Teens Setting Pace at Futures Tour Q-School
Amateur Angela Park, a 17-year-old senior at Torrance High School, fired the day's low round of 65 at Schalamar Creek Golf Club on a day that featured a seven-birdie, bogey-free round. The teen from Torrance, Calif., moved into a three-way tie for the lead at 137 (-7) with amateur Song-Hee Kim, 17, of Seoul, Korea, and UCLA collegian Amie Cochran, 19, also of Torrance, Calif.
'The scores were kind of low in the first round and I shot even par,' said Park, who hopes to play on the 2006 FUTURES Tour as an amateur until she can turn professional on her 18th birthday in August. 'I was like, 'Wow! I'd better get going.''
So the teen, who lost to top-ranked Morgan Pressel in the semifinals of this year's U.S. Women's Amateur Championship, focused on hitting her approach shots to a 'birdieable range' in today's second round. For her effort, Park's longest birdie putt was 15 feet and her putter produced 25 putts and a giant smile from the nation's fourth-ranked amateur girl.
'It's been my goal to turn pro since I was 9, so I came out here this week to try my best,' said Park, who won an American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) event in Alabama last month. 'If I get FUTURES Tour status, I'll play as an amateur until I can turn pro. I can already sense a difference out here from AJGA events. Most of these players are older than me, but I can learn a lot from them.'
Playing in her first tournament in the United States, Kim said she felt 'more comfortable than yesterday' in today's round at Huntington Hills Golf & Country Club -- one of the three courses used in this week's qualifier. The Korean teen said she learned about the FUTURES Tour through one of her friends, Sun Young Yoo, who earned 2006 exempt LPGA Tour status by finishing in the top five during the 2005 season. Kim described her experience this week as 'no stress, just having fun.'
And fun it was for the trio of teens. But others, including FUTURES Tour veteran Cherie Zaun of Glendale, Calif., weren't so sure about the 'fun' aspect of 'Q-School.' Walking to the scoring tables, Zaun was overheard declaring, 'Childbirth is easier than this.'
First-round leaders Nikki Garrett of New South Wales, Australia, and Lynn Valentine of East Lyme, Conn., again posted sub-par rounds today. Garrett and Brittany Lang of McKinney, Texas, are tied one shot back at 138 (-6), while Valentine is alone at 139 (-5). Lang added a second consecutive round of three-under 69 today at Cleveland Heights Golf Course, while Garrett carded a 2-under-par 70 at Huntington Hills.
'The weather conditions were ideal for scoring today,' said Lang, 20, who tied for runner-up honors this summer at the U.S. Women's Open Championship. 'My game feels great. I've just been trying to work up to this and get back into competition.'
Sukjin Lee Wuesthoff, 19, of Toms River, N.J., carded an even-par 72 at Huntington Hills (141), while Salimah Mussani of Burlington, Ontario posted a 69, and Lee-Anne Pace of Mosselbay, South Africa carded a 4-under-par 68 to tie Mussani at 142 (-2).
Six players are tied at 1-under 143, while six others are tied at even-par 144.
Third-round play begins Thursday at 8 a.m. off the first and tenth tees at all three golf courses. The field will be cut after 54 holes to the low 100 players and ties, with the final round staged Friday at Cleveland Heights.
Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish
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.
Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him
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.
Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter
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.
Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose
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.
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.