust 4, 2005, 4:00 pm
European TourGLENEAGLES, Scotland -- Mark Foster posted a 4-under-par 68 in difficult conditions Thursday to take the opening-round lead of the Johnnie Walker Championship.
Twelve players are knotted in second place at 2-under-par 70 as heavy wind and showers greeted the players on Thursday at the PGA Centenary Course at The Gleneagles Hotel.
The tournament was dealt a blow early in the first round when Colin Montgomerie, who finished second to Tiger Woods at the British Open, had to withdraw during play because of a hand injury.
Montgomerie hurt his right hand when he hit his second at the 18th, his ninth hole of the round. He did more damage on the same hole when he struck his third from the heavy rough.
The Scotsman gutted it out for another four holes before withdrawing.
'It is particularly disappointing as this is a tournament I have been looking forward to all year,' said Montgomerie, who may have to pull out of next week's PGA Championship. 'The crowds were fantastic. Unfortunately for them and for the tournament I am sorry. Hopefully everyone understands I cannot play if I am not physically fit.'
Foster was certainly fit on Thursday as he opened on the back nine with back-to-back birdies at 10 and 11. He dropped a shot at the par-5 12th, but Foster parred his next five before closing his front nine with a birdie at the 18th.
Foster, who won the English Amateur Championship in 1994 and 1995, parred his first two on the second nine, then birdied No. 3. He bogeyed the fourth and birdied No. 5 to get back to 3 under par.
The 30-year-old Englishman birdied the ninth to move two clear of the field.
Foster, who earned his first European Tour victory at the 2003 dunhill championship, has struggled thus far in the 2005 season. His best finish of the campaign came at the season-opening China Open, a tie for 11th, and since then he's only posted two top-20s.
'I have been too down and too hard on myself,' said Foster. 'I have not been good enough mentally all year. Being hard on yourself can be both good and bad. When you are doing well and you are hard on yourself you do a bit more, but when you are down and are hard on yourself, I just kept pushing myself down. I need to be more upbeat and enjoy myself out on the course. It is easier said than done, but I did manage to do that today.'
Bradley Dredge, who tied for third place last week at the Scandinavian Masters, was one of the players who shot a 70 on Thursday.
Gregory Bourdy, Emanuele Canonica, Nicolas Colsaerts, Ross Drummond, Darren Fichardt, Robert Karlsson, Michael Kirk, Jonathan Lomas, David Lynn, Damien McGrane and Mark Roe joined Dredge in second place.
Paul Casey, a European Ryder Cupper, carded a 1-under 71 on Thursday and is part of a group tied for 14th. Casey, who captured this year's TCL Classic, won this title in 2001 for his first European Tour victory,
Estoril Open de Portugal winner Paul Broadhurst and Telecom Italia Open champion Steve Webster are among the large group tied with Casey three shots off the lead.
Defending champion Miles Tunnicliff opened with a 3-over 75 and is tied for 72nd place.
Related Links:
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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.