Funk Bogey Free Leads Turtle Bay

By Associated PressJanuary 27, 2007, 5:00 pm
2007 Turtle Bay ChampionshipKAHUKU, Hawaii -- The bank stayed open for Fred Funk on Saturday.
 
Funk had another spectacular day on the greens, shooting an 8-under 64 for a three-stroke lead after the second round of the Turtle Bay Championship.
 
The 50-year-old Funk had his second straight bogey-free round to break the tournament record with a 15-under 129 total.
 
'I kind of look at birdies like deposits in the bank. You can never have too many deposits because you're always going to have withdrawls,' he said. 'So far, I haven't had any withdrawls.'
 
Japan's Kiyoshi Murota, playing on a sponsor's exemption, shot a 65 to finish at 12 under. Tom Kite (66), coming off a second-place tie in the MasterCard Championship, was another stroke behind in the Champions Tour's first full-field event of the year.
 
Unlike the wind-swept opening round, it was unusually calm on the 7,044-yard oceanside Palmer Course.
 
'The course was there for the taking,' Funk said.
 
Funk had eight birdies and, using a wider stance he picked up during the pro-am, putted just 24 times. After holing a 6-foot birdie putt on the par-4 17th that gave him a three-stroke lead, Funk swung his putter as if he hit a home run.
 
'My putter's been really hot. I like that,' he said.
 
Funk said he was playing like he was behind and thinks he needs a 66 or 67 for a wire-to-wire victory.
 
'It would be nice just to keep making deposits in the bank, especially early to make those guys maybe try something they normally wouldn't do and play a little aggressive and make a mistake so I can cruise,' he said.
 
Funk, who missed the cut at the PGA TOUR's Sony Open and last week tied for 28th in the 41-man MasterCard, is seeking his second Champions Tour victory in his fifth start. He joined the senior tour after turning 50 in June and made three starts last year, going wire-to-wire to win the AT&T Championship and tying for 11th in the U.S. Senior Open. He also had three top-10 finishes last year on the PGA TOUR.
 
The former University of Maryland coach has seven PGA TOUR victories, including the 2005 Players Championship.
 
With several players making a move early, Funk holed a 35-foot downhill putt on No. 5 to reach 9 under. He made a 10-foot birdie putt on the ninth hole to make the turn at 32 and regain the outright lead.
 
'I've gotten off to two dream starts in a row on the front nine and if I can continue to do that, it'll be great,' said Funk, who also sank an 18-foot birdie on the next hole that was set up by an 8-iron from the left rough.
 
Murota, a six-time winner on the Japan Tour, made his move early with five birdies on the front side that moved him to 10 under, a stroke behind Funk. He also closed with two birdies, just missing an eagle on 18.
 
Murota tied for 17th last year at Turtle Bay and is trying to become the first sponsor invitee to win since Christy O'Conner Jr. in the 1999 State Farm Senior Classic.
 
The 57-year-old Kite, who won twice last year, birdied five of the first seven holes on the back nine to shoot up the leaderboard. His only mistake was a bogey on the first hole.
 
Vicente Fernandez had a 64 to join Denis Watson (65), Tom McKnight (69) and David Eger (69) at 8 under. Bob Gilder (65), Mike Reid (67), Tim Simpson (67) and D.A. Weibring (69) were 7 under.
 
Hale Irwin, going for a record seventh victory in the event, rebounded from an opening 74 that included a quadruple bogey 8 with a 67. He was at 3 under with seven others.
 
Irwin had a 23-under 193 total at the MasterCard last week to beat Tom Kite and Jim Thorpe by five strokes for his tour-record 45th victory and first in 15 months.
 
Seventy-one-year-old Gary Player shot his age and was at 3 over. It was the 14th time in his Hall of Fame career, including the third time in his last five rounds, he has shot his age or better.
 
Last year, Loren Roberts snapped Irwin's Turtle Bay winning streak at five and completed a two-week Hawaiian sweep, holing a 9-foot eagle putt on the final hole for a two-stroke victory over Scott Simpson.
 
Divots
Tadd Fujikawa, who two weeks ago became the youngest player in 50 years to make a PGA TOUR cut, was a guest commentator in the Golf Channel booth alongside Mark Rolfing and Frank Nobilo. When Rolfing asked Fujikawa if he enjoyed watching golf on TV, the candid 16-year-old replied: 'Not really. The first two rounds are pretty boring.' Before putting on the microphone, Fujikawa strolled around the course with his parents and signed autographs. He said life hasn't been the same since he tied for 20th the Sony Open. 'It's been hectic and a little busy,' he said. The sophomore at Moanalua High School said he was impressed with the seniors, many of whom were stars before he was born. 'All of them have won tournaments and done really well. You have to look up to them,' he said.
 
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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.

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    Rose: T-2 finish renewed my love of The Open

    By Jay CoffinJuly 22, 2018, 9:00 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Justin Rose made the cut on the number at The Open and was out for an early Saturday morning stroll at Carnoustie when, all of a sudden, he started putting together one great shot after another.

    There was no pressure. No one had expected anything from someone so far off the lead. Yet Rose shot 30 on the final nine holes to turn in 7-under 64, the lowest round of the championship. By day’s end he was five shots behind a trio of leaders that included Jordan Spieth.

    Rose followed the 64 with a Sunday 69 to tie for second place, two shots behind winner Francesco Molinari. His 133 total over the weekend was the lowest by a shot, and for a moment he thought he had a chance to hoist the claret jug, until Molinari put on a ball-striking clinic down the stretch with birdies on 14 and 18.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “I just think having made the cut number, it’s a great effort to be relevant on the leaderboard on Sunday,” said Rose, who collected his third-career runner-up in a major. He’s also finished 12th or better in all three majors this year.

    In the final round, Rose was well off the pace until his second shot on the par-5 14th hole hit the pin. He had a tap-in eagle to move to 5 under. Birdie at the last moved him to 6 under and made him the clubhouse leader for a few moments.

    “It just proves to me that I can play well in this tournament, that I can win The Open,” Rose said. “When I’m in the hunt, I enjoy it. I play my best golf. I don’t back away.

    “That was a real positive for me, and it renewed the love of The Open for me.”