Garcia Major Flop Ryder Cup Hero

By Associated PressSeptember 21, 2006, 4:00 pm
36th Ryder Cup MatchesSTRAFFAN, Ireland -- Sergio Garcia is beginning to get a reputation as a guy who can't win a major. Put him in the Ryder Cup, though, and it seems like he can't lose.
 
Garcia could be Tiger Woods in reverse when it comes to comparing their record in majors and Ryder Cup play. While Woods has won 12 majors, he has struggled when playing under the U.S. flag against Europe.
 
Sergio Garcia
Sergio Garcia is hoping the good times continue to roll for the Europeans.
Garcia has never won a major, but at the age of 26 is already playing in his fourth Ryder Cup. He's at the heart of Europe's team, with a record of 10-3, with two halves, giving him the highest winning percentage of any European who has played in at least three cups.
 
Garcia and countryman Jose Maria Olazabal, who returns for the seventh time and is 15-8-5, could be the cornerstone of another European triumph. They won't take long to get into action, playing in better-ball match in the opening round Friday against David Toms and Brett Wetterich.
 
Garcia says he can't wait.
 
'The Ryder Cup is that, the Ryder Cup,' he said. 'There's no better phrase to describe it. It's just a special event. We only play it every two years and that makes it even more special. It's quite difficult to qualify for it, to get into the team.'
 
Garcia was on the European squads that won in 2002 and '04 and clearly enjoys the camaraderie of team play.
 
'If you add everything and you kind of mix it up, put it all together, it just makes for an unbelievable week,' he said. 'I've been fortunate enough to win two of them and just the experience I've had in the Ryder Cup have been great, how close you get to your playing partners, how much you share in that week.
 
'It's been an unbelievable experience. I wouldn't give it back.'
 
Garcia owns a 2-1 edge over Woods in Ryder Cup play although they have not met in singles.
 
'I've been fortunate enough to do pretty well against him,' the Spaniard said. 'I guess I've had some nice partners.'
 
While the pairing with Olazabal seems logical as they are the only two Spaniards of the 12 Europeans, the two are not close. Olazabal does not have the same warm friendship he had with Seve Ballesteros, who both played for and captained winning Ryder Cup teams.
 
But Garcia looks forward to playing alongside his countryman, who was 28 when he won his first major, the 1994 Masters.
 
'We have a great relationship,' Garcia said. 'He's got a lot more experience than I do in these kind of situations. He's been very open, very funny.
 
'As Monty (Colin Montgomerie) said the other day in the team room, any team without Jose Maria Olazabal, it's a weaker team. So we'll take him any time, even if he's not playing his best. He's just good at match play and at getting the ball in the hole.'
 
Although neither Spaniard has won a tournament this year, Olazabal tied for third at the Masters and Garcia did the same at the PGA Championship
 
Garcia contributed 4 1/2 out of a possible five points when Europe beat the Americans 18 1/2 to 9 1/2 at Oakland Hills two years ago. He said, though, that he doesn't focus on his own record in this event.
 
'The main goal is beating the Americans so we can win the Ryder Cup,' Garcia said. 'I will go five losses and zero wins playing five games if that means we are going to beat the American team.
 
'I would rather go that way than have five wins, zero losses and we lose the Ryder Cup.'
 
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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.