Day wins Farmers in four-way playoff

By Doug FergusonFebruary 9, 2015, 12:33 am

SAN DIEGO – Two feet away from chipping into the water, Jason Day turned a good break into a big win Sunday in the Farmers Insurance Open when he won a four-man playoff with a par on the second extra hole at tough Torrey Pines.

Day's gamble in regulation looked as if it might backfire when he went long of the green on the par-5 18th, and his chip out of deep rough raced down the hill, over the front of the green and was headed for the water when it stopped at the hazard line. He got up-and-down for par and a 2-under 70.

Day and J.B. Holmes each made birdie on the 18th in the playoff, while Scott Stallings and Harris English were eliminated with pars. On the second extra hole at the par-3 16th, Holmes went over the green, chipped to 15 feet and missed the par putt. Day hit 5-iron to 15 feet and made par for his third PGA Tour victory.

Day moved to No. 4 in the world, just ahead of Adam Scott, and became the highest-ranked Australian for the first time.

''It's an amazing feeling,'' Day said. ''I've been working so hard for this. I was visualizing myself holding the trophy, just like I did at the Match Play. I'm really proud of myself to hang in there and grind it out.''


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Day's decision on the 18th in regulation wasn't the only choice that was second-guessed. Holmes, needing a birdie to win, laid up from 235 yards in the fairway and narrowly missed a 20-foot birdie attempt. He closed with a 72.

It was only the second stroke-play victory on the PGA Tour for the 27-year-old Day, who is in his eighth year. Loaded with talent, the Aussie has been hampered by more injuries than he cares to remember. Even when he won the Match Play Championship last year in Arizona, he was playing with an injured wrist that kept him out of every tournament but the Masters for the next three months.

His health was a big priority this year, and so was winning.

''It's a good start to the year,'' Day said. ''Hopefully, I can stay healthy.''

English and Stallings were eliminated on the first extra hole. Stallings had to lay up from the left rough, and his 15-foot birdie putt turned away. English drove well to the right, but his short iron back to the fairway was too strong and settled on the border of the first cut and 4-inch grass. He couldn't get any spin on the ball, and was left with a 60-foot birdie putt from the back of the green to stay alive. It stopped a few inches short.

The 16th was pivotal for Day twice on Sunday. In regulation, he holed a 50-foot birdie putt to get back in the game.

Day was among seven players who had at least a share of the lead on a Sunday that was more about survival than a shootout. It was the first time that a single-digit score under par - 9-under 279 - won on the PGA Tour since Justin Rose (4-under 276) at Congressional last summer.

Charles Howell III (68) and Alex Prugh (71) each missed birdie chances on the 18th and finished a shot out of the playoff.

Stallings missed an 18-foot birdie putt on the 18th and closed with a 69. English got up-and-down from a bunker for birdie and a 72 to get into the playoff.

Day and Holmes, meanwhile, had different ideas about how to play the par-5 closing hole.

Day was in the first cut of rough and chose to hit 3-wood to clearly the water, taking his chances with trouble behind the green. It nearly cost him. Holmes, among the longest hitters in golf, was tied for the lead and could have won with a birdie. He laid up with an 8-iron, but his wedge was too deep and left him a downhill birdie putt from 20 feet that grazed the edge of the cup.

Jimmy Walker, in his first start since a nine-shot win at the Sony Open, had a brief share of the lead. He had two bogeys on the back nine for a 73 and finished two shots out of the playoff along with Martin Laird, Shane Lowry and Nick Watney.

DIVOTS: The tournament honored Billy Casper, who died Saturday night, with a picture of him on the first tee and flowers. Casper grew up in San Diego. Tributes continued to pour in, including one from Arnold Palmer, who lost a big lead and the 1966 U.S. Open at Olympic Club. ''He was a better player than most people gave him credit for being and is going to be sorely missed in the golf world,'' Palmer said. ... The final-round scoring average was 74.05.

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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.