Song to Make Professional Debut in Lakeland

By Futures Tour MediaMarch 11, 2004, 5:00 pm
Futures TourThe Futures Golf Tour will play its 400th tournament at the Lakeland Futures Golf Classic March 12-14, as it begins the 2004 season.
Making her professional debut in the tours first event in Lakeland will be teenager Naree Song, who at 17, will be the youngest tour member in 2004.
Song, now of Orlando, Fla., won the 2001 Kosaido Thailand Ladies Open as an amateur. Better known as Naree Song Wongluekiet -- one of the two Thai-Korean twin sisters who began playing LPGA Tour events by age 12 -- Naree will attempt to earn her LPGA Tour status this season to join sister Aree, who is playing the LPGA Tour.
The sisters each received special permission to play on their respective professional tours this year as 17-year-olds until their 18th birthday on May 1. Typically, the legal starting age for members of the LPGA and the Futures Tour is 18.
Duke University senior Virada Nirapathpongporn of Thailand will join the developmental tour following the NCAA Womens Golf Championship this spring.
Also joining the Futures Tour in 2004 will be: Becky Lucidi of Poway, Calif., the 2002 U.S. Womens Amateur Champion and a recent graduate of the University of Southern California. She is a former college teammate Mikaela Parmlid of Sweden, who won the individual title at the 2003 NCAA Womens Golf Championship as a member of the Southern Cal national champion team. Parmlid is both a non-exempt LPGA Tour and Futures Tour rookie.
Tri-medalists from the Futures Tour Qualifying Tournament last November will also be among this years membership. They are: Summer Sirmons of Cuthbert, Ga., who played at the University of Georgia; Courtney Wood of Brentwood, Tenn., presently an amateur completing her senior season at Vanderbilt University; and Sung Ah Yim of Seoul, Korea, the 2001 Korean Womens Amateur Champion.
The Futures Tours 24th season will feature an 18-tournament schedule that spans 15 states and begins in Florida, moves to the Southwest, Midwest, Northeast, New England, then travels down the Eastern Seaboard to culminate Aug. 27-29, at the season-ending York Newspaper Company Futures Classic in York, Penn.
Once again, Futures Tour members will compete for five fully exempt LPGA Tour cards, which will be awarded to the top five players on the Futures Tour Money List at the conclusion of the York tournament. The cards will entitle top Futures players to compete as full members on the 2005 LPGA Tour.
In addition, Futures Tour members ranked sixth through 15th in season earnings at the conclusion of the York event will automatically advance into the LPGAs Final Qualifying Tournament in December. Last year, a total of 29 Futures Tour players earned LPGA Tour status, further demonstrating the tours designation as 'the official developmental tour of the LPGA.'
The Tour will compete for more than $1.2 million, with five tournaments increasing purse size by up to $10,000. Eight tournaments will offer purses of $70,000, giving the tour a record 10 of 18 tournaments at $70,000 or higher. Two tournaments -- the Isleta Casino & Resort Futures Gold Classic in Albuquerque, N.M., and the York tournament -- will offer a $75,000 purse.
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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.