Hogans Remark Spurs Groggy Arnie

By George WhiteApril 5, 2004, 4:00 pm
Arnold Palmer arrived in Augusta for the 1958 Masters totally exhausted. Two weeks before, he had won the St. Petersburg Open. One week before, he had to go to a Monday playoff before losing to Howie Johnson at the Azalea Open. He didnt pull into Augusta until the wee hours of Tuesday morning ' only to find that close pal Dow Finsterwald had arranged a game for Arnie that day.
Finsterwald and a very groggy Palmer teamed up to play Ben Hogan and Jackie Burke. Thanks to Finsterwalds brilliant play, the duo won $55 each. Arnold, as would be expected, could just barely find the energy to get around the hilly elevations of Augusta National.
An excerpt from Palmers autobiography, A Golfers Life, tells what happened next: Hogan said to Burke, loud enough for the nearby Palmer to hear, Tell me something, Jackie. How the hell did Palmer get an invitation to the Masters?
Palmer, though unseen, was furious. That really stung me, he said. And it stung him enough to go out and win the tournament.
Palmer opened the tournament with an under-par round of 70, followed by a 73 which placed him in a tie for sixth. Saturday he zoomed into a first-place tie with Sam Snead when Arnie recorded a 68.
Snead shot a 79 Sunday and was never a threat. However, several other players were whistling shots near the flags, and by the time he reached the 12th hole, Palmer was in a tight battle.
Heavy rains Saturday night had caused tournament officials to institute a local rule for the day: balls which plugged in the soft turf were to be lifted and replaced without penalty.
Palmer, playing the par-3 hole, found himself facing just such a situation. His shot found the steeply sloped area in back of the hole, plugging into the hill.
Palmer requested relief from the official on the hole ' but was denied. Palmer was noticeably angry. He dug out the ball with a swipe of his pitching wedge, chipped the ball onto the putting surface, and made a 5.
But he then replayed the ball as he felt the rules allowed. He dropped, chipped and sunk the putt for a 3.
Palmer would leave the hole for the officials to decide. On the very next hole he saw a green cart approaching, carrying the unmistakable figure of Bobby Jones. Arnies heart leaped to his throat, but he continued playing, hitting a beautifully arched 3-wood onto the green of the par-5 13th. He sunk the eagle putt from 25 feet, then carefully waited to see if Jones had a message for him. Jones didnt ' he was merely watching the action.
Palmer then parred No. 14. And on 15 he got the news ' the rules committee had decided to record his score as a 3 on No. 12 instead of a 5.
Instead of being tied for the lead, he now led by two shots. Arnie parred 16 and 17, then coaxed in a birdie at the 72nd hole for a score of 73. He had one-putted six greens. Now there was nothing he could do but wait for the 12 players still on the course.
Doug Ford and Fred Hawkins both made strong finishes, and as they stood on the final tee, Palmer was ahead by one shot. And both reached the green with good birdie chances ' each lying about 12 feet from the cup.
But both missed their putts, and the 28-year-old became the second-youngest golfer to win the trophy, following only a 25-year-old Byron Nelson. Nelsons age has since surpassed by both Seve Ballesteros and Tiger Woods.
An interesting sidelight is that Arnolds wife, the late Winnie Palmer, was entrusted with the task of making out the check for Palmers caddy, Nathaniel (Ironman) Avery. In the confusion of the victory celebration, she wrote the check for $1,400 ' she thought. But she mistakenly added one more zero, and the amount read $14,000. She was able to retrieve it before Avery left the premises. The $14,000 was more than Palmers first-place prize of $11,250.
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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.

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    Rose: T-2 finish renewed my love of The Open

    By Jay CoffinJuly 22, 2018, 9:00 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Justin Rose made the cut on the number at The Open and was out for an early Saturday morning stroll at Carnoustie when, all of a sudden, he started putting together one great shot after another.

    There was no pressure. No one had expected anything from someone so far off the lead. Yet Rose shot 30 on the final nine holes to turn in 7-under 64, the lowest round of the championship. By day’s end he was five shots behind a trio of leaders that included Jordan Spieth.

    Rose followed the 64 with a Sunday 69 to tie for second place, two shots behind winner Francesco Molinari. His 133 total over the weekend was the lowest by a shot, and for a moment he thought he had a chance to hoist the claret jug, until Molinari put on a ball-striking clinic down the stretch with birdies on 14 and 18.

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    “I just think having made the cut number, it’s a great effort to be relevant on the leaderboard on Sunday,” said Rose, who collected his third-career runner-up in a major. He’s also finished 12th or better in all three majors this year.

    In the final round, Rose was well off the pace until his second shot on the par-5 14th hole hit the pin. He had a tap-in eagle to move to 5 under. Birdie at the last moved him to 6 under and made him the clubhouse leader for a few moments.

    “It just proves to me that I can play well in this tournament, that I can win The Open,” Rose said. “When I’m in the hunt, I enjoy it. I play my best golf. I don’t back away.

    “That was a real positive for me, and it renewed the love of The Open for me.”