Phoenix Wide Open

By Golf Channel NewsroomJanuary 25, 2003, 5:00 pm
A desert shootout should be expected in the final round of the Phoenix Open.
 
Twenty players are within five shots of Harrison Frazars lead heading to Super Sunday. Frazar shot 4-under 67 Saturday to retain first place, a position hes held since opening in a career-best 62.
 
The 31-year-old oft-injured Texan is at 17-under-par 196. He leads John Huston (66) and Tim Petrovic (68) by one.
 
'The names on the leaderboard behind me are pretty stout, so you know they're going to be coming after me,' said a cautious Frazar.
 
Retief Goosen (65), Vijay Singh (65) and local resident Kirk Triplett (63) are all two off the pace.
 
David Toms, who shot 63, is tied with three others at 14-under. Defending champion Chris DiMarco and three-time winner Mark Calcavecchia (66) are in a group of five at 13-under.
 
DiMarco shot a course-record 28 on the back nine en route to a 62. He had four birdies and a pair of eagles coming home.
 
'One day somebody will go real low, and there'll be somebody different the next day,' Huston said. 'You just have to stay close enough to the lead to where you can shoot good tomorrow and win.'
 
This is the first time since his rookie season that Frazar has held the 54-hole lead.
 
He was in front after three rounds of the 1998 MasterCard Colonial, but closed in 71 to finish five strokes behind winner Tom Watson.
 
In the years since, Frazar has dealt with an array of injuries from a broken hand to a stress fracture in his lower back to torn muscles in his hip.
 
This week, though, he said he's feeling better than ever, and it's easy to see in his scores of 62-67-67.
 
Saturday, Frazar, who started the day tied for the lead with Petrovic, was one stroke clear when he pulled his tee shot on the par-4 11th into the left water hazard. He managed to make bogey and fell into a share of first, at 15-under, with Petrovic and Huston.
 
Each of the three moved to 16-under in increments. Huston made a four-foot birdie at 14, and then parred his way into the house. Frazar two-putted the par-5 13th for birdie. And Petrovic, after saving par despite hitting his approach shot on the par-5 15th into the drink right of the green, birdied the raucous par-3 16th.
 
At the 332-yard, par-4 17th, Frazar hit a 3-wood just short of the putting surface. He chipped up to seven feet and made the putt to grab sole possession of the lead entering the final round.
 
Saturday's attendance at the TPC of Scottsdale was a reported 140,700. That number should drop Sunday, however, as the tournament is scheduled to conclude just minutes before the start of Super Bowl XXXVII.
 
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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.