Tiger 4 up on Cink after 18 Holes - COPIED

By Associated PressFebruary 24, 2008, 5:00 pm
2007- WGC-AccentureTUCSON, Arizona -- Getting to the 36-hole final might have been the hard part for Tiger Woods, who birdied six of the first 11 holes Sunday morning and built a 4-up lead over Stewart Cink after 18 holes at the Accenture Match Play Championship.
 
This is the fourth time Woods has reached the championship match, but this week at Dove Mountain forced him to play more holes (88) in the five matches to get to the finals.
 
It looked like it would be a short day of work.
 
Woods lead was the second-largest margin after the morning 18 in the final. David Toms was 6 up over Chris DiMarco in 2005. Woods had seven birdies and shot 66, including a bogey on the 18th, his first in 50 holes.
 
Cink, who had birdie or eagle on 33 of 81 holes, made only three birdies for a 71.
 
Woods birdied the first two holes, making a 25-footer at No. 2 for a lead he did not come close to surrendering in the morning round.
 
This looks like Torrey Pines, said Cinks caddie, Frank Williams.
 
They played in the last round of the Buick Invitational last month, when Woods had an eight-shot lead and still made it entertaining with birdie putts of 40 feet and 60 feet.
 
Cink was on the defensive, usually the first to putt, and he quickly dug himself a hole in the high desert.
 
He found a bunker off the tee on the par-5 fifth, laid up into the rough and did not give himself a good look at birdie, losing another hole when Woods made his putt from 6 feet. Cink also made a mistake on the par-3 eighth, opting to putt from 6 feet off the edge of the green, and the ball got hung up in hairy grass and stopped 12 feet short of the cup, leading to bogey.
 
Woods was 4 up at the turn, and it looked like a rout when his wedge on the 11th spun back to 4 feet, and Cink missed the green to the right, taking two chips to reach the green.
 
Outside the ropes, NBC Sports was scrambling. The network finally got Woods in the final, and it looked as though its four-hour coverage might have two hours of championship golf, if that much.
 
Cink didnt win his first hole until No. 12, a shot of desperation. From just short of the green, having to carry a line over two humps that could have sent the ball off the green, he played a pitch to near perfection for birdie.
 
Then on 16th, he holed a 25-foot birdie putt to cut Woods lead to 3 up.
 
The par-5 17th was pivotal. Another win'even a halve'could have given Cink loads of momentum heading to lunch. Woods, however, hit driver off the fairway to just short of the green and executive a brilliant pitch that skipped four times and stopped 2 1/2 feet next to the cup for a birdie to restore his lead to 4 up.
 
Cink squandered another chance at the 18th with a three-putt from just off the back of the green. Woods twice hit into a bunker for his first bogey in 50 holes at Dove Mountain, but still had a big cushion.
 
Woods was going for his 15th title in 26 starts at the World Golf Championships, and his fourth consecutive PGA TOUR victory. He also was trying to move past Arnold Palmer into fourth place alone on the PGA TOUR's career list with his 63rd 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.


    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.

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    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.”