Thing Looking Up for Lefty in Scottish Open

By Associated PressJuly 14, 2007, 4:00 pm
2006 Barclays Scottish OpenGLASGOW, Scotland -- Phil Mickelson mastered a strong wind to shoot a 3-under 68 Saturday for a one-stroke lead over Gregory Havret of France after the third round of the Scottish Open.
 
Mickelson has a 54-hole total of 12-under 201. Havret, one of two co-leaders after two rounds, shot a 70. The other co-leader, Jose Manuel Lara, shot a 74 to drop five strokes off the pace.
 
Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson reacts to a birdie on the seventh hole Saturday. (Getty Images)
Steve Webster of England shot a 69 and is in third, three strokes back of Mickelson.
 
'The difficult thing about the wind today was that it was a crosswind on a lot of holes,' Mickelson said. 'I was fortunate to get the ball in play off the tee. That was the key for me. It made for a much easier round.'
 
Ernie Els finished with 71 after four birdies and four bogeys to share sixth place with Lara and Mikko Ilonen.
 
Mickelson's round included a walk into the water at the third hole after his second shot hit the green and spun back into a pond. He wore waterproof pants to hit his submerged ball out to eight feet and holed the putt for a birdie.
 
Despite the wind, Mickelson managed to hit every fairway except one, the 13th.
 
'I should have played that more carefully for the stats because I've never hit all the fairways,' he said.
 
After shooting 68 in consecutive rounds, he said his confidence is increasing going into next week's British Open at Carnoustie.
 
'In 2004 I went in very confident in my game and finished third. But I think I need to put together one more good round here to have that same feeling,' he said.
 
He has a chance to win just his second event outside the United States. His only victory overseas was the Tournoi Perrier near Paris in 1993.
 
'I have never played as well outside the U.S. as I would like, and especially in Scotland, the home of golf,' he said. 'It would mean a lot to have a championship from here. That would really be something special.'
 
Havret, who led here after the third round in 2004 before dropping to 10th on the final day, had two birdies and two bogeys on the first four holes. He had all pars the rest of the way, except a birdie on the 13th.
 
'The past is past,' he said. 'I'm three years wiser than in 2004 but I'm playing against a better player tomorrow. I hope to play as well as I have for three days and fight as much as I can.'
 
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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.