Final Two Decided at Carnoustie

By December 14, 2005, 5:00 pm
Editor's Note: The Big Break IV ' USA vs. Europe, is The Golf Channels fourth installment of its hit television series. As the title suggests however, this seasons format has been tweaked to include a team dynamic. But that in no way means the stakes arent high for each individual, as the contestants will be vying for entry into select European Tour tournaments in 2006.
 
With the Big Break IV ' USA vs. Europe, down to the final four, the remaining players from each team would have to face their own teammate to keep their dream alive for at least one more show.
 
Big Break IV
Who would end up representing the U.S. in the Big Break IV finale? T.J. Valentine or Paul Holtby?
T.J. Valentine and Paul Holtby of the U.S. and Guy Woodman and Thomas Blankvoort from team Europe each had to play nine holes of match play to see who would reach the finals.
 
Valentine and Holtby got things started while Woodman and Blankvoort followed along, waiting for their match at the conclusion of the first battle.
 
Its going to take my A-game, absolutely, to beat Paul, said Valentine prior to his showdown with his friend Holtby.
 
Ill always go back to the Ben Hogan quote, that he plays with friends but he does not play friendly golf. And thats how you got to look at it, responded Holtby. This is business.
 
And Holtby was all business at the start as he rolled in a 5-foot par putt at the first and then watched as Valentine was unable to convert his par putt from just over 3 feet. Holtby 1-up.
 
The same situation arose at the second hole with Valentine needing to make a 3-footer to halve the hole. He struck the putt and began to go fetch it out of the cup when his ball caught the side of the lip and rolled out. Holtby 2-up.
 
Feeling the pressure to make something happen and avoid going 3-down after just three holes, Valentine came up short at the par-3 third. With Holtby safely on and in two putt range, Valentines chip flew well past the hole and then missed the comebacker.
 
Three down in a 9-hole match and Im hitting that panic button, recalled Valentine. Ive got to be a little more aggressive now. Ive got to throw some birdies on the board.
 
Unfortunately for Valentine, it was more of the same at the fourth hole, as he again failed to get it up and down while Holtby calmly two-putted for his par. Holtby 4-up through four.
 
And just when Valentine thought things couldnt get any worse, they did. His tee shot at the fifth found a large patch of trees down the left side. His subsequent recovery attempt still left him in a world of trouble.
 
On a links-style course I found the only block of trees out there, said a good-natured Valentine on his dire situation.
 
After taking two shots to hack out of the trees and seeing that Holtby was safe in the fairway, Valentine conceded the hole and in the process the match, losing 5 and 4.
 
Its been an unbelievable experience. I know I have a lot of weaknesses and I know I have a lot of strengths but theres a lot of room to grow and I hope that people see that, said a tearful Valentine.
 
Now with Holtby waiting in the finals on one side of the draw, Woodman and Blankvoort too, would have it out in a 9-hole match.
 
Im going to have to play well, I know that, because hes been very solid in every department, said Woodman on his match up with friend turned foe Blankvoort. I just hope I can do myself justice and hit some good shots.
 
Big Break IV
Thomas Blankvoort offers congratulations to Guy Woodman after their semi-final match.
Both players started off a bit rusty as each found the rough on opposite sides of the fairway. They did, however, scramble well enough to make pars and to remain even after one.
 
At the second, Woodman drew first blood as Blankvoorts tee shot found a gnarly patch of rough that left him carding a bogey to Woodmans par. Woodman 1-up through 2.
 
At the par-3 third, Blankvoort again created trouble for himself by hitting his iron into the burn that surrounded the green. After failing to hole his chip he conceded Woodmans putt. Woodman 2-up.
 
Woodmans good luck continued at the fourth hole when he sank a 12-footer for par which was good enough to win his third straight hole against Blankvoort. Woodman 3-up through 4.
 
That was a big relief to go 3-up. At one stage maybe looking like I might have lost the hole, said Woodman on his clutch putt to win the hole. Thats massive.
 
Time was starting to run out for Blankvoort who needed something to go his way at the fifth. But it was again Woodman who came up with a clutch putt for a halve and to keep Blankvoort from winning the hole. Woodman 3-up with four to play.
 
Both made routine pars at the sixth but in the process Blankvoort was put in a dormie situation, were he would have to win the next three holes in succession just to halve the match.
 
It just wasnt Blankvoorts day, however, as his tee shot at the par-3 seventh fell way short of the green. Woodman was safely on the green and watched Blankvoort blow his chip past the hole and then miss the comebacker. Blankvoort picked up Woodmans marker and offered congratulations, falling 4 and 3.
 
Its (losing) all the more difficult because youre so close to getting to the point of where you want to be - which is winning, said a disheartened Blankvoort. For it to end like this, it leaves an empty feeling in you.

The Big Break IV: USA vs. Europe airs each Tuesday at 9 p.m. (ET), while Big Break IV: All Access airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. (ET), as part of the networks Top Shelf Wednesday lineup of premium programming.
 
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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.