Ishikawas major bookends Pink Out scheduled

By Doug FergusonMay 26, 2009, 4:00 pm
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Ryo Ishikawa didnt come close to qualifying for the U.S. Open when he missed by five shots in a qualifier in Japan. The 17-year-old sensation still has not secured a spot in the British Open at Turnberry.
 
But he can count on a start in the PGA Championship, which offered him an exemption two weeks ago.
 
The Masters also gave Ishikawa a special foreign exemption, and he missed the cut. Augusta National has the most exclusive field among majors, and a long history of inviting international players.
 
The PGA Championship had its own motives ' it wants the strongest field.
 
Ishikawa is No. 91 in the world this week, about 10 spots lower than when he was awarded the PGA exemption. Kerry Haigh, the managing director of championships for the PGA of America, said two victories and his school were two reasons.
 
For a 17-year-old to have won two tournaments is almost unprecedented, Haigh said Tuesday. Obviously, he has great potential and ability, having moved into the top 65 of the world when he was invited.
 
Actually, Ishikawa was No. 65 in February when he nearly qualified for the Accenture Match Play Championship. Still, it is not uncommon for the PGA to offer exemptions early to players inside the top 100 as it strives for the strongest field in golf.
 
Haigh said the fact Ishikawa is not finished with high school also was considered.
 
It was our understanding he has schooling issues, Haigh said. He needs some time to plan accordingly. We felt an invite earlier would allow him to plan his travel schedule in the summer and not affect his schooling.
 
Ishikawa made only one cut in four starts in America, finishing 71st at the Transitions Championship in Florida. He did not make it to the weekend at Riviera, Augusta National or Bay Hill.
 

 
PINK POWER: John Daly wore his pink pants on Sunday at Wentworth, while Rory Sabbatini went with a pink shirt when he won the Byron Nelson Championship, both sartorial choices to honor Phil Mickelsons wife, Amy, who has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
 
Now, the PGA Tour Wives Association is getting involved.
 
In a memo being circulated at Colonial, the group is asking all players and wives to take part in a Pink Out on Saturday by wearing pink to show support for Amy Mickelson.
 
The association is working with title sponsor Crowne Plaza and the Susan G. Komen Foundation to raise awareness of breast cancer.
 
Mickelson is the defending champion this week, but has taken an indefinite leave from the PGA Tour. He is home in San Diego, awaiting test results this week to determine the extent of the cancer.
 

 
PEREZ GOES DOWN WITH THE DOG: Pat Perez described as a mishap could keep him off the PGA Tour until after the U.S. Open. Perez wrote on his Web site that he tore two ligaments in his ankle while running with Duke, his German Shepherd.
 
He went one way, I went another and somehow missed the curb and wrecked my ankle, Perez said. Definitely not the best time for this to happen as we have the British Open and U.S. Open qualifiers around the corner.
 
Perez pulled out of the Byron Nelson and Colonial, and said he likely wouldnt play Memorial. He usually doesnt play the St. Jude Championship, and he is not eligible for the U.S. Open. That means he likely wont return until the Travelers Championship in Connecticut at the end of June.
 
Doctors are recommending he take it easy, which appears to be a tall order, even though hes in a cast up to his knee.
 
I dont do too well with down time, Perez said.
 

 
OPEN EXEMPTIONS: Brian Gay narrowly missed out on the Masters and the U.S. Open through the world ranking, but he can count on at least one major this year.
 
Gay, Charles Howell III and Charley Hoffman secured spots in the British Open at Turnberry this week as the top three players not already eligible who were inside the top 20 in the FedEx Cup standings.
 
It will be the first British Open for Gay since 2001 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.
 
Robert Rock, Thongchai Jaidee and Louis Oosthuizen earned British Open spots from a similar category in Europe.
 

 
DANNY DOES DALLAS: Six weeks after he turned pro, Danny Lee has some new digs.
 
The South Korean-born, New Zealand-raised teenager said Sunday he has bought a house in Las Colinas, Texas, site of the Byron Nelson Championship where he tied for 12th. He said the TPC Four Seasons Resort will serve as his home course.
 
Lee said he had only played the course one time before last week.
 
Its a great city, Dallas, and I really like it over here, he said.
 
The 18-year-old Lee, the youngest player to win the U.S. Amateur, said his parents would be living with him. He was asked how he had begun furnishing his new home.
 
Im not sure, he said. Thats my parents job.
 

 
DIVOTS: U.S. Amateur champion Danny Lee tied for 12th at the Byron Nelson Championship, pushing his earnings to $152,967 in his quest to avoid Q-school. But a four-putt on the 18th was worth more than money. It knocked him out of the top 10, and cost him a free start at the St. Jude Championship in two weeks. Curtis Strange had hip surgery and will be out of action on the Champions Tour, although still able to do TV work at the U.S. Open and British Open. The World Cup has moved up by a few months to July 3 the deadline for qualifying to give players more time to decide if they want to go to China over Thanksgiving.
 

 
STAT OF THE WEEK: Fred Couples shot in the 60s all four days at the Byron Nelson Championship, the first time he has done that on the PGA Tour since he was runner-up at the Memorial five years ago.
 
FINAL WORD: He is too young. Still a long way to go. ' Masters champion Angel Cabrera on 17-year-old Ryo Ishikawa of Japan.
 
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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.

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    Rose: T-2 finish renewed my love of The Open

    By Jay CoffinJuly 22, 2018, 9:00 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Justin Rose made the cut on the number at The Open and was out for an early Saturday morning stroll at Carnoustie when, all of a sudden, he started putting together one great shot after another.

    There was no pressure. No one had expected anything from someone so far off the lead. Yet Rose shot 30 on the final nine holes to turn in 7-under 64, the lowest round of the championship. By day’s end he was five shots behind a trio of leaders that included Jordan Spieth.

    Rose followed the 64 with a Sunday 69 to tie for second place, two shots behind winner Francesco Molinari. His 133 total over the weekend was the lowest by a shot, and for a moment he thought he had a chance to hoist the claret jug, until Molinari put on a ball-striking clinic down the stretch with birdies on 14 and 18.


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    “I just think having made the cut number, it’s a great effort to be relevant on the leaderboard on Sunday,” said Rose, who collected his third-career runner-up in a major. He’s also finished 12th or better in all three majors this year.

    In the final round, Rose was well off the pace until his second shot on the par-5 14th hole hit the pin. He had a tap-in eagle to move to 5 under. Birdie at the last moved him to 6 under and made him the clubhouse leader for a few moments.

    “It just proves to me that I can play well in this tournament, that I can win The Open,” Rose said. “When I’m in the hunt, I enjoy it. I play my best golf. I don’t back away.

    “That was a real positive for me, and it renewed the love of The Open for me.”