Spieth leads; Woods in last place at World Challenge

By Ryan LavnerDecember 4, 2014, 10:14 pm

WINDERMERE, Fla. – Jordan Spieth picked up where he left off Thursday, shooting a 6-under 66 to take a one-shot lead after the first round of the Hero World Challenge. Here’s the skinny on Round 1 at Isleworth Country Club:

The leaderboard: Jordan Spieth (-6); Henrik Stenson, Zach Johnson, Steve Stricker and Rickie Fowler at -5; Graeme McDowell, Hideki Matsuyama, Jimmy Walker at -4

What it means: Coming off his second pro title last week in Australia, Spieth kept on rolling with a seven-birdie performance that put him in position to end the year on a high note. The 21-year-old has already achieved two of his three goals for 2014 – contend in a major and make the Ryder Cup team – and now is in position to knock off the third one, too: win multiple events.

Round of the day: After an opening birdie, Spieth made five birdies in a row around the turn to take the lead, then added another birdie on the reachable 13th to post 6 under and take the first-round lead. It wasn’t quite the 63 that he shot in the final round of the Australian Open, but his 66 on a tough golf course was an auspicious start.

Best of the rest: Like Spieth, Henrik Stenson continued to build off his late-season momentum on Thursday. The world No. 2 and Orlando resident won the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai in his most recent event, then posted seven birdies in the opening round here to sit just one shot off the lead. Defending champion Zach Johnson recovered from three early bogeys by shooting a back-nine 30 and opening 67.

Biggest disappointment: Tournament host Tiger Woods, playing his first competitive round in nearly four months, looked awful around the greens on his way to shooting an opening 77 – four shots worse than the next nearest competitor. Rust was to be expected in Woods’ first appearance since the PGA, but the short-game sloppiness took even the former world No. 1 by surprise.

Biggest storyline to watch on Friday: Can Woods show any signs of life on Friday? He probably already shot himself out of contention, but with three good rounds he might be able to position himself for a decent finish.

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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.