Tiger Catches Passes DiMarco at Augusta

By Associated PressApril 10, 2005, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Tiger Woods tied a Masters record with seven straight birdies and surged past Chris DiMarco to take a three-stroke lead into Sunday's final round at Augusta National. Woods shot a 7-under 65, one stroke better than the second-round score that got him back in contention. He opened the tournament with a 74.
'Not bad, huh?' Woods said, smiling. 'It's been a while, hasn't it? Most majors, you're not going to be making a whole bunch of birdies. You're going to be making a bunch of pars.'
DiMarco struggled to a 74 and was at 8 under, followed by Thomas Bjorn, who shot a 71 and was at 7 under. The final round was scheduled to begin around 11 a.m. EDT.
The golfers were back on the course at 8 a.m. Sunday to complete the weather-delayed third round, with DiMarco holding a four-shot lead over Woods.
Within an hour, Woods was on top - and in position for his fourth green jacket. That would tie Arnold Palmer for second-most victories in Masters history; only Jack Nicklaus, with six, has won more.
Woods has played in 10 majors without a win; his last was the 2002 U.S. Open.
DiMarco double bogeyed his first hole of the day, No. 10, and struggled to a 41 on the back side. His performance followed the pair of 67s that put him in the lead after each of the first two rounds.
Woods birdied the final three holes on the front nine Saturday before darkness halted play. He kept it up the next day with four more birdies in a row, capped by a 10-footer at the par-5 13th that drew a defiant pump of his right fist and pushed his score 13 under.
Woods tied the tournament record of seven straight birdies, set by Steve Pate over the same string of holes in 1999.
'We've still got a long ways to go,' Woods said. 'The only reason it was yielding birdies are the greens are soft and the pins are in low spots. You could funnel the ball down to the hole.'
Woods' birdie streak ended at the 14th, when his second shot funneled to the far right side of the green with the flag on the left. He needed three putts to get down, taking his first bogey of the round.
DiMarco, playing one group behind, couldn't take advantage. He also bogeyed 14 to stay two strokes behind.
Woods gave DiMarco another chance at the par-5 15th, hitting a fat 6-iron to the edge of the water, his ball imbedded in the muddy bank. He had to take a drop and wound up with bogey.
But DiMarco followed suit, leaving his ball in a similar spot next to the water. He, too, wound up with bogey.
Woods parred out, while DiMarco dropped another stroke with a bogey at 17.
Woods went to the final round with an 11-under 205, followed by DiMarco (208) and Bjorn (209). Six shots off the pace were defending champion Phil Mickelson and Trevor Immelman. Vijay Singh, the world's top-ranked player, was joined by Mark Hensby at 212.
'I have to put together something really special if I'm going to have a chance,' Mickelson said. 'There's a 65 out there. I don't know if it'll be enough, but that's what I'm going to be gunning for.'
DiMarco's troubles began when his second shot at the 10th went into a bush. He had to take a drop, chipped onto the green and two-putted for the double bogey.
Before that, the only blemish on his card was a first-round bogey on the very same hole, his first hole of the tournament. He then went 44 holes with nothing but birdies and pars - the second longest streak without a bogey in Masters history.
DiMarco is a perennial contender at Augusta, leading five rounds in five years. He played with Mickelson in the final group a year ago, but faded to a 76.
He was paired in the final twosome again, this time with Woods and clinging to a thread of hope.
'Look at Tiger,' DiMarco said. 'He even bogeyed a few coming in. He could have birdied a couple of holes coming in and put everyone out of their misery.'
Woods was hitting his irons brilliantly, leaving himself plenty of birdie chances. He also capitalized on a break with his final shot Saturday.
After teeing off at No. 10, the horn sounded to end play for the day. Woods could have finished the hole, but decided to quit when he saw a big chunk of mud on his ball. That gave him the option of marking the spot with a tee and picking up Sunday with a clean ball.
'It was a no-brainer,' he said. 'It was a great break that they blew the horn. ... When we saw that (mud) down there, it was nice to know I could put the tee in the ground.'
After finishing the third round, everyone got a short break before playing the final 18 holes. There were no problems with the weather, which plagued the first two days of the tournament. It was sunny day, with temperatures expected to climb into the upper 70s.
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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.