Right Brain vs. Left Brain

By Associated PressJuly 27, 2011, 5:22 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Defending champion Yani Tseng believes she’ll have to be at her creative best to master the links course at Carnoustie and claim a fifth major title at the Women’s British Open.

The top-ranked Tseng tops the LPGA money list and is full of confidence heading into the year’s fourth and final major after her victory at the LPGA Championship last month.

“There are so many ways you can play this course, you can be aggressive, you can be safe, you can hit driver, you can hit iron,” the 22-year-old Taiwanese player said. “You’ve just got to use your imagination and hit creative shots.”

Tseng was grouped with Morgan Pressel and Ai Miyazato in a high-profile three-ball for the first two rounds, teeing off just before noon Thursday.

Last year at Royal Birkdale Tseng led from the start, with 68s in the first three rounds before closing with a 73 to clinch the victory.

“I love the links courses. I’m so excited to be here and I just can’t wait to go out tomorrow,” Tseng said. “It’s a very, very fun course for me. I have so many good memories of the British Open, so I’m just so excited to be here.”

Miyazato, winner of the Evian Masters in Paris last week, will be one of the favorites alongside Tseng to lift the title on Sunday. The sixth-ranked Miyazato said she would be ready for the challenge of Carnoustie.

“This is the British Open. The wind is going to pick up and it will be raining, I’m pretty sure,” Miyazato said. “I feel very confident and I feel comfortable. You can’t control the wind and the rain you just have to play the golf course as it is on the day.”

Michelle Wie, whose sixth-place finish at this year’s Kraft Nabisco Championship was her best performance at a major since 2006, said she is still working on mastering her long putter coming into Carnoustie.

“I decided to make the change the week after the Open back home,” Wie said. “I’m obviously just trying it out, different grips and different ways to do it. I thought it was time for a change. I’m a pretty tall person so I thought I would give it a try.

“This is a pretty unique golf course. The greens are pretty bumpy and slopey, which make it difficult. So it will be a challenge for me this week.”

Paula Creamer traveled to Carnoustie before the Evian event for a couple of practice rounds.

“I had a local caddie, the club champion, and played with the pro and I really learned a lot,” the 2010 U.S. Open champion said. “I love links golf, this tournament and this golf course. I feel I can play well here.

“I like the challenge, in fact the harder the better. I believe it’s going to rain tomorrow. I want it to be blowing and bouncing during the tournament.”

For Catriona Matthew of Scotland, the 2009 champion, Carnoustie is like coming home.

“I played a lot here as an amateur … so I know it very well,” said Matthew, who won at Royal Lytham two years ago, 10 weeks after giving birth to her second daughter and three weeks before her 40th birthday.

“It’s a tough test, but like any links course it depends on the wind. If there’s no wind, none of them are overly difficult,” she said. “If you can drive the ball well, you’ll have a lot of birdie chances out there. Keep out of the bunkers and you’ve got a great chance.”

Melissa Reid of England won the Dutch Open in June and is fourth on the European Tour money list.

“I certainly feel my game is more mature than it was a year ago. My swing feels a lot better, and I feel very calm this week,” Reid said. “This is definitely one of the top five courses I have played and I feel quite settled here.”

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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.