Singh Blasts PGA Tour Officials Over Slow Play

By Associated PressJune 24, 2005, 4:00 pm
Vijay Singh's temper was a lot shorter than his round. After taking more than five hours to complete his Thursday morning round in the Barclays Classic, the second-ranked Singh blasted PGA Tour rules officials for allowing slow players to reduce the pace to a crawl.
 
'It's slow. It's always slow here. It's ridiculous,' Singh said. 'I mean you play a round of golf in five hours and wait on every shot. It's just like the officials are just blind. You don't see one out there. It ruins the rhythm of the play.'
 
The big Fijian had little to say about the 3-under 68 that left him three strokes behind first-round leader Jim Furyk, choosing instead to rant about the slow play on the hilly, tree-lined Westchester Country Club course.
 
'Every shot out there on the front nine, you had to wait,' Singh said. 'You get fed up with it. I don't know if anybody ever withdrew after nine holes for slow play ...'
 
Under the tour's 2 1/2-year-old policy, players are considered to be on the clock when their group is out of position - defined by an open hole ahead of them. The 10th time a player is put on the clock during the year results in a $20,000 fine.
 
Players are allowed 40 seconds for each shot, and given an extra 20 seconds in some situations such as teeing off first on a par-3 hole. Players are supposed to be warned after one bad time, penalized a stroke and fined $5,000 for two bad times, penalized two strokes and fined $10,000 for three bad times and disqualified for four bad times.
 
'If the officials don't do anything about it, then the guys are going to take more time,' Singh said. 'And when you talk to the officials, they think we're actually trying to bark at them. ... It just messes you up.'
 
Furyk birdied the final two holes for a back-nine 30 after three-putting the par-5 ninth for the lone bogey in his round of 65.
 
'Today was one of the slow rounds of the year. It seemed to work for me for some reason,' said Furyk, the 2003 U.S. Open champion who is back in top form after missing five months last season because of a wrist injury.
 
'I took advantage of the holes where I had wedges in my hands. There were some very tough pin placements.'
 
Singh, the 1993 and 1995 Westchester champion, was tied with Kenny Perry, John Rollins, Ian Leggatt, Brian Bateman and Hidemichi Tanaka.
 
Sergio Garcia, the 2001 and 2004 winner, opened with a 72, ending his streak of rounds of par or better in the event at 19. He bogeyed the final four holes.
 
'I just kind of got out of it coming in,' Garcia said. 'Tomorrow's a new day.'
 
U.S. Amateur champion Ryan Moore shot a 71 in his professional debut, while amateur rival Spencer Levin, playing his second event as a pro, had an 80.
 
Singh's sharp criticism came two weeks after Rory Sabbatini putted out of turn on the 17th hole in the Booz Allen Classic in frustration over partner Ben Crane's slow play. The speedy Sabbatini, warned along with Crane for slow play earlier in the round, also stormed to the 18th tee before Crane finished No. 17.
 
Sabbatini shot a 79 Thursday in his first competitive round on the course since losing to Garcia last year on the third hole of a playoff.
 
'It's a short course that has tough pins. It's understandable for the whole field to be slow,' Sabbatini said.
 
Rollins played in the second group off the 10th tee, two groups ahead of Singh's threesome and behind J.P. Hayes, Paul Goydos and Patrick Sheehan.
 
'You have to go out there and just not let it bother you,' Rollins said. 'It does get frustrating at times, but it is what it is. You just have to deal with it.'
 
Singh's playing partners, Peter Jacobsen and K.J. Choi, shot 76s.
 
'I don't understand it. I don't understand why we can't find the right process,' Jacobsen said. 'If the first group is 4:55 they need to be fined.'
 
The 51-year-old Jacobsen had a quadruple-bogey 8 on the 360-yard seventh hole. He four-putted after taking two strokes to get out of a plugged lie in a greenside bunker.
 
'I kept hitting the lip and they kept spinning out farther,' Jacobsen said.
 
Divots: Singh had an eagle, five birdies and four bogeys. He eagled the par-5 18th hole - his ninth of the day - after hitting a 2-iron second shot from 244 yards to 12 feet. ... Moore signed with Gaylord Sports Management before his round. The deal is a joint venture with father Mike's Moore Golf Management. ... Olin Browne, paired with U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell on Sunday at Pinehurst, failed to get into the field after moving to the top of the alternates list Wednesday. Browne finished with an 80 at Pinehurst to tie for 23rd at 10 over, 10 strokes behind Campbell.
 
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


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.