Janzen Mediate Sneak Out Shootout Victory

By George WhiteNovember 24, 2002, 5:00 pm
Lee Janzen is 38 years old now, far removed from that Baby-Faced Assassin moniker that hung with him earlier when he was winning two U.S. Opens.
The baby face still looks young for the man who is reaching his fourth decade, but his skills remain the same. Janzen looped an 8-iron from 157 yards at the 18th green Sunday and the ball came to rest just four feet away. When scramble partner Rocco Mediate dropped the putt seconds later, they had a birdie, a score of 31-under-par, and the championship of the Franklin Templeton Shootout.
Before he hit, I was really hoping he would hit it a foot, said Janzen.
But he did what he was supposed to do ' he hit it up there where I knew we could make par. Then I had a free run at it.
Janzen and Mediate were tied with the red-hot duo of David Gossett and Matt Kuchar as they played 18. Gossett and Kuchar had birdied the 18th moments before to deadlock the tournament, but Janzens arrow turned out the lights on the youngsters.
Mediate had chipped in with his best drive of the week to begin the hole. He hit first on the second shot with a 7-iron, surprising both he and Janzen by knocking the ball through the green. Janzen hit next, having the advantage of just seeing the 7-iron go long, and his 8-iron was perfect.
I just had a feeling he was going to do something great, said Mediate. I knew he was going to put it up there about five feet. It was time.
Janzen and Mediate birdied the first hole to quickly lead by four shots, but they could only shoot 31 on the front side. Gossett and Kuchar had sizzled on the front side, needing only 28 shots to get around. They birdied every hole the front side except the par-3 eighth.
Scoreboards were scarce on the course, and the first time Janzen and Mediate saw one to check their position was on the 12th. Faced with a sudden sense of urgency, they bore down and played well enough to win.
Meanwhile, Mark OMeara and John Cook came out of the pack with four straight birdies beginning at No. 9, and by the time OMeara dropped the putt at No. 12, they had tied the Janzen-Mediate duo.
But then Mediate took over. He stuck one to five feet on the par-3 12th, then dropped the putt for birdie to nudge him and Janzen back ahead by one. And on the next hole, the short 13th, he lobbed a sand wedge from 94 yards up to six feet. He sunk that one, too, and the Janzen-Mediate combo now were looking at a two-shot lead.
The par-5 14th was Janzens hole. He walloped a 3-iron from 268 yards that reached the green after Mediate had laid up. They had to birdie the 14th because OMeara-Cook and Gossett-Kucher had already birdied, creeping back to within one of the lead. But when Janzen-Mediate two-putted for birdie also, it boosted them back ahead by two shots with only four holes left.
Janzen then striped an 8-iron to five feet and sank the putt at 15, another crucial blow after Gossett had nearly holed out in making the birdie at the par-3 16th. That should have been enough ' except that Gossett and Kuchar continued their birdie binge all the way up to the final hole. Gossetts eight-foot bird at 18 tied Janzen and Mediate at 30-under, with Janzen and Mediate still to play the 18th. But Janzens pressure shot at the last was the shot that won it.
The fact that they were teammates at Florida Southern made it even more sweet. That means everything, said Janzen.
It just doesnt happen that often, when you are close friends for such a long time and you win something like this, said Mediate. You may play a bunch of these things, but to win one is really kind of cool.
Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

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.