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Henderson leads by one in the Bahamas

By Randall MellJanuary 26, 2018, 12:30 am

Brooke Henderson relished winning twice last year, but she was frustrated that she somehow still managed to slip out of the top 10 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings.

With five players taking turns holding the No. 1 ranking in 2017, Henderson watched the door to the top spot open more widely than it ever has in the women’s game, and it motivated her this offseason to work to get in the mix for it.

She didn’t have to wait long for a reward.

With a 5-under-par 68 in heavy winds Thursday, Henderson took the first-round lead at the LPGA’s season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic. Sarah Jane Smith and rookie Luna Sobron Galmes were in the clubhouse one shot back when play was halted because of darkness with 12 players still on the course. Rolex world No. 1 Shanshan Feng and Danielle Kang were among six players two shots back.

Lexi Thompson opened with a 72 and sits tied for 13th.

Full-field scores from the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic

Henderson, who climbed as high as world No. 2 after winning the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in 2016, opens this year at No. 14. She slipped out of the top 10 last year despite winning the Meijer Classic and McKayson New Zealand Women’s Open.

“I was a little disappointed with that,” Henderson told during the offseason. “But I know if I get a few wins early and some great finishes, I can start to move up back up. I want to get back in the top 10 and hopefully fight for that No. 1 spot in the near future.”

Henderson, 20, is in early position to win her sixth LPGA title.

“I just got off to a slow start in 2017, which is the complete opposite of 2016,” Henderson said.

Henderson was bogey free Thursday in tough conditions. She worked to polish up her short game in the off season, and there were early rewards. She kept her scorecard clean getting up and down six times in the first round.

“Putting was extremely difficult,” Henderson said. “My hat felt like it was falling off all the time, and it was just hard to have good balance and be over the ball for that long, and have a good stroke on it. I think by Sunday, we will all be pretty good wind players.”

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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.