Ordinary Joe Extraordinary Performance

By George WhiteMarch 4, 2001, 5:00 pm
Hal Sutton was the first to fall, suffering a couple of front-nine bogeys and dropping by the wayside early. Mike Weir did likewise, though he stuck around until the back nine, still riding the wave of a first-round 62.
 
Durant comments on his Genuity Championship win.
 
Rushing up alongside was Joe Durant, who eagled the first, birdied the second, dropped a clutch 12-footer for par on the third, then made birdie on the fourth. That told everyone he was in the game with the big boys. Then he slammed it into overdrive, firing a remarkable 65 on a windy day more suited for sea gulls than golfers. That was more than enough to win the Genuity Championship Sunday.
 
Durant did this somewhat backwards. On Thursday and Friday, when golfers were carving up Doral like so much Swiss cheese, Durant shot a quiet 68 and 70. On the weekend, though, when Doral?s infamous winds began swirling, Durant acted like he had found his niche. He shot 12-under-par for the weekend, his 67-65 earning him a two-shot win over Weir. While everyone else had fits trying to decipher the two- to three-club gusts, Durant found he was right at home.
 
'It's a dream come true for me,' said Durant. 'I have always wanted to play the Tour since I was seven years old. To have played this well this year is beyond anything I would have imagined, to be quite honest.
 
'I felt like I was good enough to win out here, but until you do it, you never know. But the last couple of weeks have been just unbelievable for me.'
 
Durant became the first multiple winner of the year with the victory at Doral. It followed by two weeks his win at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. Since he didn't play at the Nissan Open last week, it was the second win in succession for Durant, who lives in Molino, Fl., near Pensacola.
 
The first hole should have been a tipoff that Durant was up to something. He eagled the par-5 hole with a driver, 6-iron and a 15-foot putt. He birdied No. 2 with another 15-footer and dropped a 30-foot bomb on the field on No. 4.
 
Durant was still two shots behind Weir after both birdied the par-5 8th, but Durant slowly tightened the noose on the par-3 9th when the Canadian bogeyed. And Durant was absolutely relentless on the back, tying for the lead when Weir followed No. 9 with a bogey on the par-5 10th. Durant finally grabbed the lead with a birdie at the par-5 12th and amassed a three-stroke advantage until he finally bogeyed the final hole with a three-putt bogey, his first slip the final 36 holes.

Obviously, Joe played a phenomenal round of golf today in those conditions, said a disappointed Weir. Sixty-five is a hell of a score. My hat is off to him. He played a great round of golf.
 
Durant sees just one difference in his game putting. He's hitting the same shots the same length in approximately the same place. But the ball is going into the cup now.
 
My stats probably aren't that much different these weeks from other weeks, but the putts have gone in versus rimming out or three-putting or not getting up-and-down, he said.
 
Seems the last two tournaments, the times I needed to get up-and-down to keep a round going, I have been able to do that. I have made a lot of eight- to 20-footers, whereas that is the distance I usually struggle with. I usually am a good short putter, but that range of putt I don't tend to make that many of. I have just made a bunch of them the last two weeks.
 
The win vaults Durant over Davis Love III into first place in the PGA Tour money standings. He also had to finish first or second this week to get into the Masters, and his win does that for him, too.
 
The Masters, he admits, was the furthest thing from his mind three weeks ago before his win at the Bob Hope. He didn't have a flicker of hope before then. 'Absolutely not,' said Durant. 'I was trying to get into the top 70 and Bay Hill. I am serious. I was. That is what I was shooting for on the West Coast. That's just strange how things can happen.'
 
News, Notes and Numbers
*With his victory, Joe Durant moves to 11th on the 2001 Ryder Cup points list.
 
*Stephen Ames withdrew from the event early in the fourth round Sunday. Ames was handling a duffle bag Saturday night when he pulled a rib muscle. He tried to play, but withdrew after six holes.
 
Click here for Joe Durant's interview transript!
 
Mike Weir comments on his runner-up finish.
 
See Full-Field scores from the Genuity Championship here.
 
More Information on the Florida Swing.
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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.


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.