Langer extends lead to 7 at Senior British

By Associated PressJuly 25, 2014, 7:39 pm

BRIDGEND, Wales - Bernhard Langer has a seven-stroke cushion to take into the third round of the Senior British Open after shooting a 5-under 66 Friday to add to his opening 65.

The German is on 11-under 131 overall at a sunny Royal Porthcawl with Scotland's Colin Montgomerie and South African-based Englishman Chris Williams tied for second on 4-under 138.

Montgomerie shot 66 while Williams added a 70 to his opening 68.

Spaniard Pedro Linhart (69) was a further shot back in fourth, while Americans Bob Tway (73) and Tom Watson (66) shared fifth on 2-under 140.

Watson had a faultless round of 66 with three birdies, an eagle at the 18th and no dropped shots.

Langer was beaten in a playoff by Mark Wiebe of the United States in last year's championship at Royal Birkdale after blowing a two-stroke lead on the final hole when he failed to get out of a greenside bunker.

''It still hurts when I think about it,'' Langer said. ''If you put me in that situation a hundred times, I think I would win 98 or 99.''

Langer started with a bogey 5 at the opening hole when he pulled a 4-iron into a bad lie, hit his second over the green and didn't get up and down.

He recovered with three straight birdies from the fourth, hitting a sand wedge to 6 feet, a 3-iron to 7 feet and chipped his third to 3 feet on the par-five sixth and sank it.

Two more birdies came at Nos. 11 and 12, he saved his par at the 14th with a 15-foot putt, then hit a drive and a 5-iron to 10 feet at the 18th and just missed his eagle attempt.

''I played very aggressive and smart today,'' said Langer, who was champion at Carnoustie in 2010. ''I missed a couple of opportunities early on but I'm very pleased overall. Playing good golf on a great course is a lot of fun. But you have to be very careful, very smart and hopefully execute properly.''

Montgomerie hit back from dropping strokes at the first two holes to post six birdies in the next seven, including five on the run from the fifth, for 31 on the first nine holes. He then got two more on the way and just one dropped shot.

Despite the impressive round, he wasn't hopeful.

''I've got a massive mountain to climb to catch Bernhard,'' admitted Montgomerie.

Tway, only two behind Langer overnight, got to 5 under with a birdie at the sixth, but then slipped to level par before closing with two birdies.

Fred Couples had to settle for a par 71, while Tom Pernice Jr. came back from an opening 78 to bag eight birdies and drop just one shot for 64 and the best round of the tournament so far.

Wiebe, playing with Langer, made an early exit after shooting 77 for an 11-over 153 - some 22 strokes worse than the man he beat last year.

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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.