Back-To-Back Birdies Cinch 60 Masters

By George WhiteApril 5, 2004, 4:00 pm
Arnold Palmer was a national hero by 1960, and his play that year verified it. He would win eight times in a hugely successful campaign, signifying the start of a four-year run when he would visit the winners circle 29 times.
 
Palmer had started 1960 rather slowly ' for him. He had just one win in the seasons first eight tournaments ' in Palm Springs at the new Desert Classic, now the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.
 
However, when he got warmed up, he absolutely tore through the lineup. Three straight tournaments produced three more Palmer wins ' the Texas Open, Baton Rouge and Pensacola. Now it was a month later, and Palmer ' who by now owned four victories ' was about to play his sixth Masters.
 
Arnie opened with a hot 67 to lead the field, then backed that up with a 73 to own a narrow one-stroke margin over second-place duo of close friend Dow Finsterwald and Ben Hogan. And after a third-round score of even-par 72, he still managed to lead by a single stroke over the foursome of Finsterwald, Hogan, Ken Venturi and Julius Boros.
 
Hogan hit greens in the final round but putted miserably, shooting 76 and fading from competition ' one of the last times he ever threatened at the Masters. Palmer had a rather ho-hum front nine and fell behind Venturi and Finsterwald, paired together, by a stroke going into No. 10.
 
Two poor chips cost Arnold birdies on the par-5s ' 13 and 15. And up ahead, Venturi and Finsterwald were left to duke it out. They arrived at 18 tied for the lead, but Finsterwald missed an eight-foot putt and bogeyed the hole, while Venturi parred it and settled into a greenside cabin to be measured for the ensuing green jacket.
 
Meanwhile, Palmer was facing a 25-foot putt on the par-3 16th, and on this occasion he left the pin in ' which was still allowed by the rulebook. Arnie stroked the birdie putt ' and was chagrined to see it clang into the flagpole and spin away. Ahead lay the difficult 17th and 18th holes, and only rarely had either been birdied this day. And he still was a stroke behind Venturi.
 
Palmer left his approach 30 feet short on 17. However, it was his incredibly good fortune that, after twice backing away, he sent the putt twisting into the cup for a most unlikely birdie. He had tied Venturi, who got up to get ready for the playoff.
 
But wait ' here was Arnold on 18, smashing a good drive into the fairway. And then he lashed what he later would call his greatest shot ever ' a 6-iron that trickled up to within five feet of the pin.
 
He still had to make the putt, however. Venturi had missed a birdie try from virtually the same spot on the green. But Palmers stroke slid into the cup, and he had his second Masters victory.
 
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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.