Press Pass Can Monty Contend at Carnoustie

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 11, 2007, 4:00 pm
Press PassEach week, GOLF CHANNEL experts and analysts offer their thoughts and opinions on hot topics in the world of golf with the Press Pass.
 
Hot Topic
With his win in Europe this past week, can Colin Montgomerie be a serious contender for the Open Championship at Carnoustie?
 
Brian Hewitt Brian Hewitt - Columnist, GOLFCHANNEL.com:
The win means Monty is on form and that's always important. But his record at Open Championships is spotty at best. I can think of 20 guys I would immediately pick ahead of Montgomerie for Carnoustie. I don't see a win at a major for Monty now or ever. His best chances, most notably U.S. Opens in 1992 and 1994, and PGA 1995, are behind him.
 
Steve Sands Steve Sands - Reporter, GOLF CHANNEL:
Yes, Colin can make a run at Carnoustie. As straight as he drives the ball, Colin, when he has confidence, which he should have after his win at the K Club, should be able to contend for that ever-elusive first major championship next week in his home country. What a story that would be!
 
Mercer Baggs Mercer Baggs - Senior Producer, GOLFCHANNEL.com:
I've always been surprised at Monty's relatively poor results in this particular major. His best chance to win at Carnoustie will be to hang around relatively quietly for three rounds, shoot a great number on Sunday, and watch as others fade to hand him the title.
 
Hot Topic
This week is the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond. Should the European Tour use a more links-style venue as a British Open lead-in to attract an even greater field?
 
Hewitt:
This is an interesting question and to answer it you have to begin by pointing out how few true links courses there are on the European Tour schedule. It's probably more important to a lot of players that Loch Lomond, being in Scotland, is always a conveneient commute to any course in the Open rota. Tiger, by the way, never plays Loch Lomond. He has chosen, on several occasions, to spend the week prior to the Open Championship playing links golf in Ireland.
 
Sands:
I think it'd be great if links golf was used the week before the British Open. But like the PGA TOUR, money and sponsors dictate things on the European Tour and I would imagine Loch Lomond is the venue because of both factors. I do not think it matters what style the course is as far getting more Americans. Players from here are either going to go over or they're not. It's seems to me that it's a personal choice made for scheduling reasons around a major and not the style of course.
 
Baggs:
Americans just don't like to travel outside of their country to play golf unless they have to. It's sad, really. I'd love to see a links-style venue host the precursor to the Open. And I'd love to see more Americans flock over to play it. But that's not likely to happen. Many just prefer to come over a couple of days before the Open, acclimate, and then get ready for the championship on their own schedule.
 
Hot Topic
With the Presidents Cup in Montreal, should Mike Weir be selected for the International Presidents Cup team regardless of his form or standing?
 
Hewitt:
This is a special situation. Weir is a special player. And Canada is a special venue because of the avidness of its golf fans. Memo to International captain Gary Player: Throw past performance out the window. Pick Weir. Look what happened when the Europeans made a sentimental pick of Darren Clarke at last year's Ryder Cup in Ireland. It was an inspiration.
 
Sands:
Mike Weir should absolutely be on the Presidents Cup team. He is the face of Canadian golf and is a national hero there. End of story.
 
Baggs:
Without question. All Gary Player -- and Jack Nicklaus -- talks about is how the Presidents Cup is NOT the Ryder Cup. That this competition is one of sportsmanship and building the game, not gamesmanship and winning at any cost. If he really believes that, he'll select Weir regardless of his form. Weir is a national icon and his presence will definitely be a boost to the competition.
 
This past weeks U.S. Senior Open was held at Whistling Straits. Would you like to see more majors awarded to newer venues or stick with the older, more renowned courses?
 
Hewitt:
I'd like to see a mixture. Would love to see the Senior Open at Pacific Dunes in Oregon. Also, I don't think the USGA needs to hold the feet of the over-50 guys to the fire so much in terms of course set-up. Remember, a lot of those feet are tired.
 
Sands:
If the new golf courses chosen are worthy, like Whistling Straits is, I love seeing new courses host the biggest events. I also love the tradition of the old courses. As long as majors are held at great courses I like the mix between young and old.
 
Baggs:
I'd love to see some newer courses used to host major championships, especially on the Champions and LPGA tours. These two tours need a little extra publicity during their majors, and the use of an oft-talked about, but rarely/never played venue can add some interest.
 
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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.