Woods bounces back after rough start with 3-under 68

By Ryan Reiterman July 30, 2015, 11:48 pm

GAINESVILLE, Va. – With three bogeys in the first four holes, it looked like Tiger Woods was heading toward another terrible day at the office Thursday at the Quicken Loans National.

But in a stunning turnaround, Woods made six birdies – four in a row at one point – and no bogeys, eventually signing for a 3-under 68 that left him five behind co-leaders Ryo Ishikawa and Retief Goosen.

“I didn’t do anything different,” Woods said. “I said stay patient and it will turn, which I did. I turned it around.”

Woods missed the cut at St. Andrews two weeks ago, and then didn’t touch his clubs for a week while he went on vacation with his kids. But he got back to work this week and played three practice rounds, which is not the way he usually warms up for an event.

“It was important for me to get out here and play because everything in West Palm is closed,” Woods said. “Everything is being torn up. It was nice to come here and play.”

The tournament host has been chopping it around for much of the season, and he looked like the 266th-ranked player in the world after four holes. After a birdie at the par-5 5th, however, Woods suddenly began to look like the guy who used to be No. 1.

Woods turned in 1-over 37, and then ignited the crowd at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club with four straight birdies on Nos. 10-13. And it wasn’t that he just made four in a row, it was how he made them.

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For a guy who only a few holes earlier couldn’t find the short grass with a fairway wood, Woods stuck a wedge to 9 feet on 10; hit a towering tee shot at the 187-yard, par-3 11th to 7 feet; smoked a drive on 12 and knocked it to 18 inches; and for his grand finale, Woods blasted out of a fairway bunker on 13 to 11 feet for his sixth birdie of the day.

The long dormant club twirls and leg kicks even made an appearance after smashing tee shots on Nos. 15 and 18.

And even with his miraculous reversal, Woods’ round could have been even better. He hit a poor wedge on the par-5 14th, left his approach out to the right on 15 and missed good birdie chances on 17 (11 feet) and 18 (16 feet).

Now, as they say, comes the hard part. Can Woods play another solid round on Friday and get himself into contention for his first win since the 2013 Bridgestone Invitational? He’ll have a good chance with an early tee time (8:10 a.m. ET), smooth greens and plenty of momentum.

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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.