Couples gets own satellite radio show

By Doug FergusonSeptember 10, 2014, 10:10 pm

ATLANTA - Fred Couples has been talking sports for 20 years at PGA Tour events. Now he can do it as host of his own radio show.

''The Fred Couples Show'' will debut on SiriusXM PGA Tour on Sept. 25, the night before the Ryder Cup begins. Along with being a Masters champion, former No. 1 player in the world and member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, Couples is a renowned sports junkie.

It is not unusual for Couples to talk sports - NFL trades, hockey playoffs, pennant races - between shots while he's warming up at golf tournaments. He said one of his caddies asked him this year, ''Do you do this every week? How do you get anything done?''

''I just go guy to guy and talk shop,'' Couples said.

He could get away with it. With one of the most natural, repeatable swings in golf, Couples won 15 times on the PGA Tour, including the 1992 Masters.

At the 2001 British Open, he caught a plugged lie in a pot bunker that required four shots to get out, including one struck left-handed and another he hit backward. After his round, he ran into former Chicago Tribune columnist Bob Verdi and said, ''Verds, I made a blunder. How did the Mariners do last night?''

Couples will host the show from a Los Angeles studio with longtime friend George Downing. The monthly show, after its debut, will be Tuesday at 7 p.m. EDT (XM channel 93, Sirius channel 208).

Couples is the latest golfer SiriusXM has added to its lineup in the last year. The expanded programming also features shows hosted by Ben Crenshaw, Ian Poulter, Henrik Stenson and Annika Sorenstam.

This show won't be entirely about golf. Couples will take phone calls and tackle any subject in sports.

''I think once we get started and I'm not embarrassed to say my name, which will be heard, the talking will be easy,'' Couples said.

Couples grew up in Seattle and raised the ''12th man'' flag at a Seahawks game last year. He also got Michael Jordan involved as an assistant during his three years as U.S. captain at the Presidents Cup.

He talked sports endlessly with longtime caddie Joe LaCava (who now works for Tiger Woods) while on the PGA Tour.

''For 22 years, every hole with Joe we talked sports,'' Couples said. ''So that should be kind of easy, not that I'm going to know what I'm talking about. Joe used to say, 'You're a Seahawks guy, can you name the offensive line?' And I'd say, 'Yeah, No. 67, No. 52.' He wanted the names. I told him I didn't know the names. But I love Seattle.''

Couples, 54, tied for 20th in the Masters this year and is No. 5 on the Champions Tour money list despite playing only nine times.

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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.