Poulter (68) leads by 1 in Puerto Rico

By Associated PressMarch 26, 2016, 10:30 pm

RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico - Ian Poulter shot a 4-under 68 on Saturday at windy Coco Beach to take the third-round lead in the PGA Tour's Puerto Rico Open.

Playing the event for the first time after failing to get into the Match Play tournament in Texas as the first alternate, the Englishman got up and down for par from a greenside bunker on the par-5 18th, holing a 15-foot putt.

''It was a big save,'' Poulter said. ''Obviously it's a par 5, it's pretty much reachable in two off of a decent drive and I kind of left myself in an awkward spot. It wasn't lying very well on the right-hand side just short of the green. I guess I got a little bit too cute, hit it in the front trap, splashed it out to 15 feet, but I rolled that par putt in the middle. Each putt like that obviously makes a difference at the end of the week.''

Poulter bogeyed the par-4 13th and rebounded with birdies on the par-5 15th and par-3 16th. He's trying to win for the first time since the 2012 World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in China.

''We got here very late, early hours of Wednesday morning, but I felt comfortable,'' Poulter said. ''I like the windy conditions. It kind of takes me back to hitting some old-school shots and I feel comfortable on the course. The ball was kind of boring through that strong wind, so you're still able to get good distance out there. But I'm happy. I'm happy how I've hung in there nicely.''


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He had an 11-under 205 total.

Tony Finau, Jonathan Byrd and Steve Marino were a stroke back. Finau shot 67, Byrd 68, and Marino 69.

''It's windy out there,'' Byrd said. ''You had to be kind of real purposeful with your shots and I did that for the most part of the day and I made some nice putts and just played really solid. I've played the par 5s beautifully for the most part this week.''

Puerto Rico's Rafael Campos, the leader after each of the first two rounds, had a 72 to drop into a tie for fifth at 9 under with Scott Brown (67) and Aaron Baddeley (69).

Campos didn't make a par until the eighth hole, opening with three bogeys, a double bogey and three birdies. He played the final 11 holes in 2 under, birdieing Nos. 12 and 16.

''I came off to a really bad start,'' Campos said. ''I was having some difficulty kind of getting my tempo going and coming over the top on most of the shots at the beginning. But I was fortunate to kind of get a good rhythm afterward, a good tempo especially coming into the back nine. ... I really didn't strike the ball well, as good as I wanted, but was able to at least recover myself a little bit at the end.''

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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.