Greensboro presents new challenge for Woods

By Ryan Reiterman August 19, 2015, 5:20 pm

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Tiger Woods is in an unusual spot this week.

First of all, he's here in Greensboro, at an event he's never played. Normally he would be resting up for the FedEx Cup playoffs after back-to-back weeks at Firestone and the PGA.

But as we all know this season has been anything but normal for Woods. He didn't qualify for a trip to Akron, an event he's won eight times. And he missed the cut last week at the PGA, his third straight missed cut in a major.

So after no top-10s in 10 events, and his world ranking at No. 286, the 14-time major champion finds himself at the Wyndham Championship needing a win, or possibly a solo second, to just get into the first event of the playoffs, next week's Barclays in Edison, N.J.

But after a hit-and-giggle pro-am round with a group that included L.A. Clippers point guard, and Wake Forest alum, Chris Paul, Woods seemed upbeat about teeing it up at Sedgefield C.C.

"This is fun," Woods said. "I don't get a chance to play a golf course that I get to use my 2-iron anymore."

Woods has been cramming for this event in the last 24 hours. After officially committing on Monday, he played nine holes late Tuesday afternoon and tried to gain some local knowledge from Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III, who's a two-time Greensboro champion and UNC alum.

"Lot of holes where Davis was saying you hit 3-iron, 4-iron off the tees, we're hitting 2-irons and 3-woods today because it's so wet," Woods said. "And with the forecast, thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon, it's not going to get any better. Pretty wet week."

Woods' biggest concern, however, will be trying to learn the breaks on these slick Donald Ross greens.

"I hadn't putted on Bermuda greens that are this fast in a very long time, probably not since my greens in the backyard right before Augusta," he said. "We get them running about 15, 16 [on the Stimpmeter]. But Bermuda doesn't really get like this. Even with the rain, they're really fast."

It will be another new test in a week, and season, full of them for Woods.

He tees off Thursday morning at 7:50 a.m. ET with Brooks Koepka and Hideki Matsuyama.

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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.