Snedeker back with goal to stay healthy in 2014

By Doug FergusonJanuary 1, 2014, 10:21 pm

KAPALUA, Hawaii – Brandt Snedeker starts a new year in golf with hopes of avoiding an old problem – staying healthy.

The Tournament of Champions, which starts Friday, is his first event since a freak accident in Shanghai two months ago. Snedeker was on a Segway scooter during a corporate outing at Sheshan International when he took a tumble and injured his left knee.

''I had been on one all day in this pro-am,'' Snedeker said Wednesday. ''I was going down the last hole, seeing how fast I could get it going. I hit a sprinkler head, lost control a little bit and jumped off. I landed on my knee and my knee popped.''

He feared he had torn his anterior cruciate ligament. Just his luck, he only suffered a small tear, along with a cracked tibia and a deep bone bruise. It was enough to keep him out of the Australian PGA, World Challenge in California and the Franklin Templeton Shootout in Florida. Harris English replaced him as Matt Kuchar's partner in the Shootout, and they went on to win.


Hyundai Tournament of Champions: Articles, videos and photos


Snedeker said the knee feels good, though the real test starts Friday.

He spent last week playing at Hideaway in the California desert, walking 18 holes a day and carrying his own bag. The good news at Kapalua is that he has his caddie. Not so good is that the Plantation Course was built on the side of a mountain, featuring some of the steepest climbs he'll face all year.

''I've had a few aches and pains of playing again, but nothing that concerns me,'' Snedeker said. ''The only thing I'm worried about is walking 18 holes here. Palm Springs is dead flag. Walking this golf course is a little different.''

And the last time the six-time PGA Tour winner carried his own bag?

''It's funny, I got into this routine of doing it after injuries,'' Snedeker said.

Not so funny is that it has become a routine. In his seven years on Tour, Snedeker has had surgery on both hips to correct a degenerative problem. He missed the 2012 U.S. Open because of a rib injury. After one of the hottest stretches of last year – second to Tiger Woods at Torrey Pines, second to Phil Mickelson in Phoenix and then a victory at Pebble Beach - Snedeker had recurring problems with his ribs and missed the next month.

Snedeker said his rookie season was his only injury-free year.

''It's very concerning,'' he said. ''I don't consider myself that, but the evidence bears out that I am injury-prone. Over the course of your career, you're going to have injuries. I'm hoping all mine are in a five-year stretch.''

He's been taking medication and paying close attention to his diet to stay on top of his fitness, but just like most people, Snedeker will stray on occasion.

''You get healthy and you forget about it,'' he said. ''You get injured and you start worrying. I'm no different from anyone else.''

Now, he can hope that's all behind him. Snedeker believes the best part of his career is ahead of him, and he's excited about the major championship venues, with Pinehurst No. 2 among his favorite course in America. He was tied with Angel Cabrera going into the final round of the Masters last year, and he has come to love links golf at the British Open, with strong showings the last two years.

His biggest goal for 2014?

''I'm looking forward to playing an injury-free year,'' he said with a grin.

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


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.