After Further Review: Bubba's uncommon honesty

By Rex HoggardDecember 7, 2015, 12:32 am

Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. In this edition of After Further Review, our writers weigh in on Bubba Watson's complicated thought processes, Jordan Spieth's diplomacy with the media, and Qualifying School's enduring allure.

Bubba Watson, the man of a million thoughts, is as uniquely talented as he is honest, traits that often are misinterpreted and misunderstood. On Sunday at the Hero World Challenge following a closing 66 for a three-stroke victory, Bubba offered a glimpse into his complicated mind.

“We'll say first shot of the day today, right?” he explained. “In my head, by the time I took it back and by the time I hit the ball and by the time I swing into it, I had fears of a toe hook. I had fears of hitting it in the bunker. I had fears of not cutting it. I had fears of over-cutting it.”

Watson’s struggles, like that homemade swing, are real and common for anyone who has ever played the game. His honesty is what separates him from the rest of the pack. - Rex Hoggard

Jordan Spieth opened this week at the Hero World Challenge saying Tiger Woods was the most influential person to his career. Thank goodness that doesn’t include his interaction with the media.

Spieth could not be a more accommodating superstar. He answers questions with given thought and doesn’t recoil from the post-interview scrum. He’s comfortable and casual.

After his round Sunday, he shook writers’ hands and wished them happy holidays. He probably hasn’t had dinner with them on countless occasions, but you can’t ask for everything. - Mercer Baggs

When the PGA Tour revamped its qualifying system and got rid of Q-School as we knew it, a certain romance to the game was lost. It was only lost in the men’s game, though. The women still have it.

On Sunday at LPGA International, we saw what made the original appeal of Q-School work. We saw players emerge from almost nowhere to make the leap to the best tour in their sport.

We saw a player like Cyna Rodriguez, toiling on the Ladies Philippines Golf Tour and the Taiwan LPGA, win a tour card. We saw Megan Khang, barely 18 years old and playing just her second event as a pro, win full LPGA membership. We saw an amateur named Gaby Lopez make the direct leap from college to the LPGA.

We were reminded how much fun it can be to see players leap to their dream in almost a single bound. - Randall Mell

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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

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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.