Notes Hole Baffles Bryant Legends Miss Cut

By Associated PressMay 26, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Senior PGA ChampionshipEDMOND, Okla. -- Brad Bryant, tied with Gil Morgan for second place, has gone 7 under on Oak Tree's back nine through two rounds, but is 1 over on the front. He's struggled particularly on the 590-yard par-5 5th, bogeying the hole each day.
On No. 5, golfers must drive over a large oak tree -- the one used to design Oak Tree's famous logo. The green is reachable in two shots, but players must avoid sand and water that almost completely surround it.
'It's really not my favorite,' Bryant said.
On Thursday, Bryant said he chose the wrong club, hit into a bunker and then hit the ball over the green into another bunker en route to a bogey. On Friday, he decided to lay up with a 7-iron, but still ended up with another bogey.
'I think they ought to just destroy that hole,' Bryant said. 'I don't like that hole. It is OK, but they didn't ask me about it to start with. I like the rest of them pretty good, but I don't like that hole.'
Bryant fared much better on another par-5, the 528-yard No. 16. He hit an 3-wood off the tee and a 3-iron to within 18 feet of the hole before making an eagle putt. It was only the second eagle of the tournament by any golfer.
'Loren (Roberts) kind of chipped his ball right down my line, so I really knew the line of the putt and ... it was just a beautiful putt,' Bryant said. 'It just went right in the middle of the hole.'
For at least one hole Friday, two of the players on the leaderboard at the Senior PGA Championship wished they were playing in an event held during golf's so-called silly season.
The threesome of tournament leader Peter Jacobsen, second-place Gil Morgan and Bruce Fleisher all birdied the par-3 13th hole during the second round at Oak Tree Golf Club. That led Morgan and Jacobsen to wonder if there were such a thing as a 'group skin' -- a reference to the format used in the Skins Game when a golfer wins a hole.
'We'll maybe see it posted in the locker room tomorrow,' said Morgan, who shot a 1-under 70 and is at 6 under for the tournament. 'It would be great.'
Jacobsen and Morgan each hit a pitching wedge off the tee on the 171-yard 13th, with Jacobsen's shot ending up 2 feet from the hole -- located on the front of the green -- and Morgan's about 7 feet away. Fleisher's tee shot landed about 5 feet out.
'That was a scary pin,' said Jacobsen, whose 3-under 68 put him at 7 under.
Tom Watson recorded what he humorously called a 'no-brainer' birdie at No. 16 with an impressive up-and-down.
Watson's second shot -- a 4-wood out of the rough -- landed in a ravine, on the edge of a creek that runs along the hole's left fairway. Standing in the water and using a sand wedge, Watson chipped onto the tiered green to within about 25 feet, then rolled in the birdie putt over a hump in the green.
As the ball dropped in the hole, he raised his putter high with his left hand and pumped his right fist as the crowd roared. Watson said the chip onto the green 'wasn't that difficult a shot' but acknowledged it was crucial to his being able to salvage an even-par 71.
'I saved two shots there,' he said. 'That turned my round around.'
Jay Overton was a little-known club pro from Palm Harbor, Fla., in 1988 when he stunned the golf world by entering the third round of the PGA Championship at Oak Tree at 8-under-par -- just one shot out of the lead -- and playing in the final group that Saturday with second-round leader Paul Azinger.
Overton's magic ride didn't last -- he closed with rounds of 76 and 74 and tied for 17th with an even-par 284, 12 shots behind the winner, Jeff Sluman.
Overton didn't fare as well in his return to Oak Tree for the Senior PGA Championship. His 77 on Friday left him at 15-over and far from the cut line.
'There were a couple of holes that they changed a little bit, some of the greens have been changed, but overall, it plays and looks and feels so much the same,' Overton said.
'I'm struggling a little bit. But you know what? To get back out here and see the guys and come back to Edmond, Oklahoma, it's just been a lot of fun.'
Oklahoma's heat ended the tournaments of two players Friday, and two others also withdrew, dropping the field to 152 golfers.
Takashi Miyoshi of Japan, who shot an 81 on Thursday, withdrew due to heat exhaustion, and Jack Spradlin of Chula Vista, Texas, also cited the heat as the reason he withdrew after an opening-round 82.
Martin Gray of Scotland dropped out because of the flu and Bob Eastwood of Haltom City, Texas, did so because of a back injury.
Two legends that drew large galleries didn't make the cut. Lee Trevino finished at 11 over after a 74 on Friday, while 70-year-old Gary Player shot a 75 and closed at 10 over. Trevino said earlier in the week he planned to spend the weekend attending the NBA Western Conference finals to cheer on the Dallas Mavericks against the Phoenix Suns ... The last two Senior PGA champions are well off the pace. Defending champion Mike Reid is at even-par 142, seven shots back. Hale Irwin, the 2004 champ, is at 143.
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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.