Rain Postpones First Round of Masters

By Golf Channel NewsroomApril 10, 2003, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) -- The first round of the Masters was called off Thursday because of a water-logged course and the threat of thunderstorms. Tiger Woods' quest for a third straight green jacket is now set to begin Friday at Augusta National Golf Club.
 
Officials hope to get in 36 holes Friday, though more rain was expected in the morning.
 
It was the first time since 1939 that the opening round was postponed because of rain.
 
Heavy showers have fallen on Augusta since Sunday. The course didn't open for practice Monday, and the popular par-3 contest was rained out Wednesday.
 
The club did its best to get the first round in. The scheduled 8:10 AM EDT start time was pushed back 30 minutes in an attempt to get the course in shape.
 
Weather WarningEarly Thursday, the start time was moved back again to 11 AM. About 10 minutes before play was to begin, officials announced that no golf would be played.
 
It was ugly out there - the course was too wet to play, more thunderstorms were expected and the temperature wasn't expected to crack 50 degrees
 
After the storm front moves through, warm, sunny days are expected this weekend.
 
But it figures to be a grueling tournament, and the best-conditioned players will certainly have an advantage on a 36-hole day.
 
'We're going to play about 15,000 yards and about 10,000 of it is going to be wet,' Rocco Mediate. 'Fitness is a good thing.'
 
Scott Hoch was strolling to the driving range when the announcement came.
 
'My approach stays the same, whether it's a regular PGA Tour, the Masters or the British Open. I just go out and play,' Hoch said. 'Thirty-six holes doesn't bother me. I'm old, but I'm in good shape.
 
Now, instead of working on his short game, Hoch had to decide what movie to see with his wife.
 
'I'm sure there are some things she wants to see,' He said. 'There's some things I want to see, too. I usually just have to work with her on that.'
 
It was the first time an entire round was postponed since 1983, when rain washed out Friday's play.
 
Rain now joins the list of other themes running concurrently at this year's Masters - Woods' pursuit of a third straight victory and Martha Burk's protest against the club's all-male membership.
 
The sun disappeared Sunday morning, replaced by persistent rain. The golf course was closed on Monday, and practice was limited the next two days.
 
Many fans were coated with mud on their way out of the course. Some cars struggled to escape the gooey parking lots.
 
The driving range remained open even after play was called. Players would hit a shot, then duck back under their umbrellas in a futile attempt to stay dry.
 
'If I can, I want to practice a little, hit a few balls, get used to the greens and go from there,' two-time Masters winner Bernhard Langer said.
 
With all the rain, Augusta National figures to play longer than ever - another advantage for Woods in his pursuit of history.
 
'It favors someone who is hitting the ball high and long and straight,' Woods said Wednesday. 'You've got to keep the ball in the fairway, but you've got to get it out there.'
 
The club already has said players won't be able to lift, clean and place their balls in the fairway. Mud on the ball makes it difficult to control where it's going, and control is everything at Augusta.
 
'Let's face it,' said Ernie Els, a four-time winner this year and expected to be one of the top contenders. 'Tiger's going to be there.'
 
Related Links:
  • Augusta, Ga., Weather
  • 2003 Masters Tournament Mini-Site
  • Tournament Coverage
  • The Augusta National Membership Debate: A Chronology
     

    Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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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.