Elder Continues Quest in Mississippi
A large group of golfers, however, are sitting on his heels, just two off Elders 12-under par pace. Brad Faxon, Deane Pappas, Luke Donald, Cameron Beckman and Jonathan Byrd each closed out Friday at 10-under par.
Elders round was filled with ups and downs, much like his short PGA Tour career, as his bid to remain on tour for the 2003 season rests with no less than him posting a victory here at the Annandale Golf Club.
He started in good fashion with birdies on his two first holes as he played the back nine first. He added another at both the 15th and 18th to make the turn at 4-under, and thats where the ride really began.
He bogeyed the second to drop to 10-under but then responded with a fantastic three-hole stretch, going birdie-birdie-eagle to get to 14-under. After a par at the sixth, he stumbled in with a pair of bogeys on two of his last three holes.
'The gap is getting smaller between the best and the players in the top 125,' said the Elder, who is currently ranked 173rd on the money list. 'I think I have enough game to go out and win. It's a matter of staying patient and staying positive. You have 36 holes left, there's a lot that can happen.'
His scorecard showed him having eight pars, six birdies, three bogeys and an eagle, and, most importantly, the lead.
'I love playing here,' said Elder. 'I think it's a great golf course. You have to drive the ball well, you have to hit good iron shots, not to mention putting. It's a combination of everything. I'm hitting it well and swinging better at it.'
Faxon carded his second straight 67, this time going bogey-free, to jump into a tie for second.
Beckman, the defending champion, followed up Thursdays 66 with a 4-under 68. Pappas, Donald and Byrd likewise posted rounds of 66-68.
'I'm trying to be positive, to think about the shots I hit last year,' said Beckman. 'I'm playing a little different this year, but I love this golf course.'
Kirk Triplett and Chad Campbell are together in a tie for seventh, only three back of Elder. Campbell enjoyed one of the days best rounds, carding a 6-under 66 to move up from 25th.
Jeff Maggert is one of five players in a group that are within four shots the lead at 8-under.
Full-field scoring from the Southern Farm Bureau Classic
Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish
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.
Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him
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.
Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter
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.
Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose
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.
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.