All For One Green Jacket

By Golf Channel NewsroomApril 12, 2003, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) -- The Masters roared to life Saturday behind an unlikely leader -- Jeff Maggert -- and a familiar charge by Tiger Woods, who was one putt away from going home and wound up in great position to make history. Maggert overcame a double bogey on No. 11 with five birdies over his final six holes for a 6-under 66, giving him a two-stroke lead over fast-fading Mike Weir.
 
'This is a position you dream about,' said Maggert, who has never held the 54-hole lead in a major championship.
 
Woods, fighting for the right to keep playing, made the cut on the number and then blitzed Augusta National for a bogey-free 66 that left him only four shots behind.
 
No one has ever won three straight Masters. No one has ever trailed by 11 shots after 36 holes and gone on to win at Augusta National.
 
None of this seemed plausible when Woods stood behind a small pine tree in the ninth fairway on his final hole of the second round. He managed to squeeze a shot under the shoulder-high branches and scratch out a par just to make the cut.
 
That was only the appetizer on a spectacular day of sunshine and golf, which proved to be far more appealing than a tepid protest against Augusta National's all-male membership that took place a half-mile down the road.
 
Sunday was shaping up to be even better.
 
Maggert has won only once in the previous nine times he has led going into the final round, and there were plenty of stars lurking behind.
 
Weir, who had a six-stroke lead at one point, staggered home with a 39 on the back for a 3-over 75 and was at 213.
 
Vijay Singh, who won the Masters three years ago, and former PGA champion David Toms each had 70 and were another stroke back.
 
Woods had some familiar company at 1-under 215 -- Phil Mickelson, who made crucial par putts on the final three holes, the last from 20 feet that suspended on the back lip of the cup before falling. That gave Lefty a 72 and another chance to win his first major.
 
Cheers crisscrossed Augusta National, but they were never far from Woods.
 
He started the third round at 5-over par with 42 players in front of him. When he played the last of his 26 holes Saturday, he was in a tie for fifth.
 
Woods proved to be a prophet.
 
'If I can be even par or under par, I'll be right where I need to be,' he said after walking off the ninth green, relieved to have made his 102nd consecutive cut.
 
He is right there, four strokes and four players separating him from slipping on the green jacket for the third straight year.
 
It was quite a show -- unlike the demonstrations down Washington Road.
 
Martha Burk had been pointing to Saturday of the Masters for her National Council of Women's Organizations' protest.
 
About 40 people joined the cause, a group that was outnumbered by police and media.
 
'You've got to make a choice -- is it discrimination or is it dollars,' Burk said, threatening to boycott companies whose executives belong to the club. 'Today we are protesters with placards. Tomorrow, women will protest with their pocketbooks.'
 
People will probably pay top dollar for a Masters ticket Sunday.
 
While Woods commanded most of the attention, he was among 16 players within six shots of the lead going into the final round.
 
Two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal, a forgotten man in golf this year, quietly crept into contention with a 71 and also was at 1-under 215.
 
Len Mattiace (69), Jim Furyk (71) and Jonathan Byrd (71), who grew up about 30 miles away in South Carolina and is playing his first Masters, were at 216.
 
As usual, Amen Corner was up to its old tricks.
 
Woods finally found some momentum at No. 11 by holing a 50-foot birdie putt that made a left turn as it got to the hole and dropped. On the par-5 13th, his second shot somehow stayed out of the water and he chipped close for birdie.
 
Others weren't so fortunate.
 
Former British Open champion Paul Lawrie was four strokes out of the lead until Amen Corner left him cursing -- a double bogey on No. 12, a triple bogey on the 13th.
 
U.S. Amateur champion Ricky Barnes, the first amateur in 42 years to play in the final two groups on the weekend at the Masters, was also at 2 under and zeroing in on the lead when he took double bogey on the 12th.
 
Barnes shot 40 on the back for a 75 and was at 2-over 218.
 
Weir paid a steep price. His approach into the 11th plugged into the side of the hill inside the hazard line, and he played a delicate shot to limit the damage to a bogey. Two holes later, he went for the 13th green and landed in Rae's Creek to make another bogey.
 
The tenacious Canadian is far from out of it. He has trailed going into the final round in all five of his PGA Tour victories, two of them earlier this year.
 
Maggert was a victim, too, when he took double bogey on No. 11. With quiet confidence, he struck back quietly.
 
His birdie blitz might have been a real show-stopper if Maggert had not three-putted for par on the 15th. Still, he hit his tee shot to five feet on the par-3 16th, made the first birdie of the round on No. 17 from 15 feet and closed out his 66 from 20 feet on the 18th.
 
The tone was set early, when 75 players returned to complete the second round under blazing blue skies.
 
For a while, it appeared as though history might be revisited.
 
A three-putt bogey from 25 feet on No. 8 put Woods on the verge of missing the cut, just as Jack Nicklaus did in 1967 when he was trying to win his third straight Masters.
 
Woods was 5 over -- right on the cut line -- when he sprayed his drive behind a pine tree that blocked his path to the green. He hit a waist-high shot that ran up the slope and dropped into a bunker, then calmly blasted out to three feet above the hole.
 
If he missed, his chances were over.
 
'That putt was either going in or going off the green,' Woods said.
 
He powered it in the right side for perhaps the most important par he has ever made at the Masters. Woods was still 11 strokes behind Weir, but still in the game.
 
Weir finished with a 68 and had a four-stroke lead after 36 holes, the first time a Canadian has been in the lead at the Masters since Stan Leonard in 1959.
 
The sun was out, big names lit up the scoreboard, and the Masters finally felt like its old self after a week of rain. Though the protest site was a short walk down the road from Magnolia Lane, it seemed so far away.
 
'Do you think any of these people care what's going on out there?' Nicklaus said. 'That's the bottom line. None of these people really care what's going on outside the gates of this club. Come on. It's a golf tournament.'
 
And by the look of it Saturday, not just any tournament.
 
Related Links:
  • 2003 Masters Tournament Mini-Site
  • Tournament Coverage
  • Photo Gallery
  • Augusta National Course Tour
  • The Augusta National Membership Debate: A Chronology
     
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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.