Day: 'Don't have any problem' with challenging Open

By Will GrayJune 15, 2015, 11:15 pm

UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. – Jason Day doesn’t just expect a physical and mental grind this week at the U.S. Open. He welcomes it.

While the Aussie has yet to hoist a major trophy, he has had several close calls at this event. Day finished second both in 2011 at Congressional and in 2013 at Merion, then finished T-4 last year at Pinehurst. After logging some practice time this week at Chambers Bay, he anticipates a demanding test from the USGA.

“They're going to be able to set the course up to where I think it's very challenging but in a way that they're going to try and find the best player that's going to win around here. And I don't have any problem with it,” Day said. “I keep saying to people, U.S. Open is all about controlling your attitude, controlling your emotional level and your stress levels out there because it can be a very frustrating week if you let it be.”

Day has a win at the Farmers Insurance Open to go along with three other top-10 finishes this season, but he has been somewhat derailed in recent weeks. He shot a second-round 81 en route to a missed cut at The Players Championship, then missed the cut at Muirfield Village on a course where he is a member.

Day also withdrew from last month’s AT&T Byron Nelson Championship during the pro-am, citing dizziness. He has since undergone a trio of sleep studies, a series of blood tests and an MRI on his head and neck, all of which have yet to pinpoint the source of his issue.

It’s familiar – if unwelcome – territory for Day, who has battled a myriad of ailments in recent years.

“I don’t know what it is, man. Every time I get off to a decent start, there’s something that happens,” he said. “Over the last couple of years, I’ve been fed up with being injured, fed up with sitting out and watching the guys play without me being there.”

While Day is still waiting on a definitive diagnosis from his latest setback, he is eager to return to action on a course that will test his game and challenge his endurance.

“For me personally, I think the biggest thing is not to beat myself out there. You’ve just got to keep grinding and grinding and grinding, and hopefully by Sunday you’re somewhere around the lead,” Day said. “I’ve taken that into every U.S. Open, and I’ve played pretty well. I’m looking forward to trying to get across the line this week.”

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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.