Power Rankings: 2015 RBC Canadian Open

By Will GrayJuly 21, 2015, 7:46 pm

The 38th event of the wraparound season is upon us, as the PGA Tour heads to Ontario for the RBC Canadian Open. A field of 156 will tackle the Glen Abbey Golf Club, which last hosted the event in 2013.

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Tim Clark won this event a year ago at Royal Montreal by one shot over Jim Furyk. Here are 10 players to watch in Canada:

1. Jim Furyk: The veteran has a sensational record at this event, with wins in 2006 and 2007 coupled with last year's runner-up and a T-9 finish at Glen Abbey in 2013. Furyk snapped out of his winless drought earlier this year at Harbour Town and ranks among the top 15 on Tour this season in fairways hit, GIR percentage and total strokes gained.

2. Brooks Koepka: Koepka announced his presence to the Tour with his win in Phoenix, and after battling through a rib injury he is again showing great form. He played his final 36 holes at St. Andrews without a bogey en route to a T-10 finish, his fourth top-20 finish in his last five PGA Tour strats. Koepka is ninth this season in both driving distance and strokes gained putting, a potent combination.

3. Bubba Watson: Watson is making just his second appearance in Canada since 2009, but he did finish T-21 at Glen Abbey two years ago and already has two wins under his belt this season. Watson has missed the cut in each of the last two majors, but those are his only missed cuts this season to go with eight top-25 finishes.

4. Jason Day: The Aussie has a quick turnaround after coming up one shot short at St. Andrews. Day hasn't played this event since 2009, and his prior two trips to Canada failed to yield top-40 finishes. He has the game to contend on any course, but questions persist about an emotional hangover following another near-miss on a major stage.

5. Matt Kuchar: Kuchar has been close each of the last two years in Canada, finishing T-2 in 2013 and T-4 last year. Kuchar is traditionally one of the Tour's most consistent players and finished second to Rickie Fowler at the Scottish Open two weeks ago. He'll look to get back on track this week after just one top-25 finish in his last six PGA Tour starts.

6. Luke Donald: The Englishman appears to be on the comeback trail. He had to earn spots the hard way in each of the past two majors, but Donald did just that and now has strung together three straight top-15 finishes after his T-12 result at St. Andrews. Donald had three straight top-25s in Canada from 2009-11, including a T-24 finish at Glen Abbey in 2009.

7. Scott Piercy: Piercy won this event at Hamilton in 2012 and he returns to Canada after another victory, this time at the inaugural Barbasol Championship. Piercy also finished second at the Sony Open and contended at the Shell Houston Open amid a successful season that has seen him return from an elbow injury.

8. J.B. Holmes: Holmes has cooled somewhat since his torrid spring, but he still remains a pre-tournament favorite at nearly any venue. Holmes has seven top-25 finishes in 18 starts this season, highlighted by his playoff win in Houston, and he ranks eighth this season in birdie average. Each of his two tournament appearances netted top-20 finishes, including a T-16 finish in 2009 at Glen Abbey.

9. Tony Finau: The rookie has been impressive this season, with a missed cut at the Deere ending a run of seven straight top-25 finishes. Finau will look to get back on track this week in his tournament debut, and he ranks 15th this season in birdie average and 22nd in scoring average. 

10. William McGirt: Regardless of venue, Canada seems to bring the best out of McGirt. He was a runner-up at Hamilton in 2012, matched that result the following year at Glen Abbey and finished T-25 last year at Royal Montreal. McGirt has been lurking in the middle of the pack for much of the summer, with five of his past seven starts netting finishes between T-25 and T-41.

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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.