Power Rankings: 2015 BMW Championship

By Will GraySeptember 16, 2015, 3:38 pm

The 46th event of the season - and the third event of the postseason - is upon us, as the PGA Tour heads to Illinois for the BMW Championship. A field of 70 will tackle Conway Farms Golf Club, with the top 30 in the standings advancing to the Tour Championship next week.

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Billy Horschel won this event a year ago at Cherry Hills. Here are 10 players to watch outside Chicago:

1. Jim Furyk: Furyk enters with some form and now returns to a course where two years ago he shot 59. While he let the trophy slip away in 2013, he has a great chance to make amends on a course that clearly suits his game and following his T-4 finish at TPC Boston.

2. Henrik Stenson: An appropriate spot for the man who has finished second at each of the first two playoff events. Stenson was never really close at The Barclays, but he probably should have won two weeks ago in Massachusetts. Clearly in form, he'll look to improve on a T-33 finish here two years ago when he faded in the final round en route to a FedEx Cup win.

3. Jason Day: The struggles at TPC Boston were simply a blip for the man who is still the hottest player on Tour. Day had a strong showing at Conway Farms two years ago, finishing T-4 behind a final-round 66, and should again be on the leaderboard as he sets his sights on the world No. 1 ranking.

4. Rickie Fowler: Fresh off his victory at the Deutsche Bank Championship, Fowler again has renewed confidence at just the right time. Outside of a missed cut at The Barclays, Fowler has been playing well for the last six weeks and will get to walk stride-for-stride with Spieth and Day in the first two rounds.

5. Jordan Spieth: Spieth has officially hit a postseason funk, entering off of back-to-back missed cuts, but he should break out of that mini-slump with ease this week. Spieth finished T-16 at Conway Farms in 2013, highlighted by a second-round 65, and is unlikely to post a third straight dud.

6. Zach Johnson: Johnson rallied to victory at Conway in 2013, and he returns after opening the postseason with back-to-back top-25 finishes. Johnson finished T-4 at The Barclays and now has five top-10 finishes over his last nine starts.

7. Rory McIlroy: McIlroy again has the top spot in the world ranking, but he'll need to play well this week to keep it. Still mending his ankle, he was mired in the middle of the pack two weeks ago at TPC Boston. McIlroy struggled to get his footing at Conway two years ago, but did shoot a pair of 68s over the final two rounds.

8. Sergio Garcia: Beware the rested golfer. Garcia will be making his postseason debut after skipping the first two events, but he tends to play well at this leg of the playoffs regardless of venue. The Spaniard has never finished worse than T-24 in seven BMW starts, including a T-18 finish at Conway Farms two years ago.

9. Kevin Kisner: Already the best player this season without a win, Kisner has a great chance this week to break through after opening the playoffs with back-to-back top-20 results. While he is making his BMW debut, Kisner should thrive amidst the cozy confines of Conway Farms.

10. Matt Kuchar: Kuchar has been somewhat lurking in the background this season, but he certainly has the game for this course as evidenced by his 61 in the third round two years ago. After a T-9 finish in Boston, Kuchar has three top-10s in his last five starts.

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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.