U.S. captain wants Walker Cup players to have 'fun'

By Associated PressSeptember 12, 2015, 11:28 am

LYTHAM ST ANNES, England – United States captain John 'Spider' Miller wants his team to have ''fun'' against Britain and Ireland in the 45th Walker Cup when the biennial amateur event starts Saturday.

Playing on the Lancashire links at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club in north west England, the Americans are seeking to retain the trophy they won 17-9 at the National Golf Links of America in New York two years ago.

''I want it to be fun for them,'' said Miller, himself a Walker Cup player in 1999. ''To make it an experience that they will never forget.''

Welshman Nigel Edwards, the Britain and Ireland captain for the third successive time, will be bidding to regain the trophy he won on his first occasion at the helm at Royal Aberdeen four years ago.

The teams play four foursomes and eight singles on Saturday, then four foursomes and 10 singles on Sunday.

Miller's team ranges from 52-year-old Mike McCoy from Iowa and 37-year-old Scott Harvey from North Carolina to eight college players in their teens and early 20s.

''Cap's done an incredible job for us, making us comfortable,'' Hunter Stewart said. "He knows that each player on the team may prepare a little bit differently, so he's done exactly what makes us feel comfortable before the first tee tomorrow.''

Edwards, who played in four successive Walker Cups from 2001 to 2007, said it was a ''hard task'' choosing ''who to play and who not to play, which is great because quite often you come to the Walker Cup and not everybody has got their game.''

In Saturday morning foursomes, it's: Maverick McNealy and Stewart (United States) vs Ashley Chesters and Jimmy Mullen (Britain and Ireland); Beau Hossler and Denny McCarthy vs Paul Dunne and Gary Hurley; Jordan Niebrugge and Robby Shelton vs Cormac Sharvin and Jack McDonald; Lee McCoy and Mike McCoy vs Jack Hume and Gavin Moynihan.

In Saturday afternoon singles, it's: Bryson DeChambeau (United States) vs Chesters (Britain and Ireland); Stewart vs Dunne; Harvey vs Grant Forrest; McCarthy vs Mullen; McNealy vs Ewen Ferguson; Shelton vs Hurley; Hossler vs Hume; Niebrugge vs Moynihan.

The Britain and Ireland team has a record five Irishmen: Dunne, Hume, Hurley, Moynihan and Sharvin.

The event, first played in 1922 at National Golf Links, is named in honor of former USGA President George Herbert Walker - grandfather and great-grandfather of former U.S. presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

The U.S. leads the series 35 to 8.

Getty Images

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.

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.