Euro Players Will Miss Tiger at Majors Ryder Cup

By Associated PressJune 19, 2008, 4:00 pm
European TourMUNICH, Germany -- Many of the top European golfers were surprised and disappointed at Tiger Woods absence for the rest of the season, and amazed at how he gutted his way to another U.S. Open triumph despite needing knee surgery.
Several players at the BMW International Open said Thursday that playing the majors wont be the same without the imposing presence of Woods, the worlds top golfer. They also fear television ratings and fan interest will plummet in his absence'and they will miss trying to beat him.
It is a big deal, no Tiger at the British Open, U.S. PGA, the Ryder Cup, said Graeme McDowell. The best player in the world by a long way is not going to be there. It will take away from the atmosphere'disappointing.
Woods revealed Wednesday he has played for at least 10 months with a torn ligament in his left knee, and suffered a double stress fracture in his left leg two weeks before the U.S. Open. He will have season-ending surgery, knocking him out of the final two majors and the Ryder Cup.
Bernhard Langer said losing Woods would put the Americans at a disadvantage against Europe at the Ryder Cup on Sept. 19-21 at Valhalla, outside Louisville, Ky. Langer captained the European team four years ago when it won by a record nine points.
As a captain I would love to have him on my side'if he cant play I think its for the worse, Langer said. Hopefully he will recover real soon.
The two-time Masters champion said the Ryder Cup has become such an unusual and huge event that fan interest will remain without Woods. But Langer said other tournaments that were on Woods schedule could face a loss of television ratings and crowds.
Woods won his 14th major at the U.S. Open, where he went 91 holes on a leg that got worse over each of the five days, finally defeating Rocco Mediate on the 19th hole of a playoff.
It was even more impressive now, his win in the U.S. Open, although he could have won one-legged, said American John Daly, who has been playing in European tournaments. It is a blow to all the fans who follow him. The sponsors, the money, wouldnt be where it is if it wasnt for him.
Ross Fisher got a firsthand look at Woods when they were paired in the final round at the 2007 Dubai Desert Classic. He finished fifth, while Woods tied for third.
To go out and win with a knee injury like that is phenomenal, Fisher said. It just shows how mentally strong he is and what a great golfer he is. To hear he is not going to play for the rest of the year is a massive blow to golf. You want to play against the best.
Colin Montgomerie, who hasnt won a major despite topping the European Tour eight times, said winning the British Open or PGA in Woods absence will not diminish the accomplishment of whoever hoists the trophy.
In four years time you wont know if Tiger Woods was playing or not, he said. Everybody is disappointed he wont be at the Open or PGA or other world events. We wish him well and we realize now with him not playing the power one individual has in the game.
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.