U.S. reaches singles; weather leaves 5 teams in limbo

By Randall MellJuly 24, 2016, 12:11 am

GURNEE, Ill. – England swept Thailand to clinch a spot in Sunday singles.

The Americans swept Japan to assure their spot.

Chinese Taipei also earned its way into Sunday, but five other teams vying to follow suit remain in limbo with storms suspending play Saturday at the UL International Crown.

Play was suspended at 4:34 local time and never resumed, with play halted for the day at 7:23 p.m. There were just two matches left on the course when play was called, both between Korea and Australia.

Korea’s In Gee Chun and Amy Yang were 1 up on Minjee Lee and Su Oh through 15 holes. In the other match, Korea’s So Yeon Ryu and Sei Young Kim were 2 up on Australia’s Karrie Webb and Rebecca Artis through 14 holes.

Those matches will resume at 8 a.m. ET with the wild-card playoff to follow.

The top two teams from each pool advance to Sunday singles with a playoff determining which country will advance as the wild-card fifth team. The wild-card playoff will feature at least three countries this year as both Japan and Thailand tied for third in Pool B. They will be joined by the third-place team from Pool A.

With three teams assured of making the wild-card playoff, a fourball stroke-play format will be used. One fourball team from each country will tee it up together, going off on the same tee. The low ball wins the hole, with a country’s second ball serving as the tiebreaker.

For example, if China joins Thailand and Japan in the wild card, here’s a possible scenario: Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn and Pornanong Phatlum each make 4, Japan’s Haru Nomura and Mika Miyazato each make 4, and China’s Shanshan Feng makes 4 while Simin Feng makes 5. Thailand and Japan advance to a second playoff hole and China is eliminated.


DAY 3 RESULTS, STANDINGS

(Two suspended matches between Korea and Australia to be finished Sunday morning)

POOL A  POINTS W-L-T
Chinese Taipei 7 3-2-1
China 6 2-2-2
Republic of Korea 4 2-2-0
Australia 3 1-2-1
POOL B POINTS W-L-T
England 9 4-1-1
United States 7 3-2-1
Thailand 4 1-3-2
Japan 4 1-3-2

MATCH 17

England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Holly Clyburn def. Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum and Porani Chutichai, 7 and 5.

Shadoff and Clyburn were on fire, making eight birdies and an eagle over the final nine holes of the match. Shadoff drove the 261-yard sixth hole and made a 40-foot putt for eagle in the middle of that run. She went birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie-birdie starting at the fifth hole.

MATCH 18

England’s Charley Hull and Mel Reid def. Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn and Moriya Jutanugar, 3 and 1.

Hull rebounded strongly from her asthma attack, which kept her out of Friday’s fourballs, and Reid rode the momentum of her strong solo performance Friday. Hull and Reid took control of the match winning four consecutive holes on the front side, going birdie-birdie-eagle-birdie.

MATCH 19

Chinese Taipei’s Candie Kung and Teresa Lu halved China’s Shanshan Feng and Simin Feng.

China won the first three holes, but they didn’t win another hole the rest of the way. In the end, Simin Feng’s 6-foot birdie chance to win slid past the hole.

MATCH 20

China’s Xi Yu Lin and Jing Yan def. Chinese Taipei’s Yani Tseng and Ssu-Chia Cheng, 5 and 4.

Lin and Yan were strong, allowing Chinese Taipei to win just a single hole. Lin and Yan were 8 under through 14 holes on their best ball.

MATCH 21

The United States’ Stacy Lewis and Gerina Piller def. Japan’s Haru Nomura and Mika Miyazato, 3 and 1.

The Americans turned a tight match in their favor late, with Piller holing a 25-foot birdie at the 12th to put the Americans 1 up and Lewis holing a 12-foot eagle putt at the 16th to put them 2 up.

MATCH 22

The United States’ Lexi Thompson and Cristie Kerr def. Japan’s Ai Suzuki and Ayaka Watanabe, 4 and 2.

Thompson and Kerr were on fire Friday, and they didn’t cool off that much Saturday. Over two days, they are 22 under over 31 holes.

MATCH 23

Korea’s In Gee Chun and Amy Yang vs. Japan’s Ai Suzuki and Ayaka Watanabe, suspended.

Korea led 1 up through 15 holes when play was suspended.

MATCH 24

Korea’s So Yeon Ryu and Sei Young Kim vs. Australia’s Karrie Webb and Rebecca Artis, suspended.

Korea led 2 up through 14 holes when play was suspended.

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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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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.