Singh birdies last to win Chevron

By Associated PressDecember 21, 2008, 5:00 pm
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. ' Age is starting to creep up on Vijay Singh, who turns 46 in February and spent the last three months taking the longest break of his life to let nagging injuries heal.
 
But against a world-class field Sunday at the Chevron World Challenge, Singh looked as good as new.
 
With three straight birdies early on the back nine to get into contention and a 10-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Singh closed with a 5-under 67 for a one-shot victory over Steve Stricker to finish off the most lucrative season of his career.
 
When I show up and I know I cant win the golf tournament, Im going to quit, Singh said. But as long as I show up and know that I can win, Im going to keep playing.
 
Stricker came up short of the 18th green and had to scramble for par, closing with a 68 to earn $840,000, his biggest check this year.
 
Singh virtually vanished after capturing the FedEx Cup and its $10 million bonus on Sept. 28 at the Tour Championship. He went an entire month without hitting balls to rest a left arm wracked with tendinitis ' I havent done that in forever, he said ' and only began practicing for the Father-Son Championship earlier this month.
 
Age doesnt stop him. Neither does rust.
 
Making it even more challenging, Singh showed up at Sherwood Country Club with a new driver. But he kept the ball in play on the weekend, the key around this course, and played the par 5s in 9 under during his 67-67 weekend.
 
Singh won $1.35 million and pushed his earnings for the year to over $18 million. That includes the $10 million bonus from the FedEx Cup, along with $6.6 million on the PGA Tour to win the money title for the third time in six years.
 
Very unexpected, said Singh, who finished at 11-under 277 to win Tiger Woods charity event for the first time. I was just hanging in there. I figured if I shot 67 or 68, I would be right there with a chance.
 
Anthony Kim, the 54-hole leader, and Jim Furyk did their own charity work on a splendid afternoon of sunshine.
 
Kim was one shot out of the lead until making consecutive double bogeys, driving into the bushes on the 14th and hitting his 7-iron short and into the water on the par-3 15th. He birdied the next two holes, but by then it was over. Kim closed with a 73 and tied for third with Hunter Mahan, who shot 68.
 
Furyk, playing for the first time since the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda on Oct. 15, built a two-shot lead on the front nine until a pair of three-putt bogeys. He was tied with Singh after a 6-foot birdie on the 13th, and still only one shot behind from the middle of the fairway on the par-5 16th when it all came undone.
 
He twice went into the rough and made bogey on the 16th, missing the par-3 17th green to drop another shot and with the tournament already decided, found the water on the 18th hole for the second straight day to make double bogey. Furyk wound up dropping five shots over the final five holes for a 74 and tied for fifth with Camilo Villegas (73).
 
Ben Curtis was the only other player in the 16-man field to finish under par.
 
Singhs fortunes began turning on the par-4 sixth hole, where he had made bogey each of the first three rounds. He answered with a birdie in the final round, and when Furyk three-putted from long range in group behind, the Fijian was back in the game.
 
That got me all fired up, Singh said. I played solidly. And the putter started working when it got inside 8 to 10 feet.
 
That was the range for his three straight birdies that put him in the lead, the biggest birdie of all on the 18th hole.
 
He made small talk with Woods as they waited for the final group to finish, and Singh jokingly told Woods at the trophy presentation, Dont come back too soon. Take another year off.
 
Even with Woods at full strength, Singh has been up for the challenge. The big Fijian has won 23 times since turning 40, and his 34 career victories on the PGA Tour are the most by a foreign-born player. He points to Kenny Perry winning three times this year while turning 48, and Fred Funk winning in Mexico at age 50.
 
Winning this many tournaments doesnt mean its a miracle, he said. I think there will be guys out there that are going to do the same thing. Its just how many theyre going to win. Right now, Im the leader, and Im not quitting yet.
 
The Chevron World Challenge doesnt count, but it felt like a victory considering the elite gathering. And it came at a good time for Singh, who starts the 2009 season in three weeks at Kapalua.
 
The sure sign that Singh is ready to get back to work? He plans to practice on Christmas Day.
 
Its the best time to hit balls, he said. Theres nobody on the golf course.
 

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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.