Tim Clark 54-hole leader at Colonial

By Associated PressMay 30, 2009, 4:00 pm
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FORT WORTH, Texas ' With $12.7 million in career earnings on the PGA Tour, Tim Clark has the dubious distinction of winning the most money without winning an event.
 
Now hes got a great chance to let someone else carry that burden.
 
Clark shot a 4-under 66 on Saturday in the third round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational to take a two-stroke lead into the final round.
 
The 33-year-old South African has been near the top of the leaderboard all week, then finally moved into first place all by himself with a birdie on 11. After a string of pars, he birdied 18 to dip to 17-under 193 and stretch his lead. That kind of finish also might be the momentum-extender to help him snap his 0-for-183 skid.
 
Ian Poulter
Ian Poulter is dressed head-to-toe in pink in honor of Amy Mickelson. (Getty Images)
Its tough to win out here; everyone knows it, said Clark, 63rd on the tours career money list. Hopefully, I do get that win sometime and it makes things easier. Thats all I can hope for.
 
Reason to believe he can do it starts with his streak of eight straight rounds in the 60s at the Colonial Country Club. That includes all of last years event, when he walked off the course tied for first but wound up second when Phil Mickelson birdied the final hole. It was the sixth runner-up finish of Clarks career; another came at the 2006 Masters.
 
That giant 0-fer is reason enough to question whether Clark can do it. Theres also this nugget: Clarks only other 54-hole lead was at the 2008 St. Jude Classic. He opened that final round with a triple bogey, shot 6 over and finished 18th.
 
Its never easy being the front-runner. Its a little bit tougher than coming from a few shots back, he said. But I have led a few tournaments on the European tour going into the last round and have been able to shoot a good score. Its about staying calm and not getting too far ahead of yourself.
 
This is a great course for doing that, too. You still have to come out and play good golf. If someone is going to catch me tomorrow they have to play really good, so thats good to know.
 
Well, that brings up another problem. Lots of people are playing really good this week.
 
Wind is the only defense this old course has against modern players and their technological advances, and theres yet to be anything more than a gentle breeze. Making things even easier, many greens are new and soaked by a rainy spring, leaving them nice and soft ' just the way players like it.
 
Jason Day has capitalized with three straight rounds of 65, and Steve Marino shot a tournament-best 62 on Saturday, moving them into a tie for second place at 15 under with Steve Stricker (69).
 
Day and Marino also are winless on the PGA Tour. Both have extra incentive, too, from Marinos mom growing up in Fort Worth (she was in the gallery, as were a bunch of her childhood friends) to Day having moved to Fort Worth last year.
 
My mind is in a really good spot right now, Day said.
 
Marino gave his mom and her friends plenty to shout about during the lowest round of his PGA Tour career. They were loudest on Nos. 11-13, when Marino put all of his approaches within 5 feet for pretty stress-free birdies.
 
I just felt really in control of everything, he said. It was a great feeling.
 
Stricker faded after setting the 36-hole record (126). Playing with Clark, Stricker birdied the second hole and parred all the rest.
 
I like the position Im in, Stricker said. For the most part, its better to come from behind ' unless its someone like Tiger whos used to leading. Hopefully I can put up a good number tomorrow.
 
Vijay Singh got off track with consecutive bogeys early in his round. He finished at 69 and was alone at 13 under in his first appearance in the event since pulling out after criticizing the tournament for letting Annika Sorenstam in the field in 03.
 
Justin Leonard (64) and Woody Austin (67) were 12 under. One more shot behind were Sean OHair (70) and Paul Casey (66), who is playing his first tournament as No. 3 in the world ranking.
 
Mickelson isnt here after announcing last week that wife Amy is battling breast cancer. In her honor, and to raise awareness about the disease, the tournament went into pink out mode Saturday. Most players wore pink shirts, as did tournament staffers and many folks in the gallery.
 
CBS broadcaster David Feherty really got into it, going pink from head (cap, sunglasses and spray-painted beard) to toe (pants and shoes).
 
Its pretty special to see, Leonard said. Im not usually a pink-shirt wearer, but it felt good to put it on. I wish it were under different circumstances.
 
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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

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    “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.”