Day 1 wrap: NCAA men's golf regionals

By Ryan LavnerMay 14, 2015, 9:13 pm

The NCAA Division I men’s regionals got underway Thursday at six sites around the country. The low five teams in each regional after Saturday’s final round will advance to the May 28-June 3 NCAA Championship at Concession Golf Club in Florida.

Here are the first-round results from the Chapel Hill (N.C.), Noblesville (Ind.), Yale (Conn.), Lubbock (Texas), San Diego (Calif.) and Bremerton (Wash.) regionals. Live scoring on can be found here

Chapel Hill Regional, at Finley Golf Course in Chapel Hill, N.C.:

Leader: Charlotte (-13)

Second place: Florida (-7)

Individual leader: Will Register, North Carolina (-6)

Rest of the top 5: Florida State (-4), Clemson (-4), North Carolina (-2)

Work to do: Kennesaw State (-1), Stanford (+2), Penn State (+4), Wake Forest (+6) 

Skinny: Charlotte might be the 50th-ranked team entering regionals, but it sure didn’t play like it Thursday. Three 49ers players shot 68 in the opening round. The Gators, coming off a seventh-place showing at SECs, also were a surprise in Round 1, counting three scores of 70 or better. Most of the higher-seeded teams got off to a decent start, but fourth-seeded Wake Forest has the most work to do. The Demon Deacons were forced to use a 76 Thursday after No. 2 Davis Womble shot 5 over. 

New Haven Regional, at The Course at Yale in New Haven, Conn.:

Leader: South Florida (+1) 

Second place: Ohio State (+2)

Individual leader: Rigel Fernandes, South Florida (-6)

Rest of the top 5: San Diego State (+4), Vanderbilt (+5), Oklahoma State (+9) 

Work to do: Troy (+9), N.C. State (+9), Iowa (+11), LSU (+14)

Skinny: Only four players broke par on Day 1 here. Not surprisingly, no team finished the first round under par, with South Florida – which is hosting this year’s NCAAs – leading the way. Fernandes’ eight-birdie 64 was four shots better than any other score on Day 1. Second-seeded LSU struggled mightily in the opening round, with no player recording a round under 73. As a team, the Tigers only recorded six birdies. 

Noblesville Regional, at Sagamore Golf Club in Noblesville, Ind:

Leader: Colorado (-11) 

Second place: Illinois and SMU (-3) 

Individual leader: Benjamin Baxter, SMU; David Oraee, Colorado; Jeremy Paul, Colorado all at -4

Rest of the top 5: UCLA (+5), UNLV (+7)

Work to do: Oregon (+9), Alabama (+10), Georgia Southern (+13), Virginia Tech (+21) 

Skinny: Colorado, which hasn’t reached an NCAA finals since 2002, got off to a torrid start here with all four players under par after Day 1 and their top two - Paul and Ocaee - as the co-leaders. Can the Buffaloes keep it up? This is a ninth-seeded team coming off an 11th-place showing at the Pac-12 Championship, but it is now 20 shots clear of the sixth-place team. Two-time defending NCAA champion Alabama will begin the second round in seventh place, after a 10-over start. No. 1 man Robby Shelton shot 74 on Day 1. Only 13 players broke par in the first round here. 

Lubbock Regional, at the Rawls Course in Lubbock, Texas:

Leader: Texas (-11) 

Second place: Houston (-10)

Individual leader: Austin Eoff, Purdue (-6)

Rest of the top 5: Duke (-8), Texas Tech (-6), Purdue and California (-5)

Work to do: Auburn (-4), Louisville (-1), North Florida (+7)

Skinny: No surprise, top-seeded Texas continued to roll with four players shooting 69 or better, including a 66 out of lead man Beau Hossler. The Blue Devils got solid 67s from Jake Shuman and Turner Southey-Gordon, Duke's Nos. 3 and 4, respectively. This is a tightly bunched leaderboard, with nine teams separated by nine shots. 

Bremerton Regional, at Gold Mountain in Bremerton, Wash.: 

Leader: UAB (-8)

Second place: TCU and USC (-7)

Individual leader: Sean Crocker, USC (-6) 

Rest of the top 5: Iowa State and Washington (-1)

Work to do: South Carolina (E), UC Davis (+1), Michigan (+4), Baylor (+5)

Skinny: Solid opening rounds from Paul Dunne (67) and Martin Rohwer (68) put the Blazers atop the leaderboard after Day 1. They’ve been playing better of late, with a pair of wins and a second-place showing at the Conference USA Championship in their past three starts. USC’s Sean Crocker, one of the nation’s top freshmen, closed with six consecutive birdies for a back-nine 30 and opening 66. That leaves him one shot clear of Hogan Award finalist Cheng-Tsung Pan, who is playing on one of Washington’s home courses. Top seed South Carolina flew all the way across the country, but a solid opening round in which the Gamecocks took no higher than a 73 leaves them in good shape heading into the second round. 

San Diego Regional, at The Farms Golf Club in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.:

Leader: Oklahoma (-4)

Second place: East Tennessee State (+1)

Individual leader: Grant Hirschman, Oklahoma; Gudmundur Kristjansson, East Tennessee State; Grant Bennett, Wichita State all at -3

Rest of the top 5: Wichita State (+4), St. Mary’s (+7), San Diego and Virginia (+9)

Work to do: Georgia Tech (+11), Eastern Kentucky (+11), Arizona State (+13), New Mexico (+15), Georgia (+19)

Skinny: So much for chalk here. Oklahoma has three players inside the top 6 individually as it looks to qualify for its fifth consecutive NCAA finals, but not much else went according to plan. Fortunately for top seeds Arizona State and Georgia Tech, poor first rounds leave them only a handful of shots behind the all-important fifth spot. Arizona State’s Jon Rahm, still in contention for national player of the year honors, mixed seven birdies with two doubles and a triple during an opening 73 that left him four back. Three of the top five teams on the leaderboard are the lowest seeds in the regional.  

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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.