Immelman Happy to be in the Shadows

By Associated PressJune 10, 2008, 4:00 pm
2008 U.S. OpenSAN DIEGO -- Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are all for it.
Trevor Immelman says hed pay to watch it'or at the very least, snag a media credential to follow along.
The USGAs decision to pair Woods, Mickelson and Adam Scott'Nos. 1-2-3 in the world ranking'in the first two rounds of this weeks U.S. Open at Torrey Pines has raised both interest and eyebrows. Its a terrific pairing, for sure, but some are wondering if fans will care about any of the other golfers who will be playing the clifftop South Course on Thursday and Friday.
When someone on Tuesday suggested that 75 percent of the fans would be interested in the pairing, Immelman, the Masters champion, revised that number upward.
Yeah, well, I think 100 percent of the fans will be following them, not 75, and, yeah, I would definitely watch them, Immelman said during his pre-Open news conference. I mean, I would pay to watch Tiger play golf, absolutely. Hes something we may never see again. But the thing about him that I find more incredible is the way that he handles everything that goes on around him and the grace at which he handles things. The way he treats people around him.
Hes the ultimate champion from start to finish, on the golf course and off the golf course. Theres no doubt about it Id pay to watch him play.
Asked if hed be willing to fight the crowd to do that, Immelman quickly thought of a Plan B.
Maybe Id get some sort of media credential from one of you. I dont often see many of you guys out there, he cracked. But I would probably walk the course.
Immelman said he did just that during the weekend of the 2003 U.S. Open, when he missed the cut but followed Woods on Saturday.
I saw him hit probably five or six shots that day.
Did Woods see him?
No, Immelman answered.
The key, Immelman said, is location.
Id strategically position myself some way, so I could see them come up a green or go down a fairway.
Woods, whos won the Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines six times, including the last four, said the pairing is exciting for the fans, exciting for the players. We all are looking forward to it. I havent heard one negative thing about it yet. Were usually spread out. You dont get pairings like that until maybe Saturday or Sunday.
Mickelson, whos won the Buick Invitational three times, think its awesome.
I wish that we had it more, he said. I havent in the past liked the way the PGA Tour puts us on opposite ends every week. I think its great that a major championship has us paired together, because usually one end of the tee times has an advantage over the other.
Woods, Mickelson and Scott will go off at 8:06 a.m. PDT Thursday.
Immelman, who won the 1998 Public Links championship at Torrey Pines, will be able to watch. He, Zach Johnson and Mike Weir go off at 1:03 p.m.
Although Mayor Jerry Sanders isnt a golfer, he knows the lure of city-owned Torrey Pines reaches beyond its stunning clifftop setting overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Sanders welcomed the USGA and the U.S. Open to San Diego on Tuesday, two days before the national championship begins on Torrey Pines South Course.
This will be the first time the U.S. Open has been played on a city-owned course, and the second time its been at a truly public course'Bethpage Black, owned by the state of New York, was the first, in 2002.
While the PGA Tour has had a stop at Torrey Pines since 1968, hosting the U.S. Open elevates the course to a different status.
Now the residents of the San Diego and others in the San Diego region and visitors will get to play on a USGA course right after this event is over, Sanders said at a news conference. Theres a special thrill for golfers when they know Tiger Woods of Phil Mickelson were standing on the same green they will be standing on.
City residents, Sanders noted, pay about $42 a round to go out there and have a great time.
Tiger Woods said hes gotten some grief regarding his comments last week zinging hockey.
The worlds top golfer was on a teleconference promoting Augusts PGA Championship at Oakland Hills in suburban Detroit when he was asked if he was rooting for Detroit or Pittsburgh in the Stanley Cup, which was going on at the time.
Woods started to laugh, then said: I dont really care. Lets talk about the Dodgers, said Woods, who grew up in the Los Angeles area. I dont think anybody really watches hockey any more.
The topic came up Tuesday when Woods held his pre-U.S. Open news conference.
Woods wasnt apologetic.
Oh, yeah, Ive gotten a lot of grief over that, Woods said. I love the sport. I love watching it, but I dont like watching it on TV. In person its absolutely incredible, what theyre able to do and what they can do. TV doesnt do justice to that. But then, a lot of sports are the same way.
I said what I said and I was trying to be funny about it, but people didnt perceive it that way.
Retief Goosen and Mike Weir, both TaylorMade tour staff professionals, joined Sergio Garcias father, Victor, at clinic benefiting the North County Junior Golf Association on Monday evening in Carlsbad, just a few miles from TaylorMade-Adidas Golfs headquarters. The company was one of the events sponsors.
Goosen said the presentation got a little bit technical at one point.
Some of the juniors got a little bit bored, some of the younger ones. They just wanted to see shots, you know. We hit a few shots for them and that gets them all fired up.
Overall, though, he thinks the kids had a good time.
I remember being 9 years old when I got to go watch some pros hitting balls and doing clinics, so yeah, it sticks in your mind, he said. It gets you all fired up and excited to keep trying, trying to improve in the game and maybe being there one day. You never know.
Phil Mickelson, who grew up playing Torrey Pines, doesnt like the new tee box that was added to the South Courses par-5, 614-yard 13th hole, which will require a drive of at least 240 yards to carry the canyon.
Calling it terrible, Mickelson said the new tee box is the biggest waste of money that Ive ever seen. But it doesnt matter what I think, were going to end up playing it and Ive got to be ready for it. But its terrible.
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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.