Pettersen grabs headlines, lead on Day 2 of British

By Associated PressJuly 31, 2015, 10:46 pm

TURNBERRY, Scotland – If the first day of the Women's British Open was all about Donald Trump, the second day belonged to Suzann Pettersen.

The Norwegian took a two-stroke lead into the weekend after being one of just two players to break 70 in a soggy second round at Turnberry that left many in the 144-woman field scurrying for shelter and bemoaning the un-summerlike conditions.

Out at 6.41 a.m. Friday in the second group, Pettersen shot a 3-under 69 for a score that only looked better and better as a grueling day on the wind-beaten Ailsa links wore on. Maria McBride of Sweden was the only player to beat Pettersen's score with a bogey-free 66 but was still way off the pace after an opening-round 79.

''I was in 100 percent control of the ball, the flight, the spin, everything you need to do in conditions like this,'' said the sixth-ranked Pettersen, who called it one of the best rounds of her career. ''It felt like I was pulling off every shot I was standing over.''

Pettersen's 7-under 137 put her two shots clear of a quartet tied for second that included Lydia Ko, who shot a 73 in some of the worst conditions in the afternoon, when the winds swirled and gusted up to 25 mph.

''I was eating my sandwich – my bread was getting wet in the rain,'' said the 18-year-old Ko, who wore four layers of clothes, hand warmers and ear muffs at times during her round.

And Pettersen's 69?

''Pretty amazing,'' Ko said.

Teresa Lu (71) of Taiwan and South Korean pair So Yeon Ryu (72) and Jin-Young Ko (70) were also on 5 under with Ko, who is trying to become the youngest winner of a major.

Top-ranked Inbee Park, seeking to complete the career sweep of the majors, shot a 73 to sit five strokes behind Pettersen. Michelle Wie withdrew after aggravating a left ankle injury when she slipped to the ground as she walked off the 13th tee.

Defending champion Mo Martin shot an 80 and missed the cut, which was 5 over, as did Morgan Pressel, Paula Creamer and U.S. Solheim Cup captain Juli Inkster.


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Golf reclaimed center stage after the Donald Trump Show on Thursday. The American presidential contender, who owns Turnberry, had made the opening round of the year's fourth major a mere sideshow by landing in his private helicopter during play and grabbing the attention of the media by continuing his election campaigning in the plush hotel overlooking the course.

The Republican was less conspicuous on Friday, although his cell phone went off as he watched Martin tee off at No. 1.

Instead, it was Pettersen who hogged the spotlight.

On a day when more than a quarter of the field shot 80 or higher, Pettersen tamed a course she described as a ''beast.'' She hit an 8-iron to three inches on No. 2 for the first of four birdies in her round, and emerged from holes 12-18 – playing into the wind – 1 under par.

Pettersen is oozing confidence right now. A switch of coach at the start of the year, from David Leadbetter to Butch Harmon, has led to a minor change in her swing and major change in her mentality.

''I always thought playing through the Olympics (in 2016) would be a good goal for me,'' Pettersen said. ''But now, feeling and seeing what I can do differently and how easy I can do stuff, it definitely has changed my perspective of my own career.

''I have a lot of goals left out there that I want to achieve.''

First-round leader Hyo-Joo Kim dropped seven shots in her last eight holes for a 78, to slip to 1 under.

McBride's score in a round that finished in the gloom was scarcely believable, given what had happened to the rest of the field.

''It's one of the worst rounds I've played, conditions-wise,'' said the Swedish player. ''It's probably the best round ever in my golfing career.''

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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.