Kiddie Corps Bolts to Top in LPGA

By George WhiteDecember 8, 2005, 5:00 pm
It wasnt so long ago ' actually only three or four years ' that the LPGA was going through an identity crises. The PGA Tour looked like the fountain of youth with its Sergio Garcias, its Charles Howells and Matt Kuchars and Notah Begays.
The LPGA? They didnt have much in the category of top-flight young players. Oh, there were Karrie Webb and Se Ri Pak, but still dominating were the older players ' Juli Inkster, Meg Mallon, Rosie Jones, Beth Daniel.
Paula Creamer
Paula Creamer is at the front of a youth movement on the LPGA Tour.
My, my, how times have changed. Now its the PGA Tour whose well of hot young players seems to have dried up. And look at the LPGA. Its roster of impressive young talent looks like the came right out of prep school.
Which, in fact, they have. The list of players who are under 21 is better than its ever been. Stretch the age limit to 25 and you have most of the great young talent in the LPGA covered.
Start with the money list leaders from this year. Of course no one is within light years of the regal Miss, Annika Sorenstam. But beyond her, the list of leaders gets crowded in a hurry.
Start with the No. 2 money-winner, Paula Creamer. She took time out from the tour this summer to attend her high school graduation. She won twice and played a pivotal role for the U.S. in the Solheim Cup. Did I mention that she is just four months past her 19th birthday?
Cristie Kerr is the old lady at 28, and doesnt that sound a little strange? The only man on the top 10 in PGA Tour money who is younger than that is 25-year-old Garcia. In fact, after Dec. 30 when Tiger Woods turns 30, only Garcia will be in his 20s among the top 14 tour money-winners.
But go down the LPGAs top 10 No. 4 is Lorena Ochoa, who is just 24; so is Jeong Jang, who is No. 5; No. 6 Natalie Gulbis is only 22; No. 7 Meena Lee is 24, No. 8 Hee-Won Han is 27, and No. 9 Gloria Park is 25. You have to go all the way down to No. 10 to get to another woman in her 30s ' 36-year-old Catriona Matthew.
Creamer at 19 would be expected to have a very long, very successful career in the LPGA after Sorenstam finally decides to call it a career. But look at the just-completed tour-school graduates. Creamer had better not relax ' a lot of young women right around her age are coming to the tour shortly.
Leading the onslaught is Q-school champion Ai Miyazato, who is just 20 years old. Ai won six times in Japan this year, 12 times in the past three years. The Okinawan stands just 5-feet-2, but she makes up for her lack of size with tremendous putting and iron play.
How good is she? She won the Q-school by a whopping 12 strokes. That kicked the stuffings out of the old record. No one has approached this serious a drubbing since the LPGA started its Q-school in 1973.
Other Q-school grads were Morgan Pressel (17) and Brittany Lang (19) ' they tied for second at the U.S. Women's Open as amateurs last year ' and Julieta Granada, who has a long line of amateur titles in addition to winning on the Futures Tour this summer. Left out of the womens mix is Michelle Wie, who just turned 16.
Na Ri Kim, 20, and Shinobu Moromizato, 19, will add to the LPGA tour's Asian presence next year. Kim is from Seoul, South Korea, and Moromizato also is from Okinawa.
The men? The top 10 is composed of Garcia and a bunch of 30- and 40-year-olds. Woods, as mentioned, is just days away from his 30th birthday. Kenny Perry is 45, Bart Bryant is 43, Vijay Singh is 42. David Toms is 38, Chris DiMarco 37, Retief Goosen 36, and Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk 35.
Experience, perhaps, is all-important to the male pros. To the women, however, nothing can take the place of youth.
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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.