Furyk believes players will rally around sponsors

By Associated PressDecember 19, 2008, 5:00 pm
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. ' Tour commissioner Tim Finchem wants his players to pitch in during a tough economy to help give sponsors their moneys worth, and Justin Leonard believes they will.
 
Finchem has sent a video to players and their agents asking them to consider adding tournaments they dont typically play and to reach out to the sponsors when they are at tournaments, the Sports Business Journal reported.
 
Theyve got a list of events that need help to varying degrees, Leonard said Friday at the Chevron World Challenge. Im sensitive to that. Im going to play a couple of events that they asked me to play, and Im not going to play in a couple they asked me to play in. Bigger than that is doing more at tournaments.
 
Throughout the year, tour officials lobby players to consider various tournaments that might need help, but it is rare for Finchem to make the appeal himself.
 
Were asking every player to add a tournament or two to their historical schedule to assist the tournaments that historically have weak fields, Finchem said in the video, which was obtained by the Sports Business Journal. We have a lot of title sponsors this year that are up for renewal. We have to put our best foot forward in terms of presenting our competitions.
 
Leonard said he would add the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Conn., a tournament he has played only once in the last eight years.
 
Jim Furyk has not seen the video, but he could figure out the message' support what they have.
 
My guess is theyre going to ask some more of the players to do some meet-and-greets, rub some elbows, thank people, make people aware of the fact that we appreciate what theyre doing, Furyk said. And I think they will. I think the players will respond positively to that. They should realize how fortunate we are.
 
Whether it works remains to be seen.
 
Some players, such as Camilo Villegas and Anthony Kim, already have said they would take up joint membership in Europe, which means missing a few tournaments on the PGA Tour to reach the minimum requirement overseas.
 
Tiger Woods is the one player to moves the needle, yet his tendency in recent years is only to subtract tournaments, not add them. He has stopped playing Pebble Beach, Riviera and Kapalua in recent years, and there are more than a dozen events he has never played.
 
A lot of the top players those are the ones the media focuses on and the sponsors want, Steve Stricker said.
 
Even so, he figures everyone understands what is at stake. The tour did not lose any tournaments in the meat of its schedule due to the economic downturn, yet Finchem has said if the recession lingers into 2009, there could be problems.
 
Its important that were at our best, and we make sure we take care of the people who are footing the bills, Stricker 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.