Am Tour: Spencer makes the most of his retirement

By Brandon TuckerSeptember 15, 2014, 9:16 pm

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It's safe to say that Wayne Spencer is making the most of his first year of retirement.

Spencer, 66, from Moreno, Calif. is competing in his 48th Golf Channel Am Tour event of the year this week at the Senior National Championship in Scottsdale. Perhaps his motivation might be explained with a famous quote from Shawshank Redemption:

Get busy livin' or get busy dyin.'

"I didn't want to spend my first year of retirement sitting in front of the TV," explained Spencer as to his aggressive 2013-14 golf schedule. He hadn't played much golf at all in the past few years, so he used a full Am Tour slate as a way of immersing himself back into the game, where he plans to spend much of his retirement. A glance at his season results show far more rounds in the 90s earlier in the season than lately, where scores in the high 70s and low 80s are more commonplace.

This week he's competing in the Sr. Hogan flight (handicaps 8-11.9).

Spencer's big year back into the game has been full of highlights, as he covered much of the west coast in search of competition. He won five local events and competed in eight majors, which included two Top-3 finishes. His last event leading up to Nationals, the Southern California Tour Championship at Barona Creek in San Diego, was one of them, where he shot a steady 81-82 over two days.

As for whether he'll keep up the iron man scheduling in 2015: 

"Next year I'll be a little more selective with my tournaments," he said.

There are other players this week with prolific seasons, but they're not all retired. Michael Feeny, from Corona, Calif., competed in 34 events this season.

"This isn't my full-time job," said Feeny, who manages a plastics company. "So I've got to practice a little harder than some of the guys who are retired."

Feeny credits good employees at his company that help him free up the time to compete all over the U.S., including events in Texas and Pinehurst. N.C. His highlights of the year include a 3rd place finish at the Northern California Championship and a 4th place finish at the Western Open, held at 36-hole Grayhawk Golf Club, which makes up two of the four rounds at Nationals this week.

Feeny is no stranger to the four-day Nationals tournament, as this is his 8th appearance. He says there's actually less pressure at nationals because more rounds mean more chance to make up for bad holes, and it's simply just more fun than other events. His previous Nationals finishes have included a little bit of everything.

"I finished 3rd in the Sarazen flight one year," he said (he now competes one flight higher in the Hogan (8-11.9 handicaps). "And I was DQ'd another year..."

Other players competing this week with busy years on the books include Orlando's Michael Brooks, who competed in 41 events. He finds himself T-23 after the first round of the Sr. Jones flight, ten shots off the lead held by Michigan's Greg Harris.

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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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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.