Pettersson Clings to Lead at The Memorial

By Associated PressJune 4, 2006, 4:00 pm
DUBLIN, Ohio -- The lie was so nasty that Carl Pettersson was begging a rules official for relief. The chip shot was so good that he saved par on the 18th hole Sunday morning to complete his third round with a 69, building a two-shot lead in the Memorial.
 
Pettersson, who can avoid U.S. Open qualifying with a victory, was among 24 players who had to return at 7 a.m. to complete the third round because of storm clouds that gathered, the third straight day the round did not finish because of bad weather.
 
Pettersson was at 11-under 205, and he was the only contender not to lose any shots when he returned.
 
Woody Austin was at 10 under and was some 30 feet away, just off the back of the 18th green. His chip ran 7 feet by the hole, and he missed the par putt to shoot 67 and finish at 9-under 207.
 
Zach Johnson, whose four straight birdies put him into contention at 10 under, found a bunker on the 17th and made bogey, then had his ball spin off the green on the 18th that led to another bogey. He wound up with a 70 and was three shots behind at 208.
 
Masters champion Phil Mickelson was in the middle of the 18th fairway at 8 under, but he pulled his approach into thick rough, hit a flop shot that rolled softly toward the hole, but he pushed his 6-foot par putt and had to settle for a 70 that left him at 7-under 209.
 
Also struggling was Adam Scott. He was at 8 under and in good shape in the 17th fairway, but missed the green well to the right in rough so deep that it took him two shots to reach the green, taking double bogey. Scott did well to limit the damage to that. On the 18th, he hit into a fairway bunker, then got it out and onto the green about 50 feet away and walked off with par. He shot 73 and was at 210, five shots behind but still in contention.
 
Everyone will have to catch Pettersson, who will try to win for the second time in seven months.
 
This one would be meaningful, because the Swede was No. 51 in the world ranking that came out Monday, and the top 50 were exempt to the U.S. Open. He is scheduled for a 36-hole qualifier Monday in nearby Columbus, but the final exemption available is for anyone winning multiple PGA Tour events since the last U.S. Open.
 
Pettersson needed a few good breaks to build his cushion.
 
He made bogey from the bunker on the 16th hole, then got it back with a 45-foot birdie putt on the 17th. He was headed for a messy conclusion on the 18th, however, when his approach went into the cabbage right of the green, buried so deep that he and his caddie had trouble finding it.
 
Pettersson asked a rules official for relief, claiming he was in casual water, hopeful the official would agree so that he could take a free drop and the ball wouldn't be so deep in the grass. The consultation lasted all of about 5 second -- the answer was no -- and Pettersson showed he really didn't need it.
 
He chopped at the ball and it barely hopped into the fringe, trickling 2 feet from the cup for his par.
 
Trevor Immelman of South Africa, coming off two runner-up finishes, shot 69 and was in the group at 5-under 211 that included Dallas winner Brett Wetterich, Bay Hill winner Rod Pampling and Sean O'Hair.
 
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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.