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Houston Open, ANA Inspiration: Tee times, TV schedules

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 27, 2018, 6:40 pm

It's a big week in golf, with the PGA Tour making its last pre-Masters stop, the Houston Open, and the LPGA playing its first major, the ANA Inspiration. Here are the key stats and information for the festivities in Humble, Texas, and Rancho Mirage, Calif. Click here for full-field tee times from the PGA Tour and click here for LPGA tee times.

Houston Open

How to watch:

Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 4-7PM ET; live stream:

Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 4-7PM ET; live stream:

Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 2-3PM ET; live stream:; NBC, 3-6PM ET; live stream:

Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 2-3PM ET; live stream:; NBC, 3-6PM ET; live stream:

Purse: $7 million ($1,260,000 to the winner)

Course: Golf Club of Houston, Tournament Course (par-72; 7,441 yards), Humble, Texas

Defending champion: Russell Henley (-20) by three shots over Sung Kang.

Notables in the field:

Dustin Johnson

• At 10/1 odds, the world No. 1 is a co-second choice (along with Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy) to win the Masters, according to the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.

• Failed to make it out of round-robin play in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

• In five starts this year, has a win, a T-2 and a T-7

• Hit a 489-yard drive at the Match Play, the longest ever recorded in the Shotlink era, but it won't count as a record because statistics at the Match Play don't countas official PGA Tour statistics.

Tiger Woods

• Despite npt playing in the Match Play - he didn't qualify - remains the Masters favorite at 9/1 odds, according to the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.

• In his last three starts has finished 12, T-2 and T-5.

• Ranks sixth in scoring average on the PGA Tour (69.474).

Rory McIlroy

• Failed to make it out of pool play in the Match Play.

• Still, is a co-second choice (with Johnson and Thomas) at 10/1 odds in the Masters.

• In six starts this year, won at Bay Hill but otherwise hasn't finished better than T-20.

ANA Inspiration

How to watch:

Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, noon-4PM ET, 7-9PM ET; live stream:

Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, noon-4PM ET, 7-9PM ET; live stream:

Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 5-9PM ET; live stream:

Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 5-9PM ET; live stream:

Purse: $2.8 million ($420,000 to the winner)

Course: Mission Hills Country Club, Dinah Shore Tournament Course (par-72; 6,763 yards), Rancho Mirage, Calif.

Defending champion: So Yeon Ryu (-14) defeated Lexi Thompson in a playoff.

Notables in the field:

Lexi Thompson

• Last year lost this event in a playoff with Ryu after being involved in a controversy about how she marked one of her putts.

• Was involved in another rules incident last month in the Honda LPGA Thailand, when she mistakenly assumed an advertising sign was a movable obstruction. It wasn't.

• Has made four starts this year, finishing T-2 and T-6 in her two most recent.

So Yeon Ryu

• Defending champion is 29th on the current LPGA money list, with a best finish this year of T-7.

• Looking for her third major, having won the 2011 U.S. Women's Open in addition to last year's ANA Inspiration.

• Is No. 3 in the Rolex Rankings, behind No. 1 Shanshan Feng and No. 2 Thompson.

Michelle Wie

• Is third on the LPGA money list.

• Won the HSBC Women's World Championship in March, her first win since 2014.

• Has finished 11 and T-11 in her two most recent events.  

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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.