Lindberg leads LPGA Farr Classic

By Associated PressAugust 10, 2012, 1:27 am

SYLVANIA, Ohio – It was unofficially international day at the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic.

The leaderboard might not have had many household names after the first round Thursday, but the leader and her closest pursuers included players representing Sweden, France, Japan, South Korea, Thailand and the United States.

Pernilla Lindberg holed birdie putts of 40 and 50 feet and added three 25-footers in a round of 7-under 64 to take a two-shot lead after the opening round at Highland Meadows Golf Club.

A top early contender to make the European side at the 2013 Solheim Cup, the Swede is virtually unknown in the States, even though she played at Oklahoma State and is in her third year on the LPGA Tour.

''That is one of my goals,'' she said of making it big on this side of the Atlantic. ''If I can start showing my name on the leaderboard more often here, it's going to give me more confidence and that, of course, is what everyone wants.''

The 26-year-old Lindberg has not finished in the top 10 of an LPGA event in her 36 starts as a pro. She has missed the cut in six of her 10 starts this season, although she did tie for 12th at the Lotte Championship in April for her lowest career finish on tour.

There was no secret why Lindberg, who went off in the second group of the day, posted such a low score. She drained a 50-foot putt for birdie at No. 5, made a 40-footer for a 2 on the par-3 14th and made 25-footers at Nos. 4, 12 and 18.

''It felt like every putt I hit all day had a chance to go in,'' said Lindberg, who grew up idolizing fellow countrywoman Annika Sorenstam. ''Even the pars I made out there, they were still good birdie chances.''

Texan Angela Stanford was two strokes back along with Japan's Mika Miyazato, South Korea's Chella Choi, LSU grad Meredith Duncan, rookie Numa Gulyanamitta of Thailand and France's Karine Icher.

The 2008 champ, Paula Creamer, had a 68, as did Toledo-born Stacy Lewis, the LPGA money leader. Defending champ Na Yeon Choi shot a 71, while Yani Tseng, No. 1 in the world rankings, had a 72.

On a day in which a steady rain turned the greens into dartboards, 71 players – almost half the field of 144 – broke par. Yet Michelle Wie finished with a 75 and Morgan Pressel a 79.

Of the top seven players, the only one who has won an LPGA event is Stanford, with five wins to her credit. Several are rising players just trying to establish themselves, others have cashed big checks but just haven't won yet.

Stanford said she didn't let the rain bother her.

''We knew it was coming,'' she said. ''When you know it's in the forecast, it doesn't surprise you.''

Miyazato has earned more than $2 million in LPGA events and has 16 top-10 finishes. Just this year she has tied for second twice, including at the LPGA Championship, and also tied for seventh at the U.S. Women's Open.

Neither she nor Stanford had a bogey.

''I played more aggressive because the greens are very soft,'' Miyazato said.

Choi posted a career-best tie for second earlier this year at the Manulife in Canada. Duncan hasn't made a dollar on tour the past two years. Her best finish is a tie for fifth in 2009. Gulyanamitta, 1 over through seven holes, birdied four of her last six to close out her 66. She's a former Purdue star who tied for 21st at the U.S. Women's Open.

''I made a bogey, then a birdie, then another bogey, then another birdie,'' said Gulyanamitta, who now calls West Lafayette, Ind., home. ''Then I chipped in at 9 for birdie and I started going good.''

Icher, completing a decade on tour, travels the globe with her daughter and husband, who also is her caddie.

''It's super nice. We have to be well organized, but it's fun to be parents,'' said Icher, who has 22 top-10 finishes on tour but has never been in the winner's circle. ''It's cool to have (daughter Lola) on the tour and traveling with (us).''

More thunderstorms are predicted for Friday's second round. The field will be cut to the low 70 and ties at the completion of play.

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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.