Reid valiant in solo effort; U.S. gets on board

By Randall MellJuly 22, 2016, 8:45 pm

GURNEE, Ill. – England squeezed about as much excitement into the single point it won Friday at the UL International Crown as a team could at the Merit Club.

And England’s Mel Reid won about as much respect as a player could losing her dramatic match.

With England learning at day’s start that its star, Charley Hull, was ill and unable to play Friday’s fourballs against Japan, the English showed their grit fighting shorthanded to stay atop the Pool B standings.

Reid took on Japan all by herself in the best-ball format, and she made the Japanese birdie the final hole to beat her, 1 up.

Reid holed a lob wedge from 70 yards for eagle at the 13th to square the match. She played the final nine holes in 6 under. At the last, she rolled in a 35-foot birdie, forcing Haru Nomura to hole a 5-foot birdie to win.

England gained a point with Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Holly Clyburn teaming to halve with Ai Suzuki and Ayaka Watanabe, who missed a 3-foot birdie chance at the 18th that could have vaulted Japan to the top of the Pool B standings.


STANDINGS AFTER DAY 2

POOL A  POINTS W-L-T
Chinese Taipei 6 3-1-0
Republic of Korea 4 2-2-0
Australia 3 1-2-1
China 3 1-2-1
POOL B POINTS W-L-T
England 5 2-1-1
Thailand 4 1-1-2
Japan 4 1-1-2
United States 3 1-2-1

MATCH 9

Australia’s Minjee Lee and Su Oh halved China’s Shanshan Feng and Xi Yu Lin. 

Down nearly the entire back nine, Lee holed a 15-foot birdie at the last to win the hole and halve the match.

MATCH 10

Australia’s Karrie Webb and Rebecca Artis def. China’s Jing Yan and Simin Feng, 2 and 1.

Switching up partners Friday, Webb and Rebecca Artis responded as a new team, never trailing in their match. Artis holed an 8-foot putt for par for a half at the last to close out the match.

MATCH 11

England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Holly Clyburn halved Japan’s Ayaka Watanabe and Ai Suzuki.

Shadoff squared the match with a 15-foot eagle at the 16th, but Watanabe had a 3-foot birdie chance at the last to win the match. Watanabe’s putt slid past.

MATCH 12

Japan’s Haru Nomura and Mika Miyazato def. England’s Mel Reid, 1 up.

With her playing partner suffering from a bout of asthma and fever, Reid fought brilliantly playing alone against Japan’s best fourball team, making Japan birdie the last to beat her 1 up in the best-ball format. Reid wouldn’t go away on the back nine, playing the final nine holes in 6 under.

MATCH 13

The United States’ Stacy Lewis and Gerina Piller halved Thailand’s Mo Jutanugarn and Pornanong Phatlum.

The Americans led most of the way, but Phatlum rolled in a 40-foot birdie putt at the 18th to square the match. Lewis’  birdie chance from 25 feet at the last clipped the left edge of the hole running past.

MATCH 14

The United States’ Lexi Thompson and Cristie Kerr def. Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn and Porani Chutichai, 4 and 3.

Thompson and Kerr were on fire, combining to make 14 birdies. They birdied 11 of the first 12 holes on their best ball.

MATCH 15

Korea’s So Yeon Ryu and Sei Young Kim def. Chinese Taipei’s Yani Tseng and Teresa Lu, 4 and 2.

Sei Young Kim birdied the first and the Koreans never trailed. Kim closed out the rout making eagle at the 16th.

MATCH 16

Chinese Taipei’s Candie Kung and Ssu-Chia Cheng def. Korea’s In Gee Chun and Amy Yang, 2 and 1.

A big upset by Chinese Taipei as Chun and Yang are both among the top 10 in the Rolex world rankings. Kung is No. 33 and Cheng No. 160. 

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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.