Hoffman wins at Mayakoba for third Tour title

By Associated PressNovember 16, 2014, 9:59 pm

PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico - Charley Hoffman rallied from a three-shot deficit Sunday by closing with a 5-under 66 for a one-shot victory over Shawn Stefani in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.

Hoffman ended another long drought with his third career victory on the PGA Tour. He had gone 105 starts between his first and second victory, and this time went 108 starts until winning the final PGA Tour event of the calendar year.

''It's been awhile between wins,'' Hoffman said. ''I kept calm and kept hitting good shots.''

He referred to it as a low-stress round, with a few exceptions, including the final hole on the El Camaleon course at this Mexican resort.

Stefani, who closed with a 69, made an 18-foot birdie putt on the 17th to get within one shot. Stefani then hit into a fairway bunker with a lip so steep that he had no option but to hit sand wedge some 50 yards short of the green. Hoffman hit driver that rolled up against the base of a tree, which forced him to play a left-handed shot back to the fairway.

Hoffman pulled his approach some 30 feet left of the hole. Stefani's pitch came up woefully short, and he chipped to 5 feet. That allowed Hoffman two putts for the win, and he rolled his par putt to within 18 inches for a tap-in bogey.

Hoffman finished at 17-under 267.


OHL Classic at Mayakoba: Articles, videos and photos


Danny Lee ran off seven straight birdies on the front nine to take the lead, but the former U.S. Amateur champion couldn't hold on. Lee didn't make another birdie the rest of the way, dropping three shots on the back nine for a 67. He finished two shots behind in a tie for third with Andres Gonzalez, who had a 67 for his best career finish.

Jason Bohn, the 54-hole leader, shot 40 on the front to fall out of contention. He closed with a 74 and tied for seventh.

Carlos Ortiz (68) and Oscar Fraustro (69) both played well in their native country and tied for ninth. Ortiz was the Web.com Tour player of the year in 2014 with three victories. Fraustro will get into the Sony Open at the start of next year by finishing in the top 10.

Hoffman goes to Hawaii one week early by qualifying for the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at Kapalua. Hoffman also gets to return to the Masters for the first time since 2011.

Hoffman needed some help from Lee, who began missing all the putts he had been making on the front nine. And he needed a little luck. He was one shot behind Stefani on the par-5 13th hole when Hoffman feared his tee shot went into a hazard. It barely stayed in play, and he went on to make birdie. Stefani, who drove into the fairway, hit his second shot into a hazard and made bogey.

''That was a big change in momentum,'' Hoffman said.

The two-shot swing sent Hoffman on his way. He missed a pair of short birdie putts on the 14th and 15th holes, and then hit an approach to 2 feet on the 16th to build a two-shot lead with two holes to play.

Hoffman's wife and two young daughters greeted him on the 18th when he tapped in his final shot. The last time Hoffman won, his wife was pregnant with their first child.

''My daughter has been wanting to go Hawaii, so I guess we'll make a New Year's run,'' Hoffman said.

The question is which caddie goes with him. He fired his longtime caddie a few weeks ago. A replacement came down with neck spasms and couldn't go to Mexico, so Hoffman used Brett Waldman, who had been working for David Toms.

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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.