Fact Pack: Hyundai TOC

By Will GrayJanuary 2, 2013, 7:12 pm

The start of the 2013 golf season is now upon us. Thirty men that hoisted trophies in 2012 will begin the new FedEx Cup season in Kapalua, site of big greens and even bigger fairways. The 7,411-yard Plantation Course is the only par-73 layout that Tour players will see this year, and should allow for low scores despite its length and expansive, undulating targets. With that in mind, here is a look inside the numbers to see which players may contend for the title and help your Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge team in the process:

• Outside of defending champion Steve Stricker, perhaps the best recent record at Kapalua belongs to Matt Kuchar, who has a pair of top-6 finishes here in his last two starts. His steady play was on display in 2010, when he was T-2 in the field in both fairways hit and greens in regulation en route to a third-place finish, which he followed with a T-6 result in 2011. Last year Kuchar finished fifth on Tour in scoring average and seventh in scrambling.

• This week's event will see no shortage of long balls off the tee, both with the length and elevation changes of the Plantation Course and the bombers in the field. Five players in this week's 30-man field averaged over 300 yards per drive on Tour last year, including Scott Stallings, Keegan Bradley, Scott Piercy, Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson, who led the Tour last season while averaging over 315 yards per drive.

• Of the eight golfers in Group 1, only one player will be making his first career appearance in this event: Jason Dufner. Having won for the first time in his career at last year's Zurich Classic of New Orleans, Dufner may face a learning curve on Kapalua's expansive greens. Brandt Snedeker, Webb Simpson and Keegan Bradley will all be making their second career starts on the Plantation Course this week.

• Two players from Group 3 have previously recorded top-10 finishes in this event: Ian Poulter, who ended up T-6 in his lone prior appearance in Kapalua in 2011, and Johnson Wagner, who has cracked the top 10 in each of two career starts. Wagner finished 10th in 2009 and recorded a T-9 finish here last year, one week before winning at the Sony Open in Hawaii.

• With five par-5 holes on the Plantation Course's par-73 layout, capitalizing on the longest holes each day will be of great importance, as each of the last four winners have played the par-5s in 10-under or better for the week. This bodes well for Keegan Bradley and Zach Johnson, who both finished the year tied for eighth on Tour in par-5 performance in 2012.

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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.


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.