Teen Lee tied in Singapore after correcting vision

By Associated PressMarch 3, 2016, 1:05 pm

SINGAPORE – Australian teenager Minjee Lee, seeing things clearer than ever after a chance visit to an optometrist, took a share of the lead with Taiwan's Candie Kung at the LPGA's Women's Champions tournament in Singapore on Thursday.

Lee made four birdies and an eagle in her opening round of 5-under 67 to join Kung at the top of the leaderboard on a windy day at the Sentosa Golf Club.

The defending champion, South Korea's Inbee Park, was among a group of four players tied for third at 4-under 68, while the world No. 1 Lydia Ko and in-form American Lexi Thompson both shot rounds of 1-under 71.

Already one of the brightest prospects in the game after winning her first LPGA title last year, Lee has just started wearing contact lenses after learning her vision was slightly out of focus.

The 19-year-old only found out about the problem after undergoing a routine eye test as part of a mandatory medical screening ahead of this year's Rio Olympics.

''The optometrist said two years it's been deteriorating. She said my brain was just so used to it,' Lee said. ''I was like, okay. But now I can see like really, really clearly.''



Lee birdied two of her first four holes then eagled the par-5 12th when she reached the fringe of the green with a 5-wood then drained a 30-foot putt. She birdied the 13th and dropped a shot at the 17th after an errant tee shot but made amends with a birdie at the last.

''I was just really steady. I tried to just minimize my mistakes and try and miss in the right spots,'' she said. ''Yeah, just when I hit it close, take advantage of my opportunities. So that's where I made my birdies.''

Kung, playing the back nine first, also eagled the 478-yard 12th and had five birdies in total but bogeyed two of her first six holes. The 34-year-old spent much of the off-season in the gym to improve her strength and flexibility and said the extra work has added some 20 yards to her distance off the tee.

''I know there was something missing in my game,'' she said. ''We were able to sit down and look at it and work on it.''

Park won the title in Southeast Asia last year without making a single birdie in 72 holes but the world No. 2's streak came to a halt with her only bogey of the day, on her 17th hole.

''It was going to come at some point,'' she said. ''It's actually nice to get it over with today and without playing with it for the next three days.''

Ko had a frustrating day, parring her first 10 holes before dropping a shot on the 11th but the New Zealander knocked in two late birdies to finish in red figures.

''I didn't have that many birdie opportunities today, so unless my long putts were going to be hot, I wasn't going to shoot extremely low,'' she said.

Thompson, who won in Thailand last week, made four birdies but lost her momentum when she took a double bogey on the 11th.

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.

Getty Images

Rose: T-2 finish renewed my love of The Open

By Jay CoffinJuly 22, 2018, 9:00 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Justin Rose made the cut on the number at The Open and was out for an early Saturday morning stroll at Carnoustie when, all of a sudden, he started putting together one great shot after another.

There was no pressure. No one had expected anything from someone so far off the lead. Yet Rose shot 30 on the final nine holes to turn in 7-under 64, the lowest round of the championship. By day’s end he was five shots behind a trio of leaders that included Jordan Spieth.

Rose followed the 64 with a Sunday 69 to tie for second place, two shots behind winner Francesco Molinari. His 133 total over the weekend was the lowest by a shot, and for a moment he thought he had a chance to hoist the claret jug, until Molinari put on a ball-striking clinic down the stretch with birdies on 14 and 18.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“I just think having made the cut number, it’s a great effort to be relevant on the leaderboard on Sunday,” said Rose, who collected his third-career runner-up in a major. He’s also finished 12th or better in all three majors this year.

In the final round, Rose was well off the pace until his second shot on the par-5 14th hole hit the pin. He had a tap-in eagle to move to 5 under. Birdie at the last moved him to 6 under and made him the clubhouse leader for a few moments.

“It just proves to me that I can play well in this tournament, that I can win The Open,” Rose said. “When I’m in the hunt, I enjoy it. I play my best golf. I don’t back away.

“That was a real positive for me, and it renewed the love of The Open for me.”