Am Tour: Scott, Stein take home Sr. Jones and Sarazen flight trophies at 2013 Nationals

By Jason DeeganOctober 2, 2013, 3:34 am

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Richard Stein has become used to hanging around leaderboards on the Golf Channel Am Tour.

Stein, 55, of Cheektowaga, N.Y., won the Senior Sarazen Flight (for handicaps 12-15.9) at the Golf Channel Am Tour Senior National Championships at PGA West.

Stein shot a final-round 89 on the Nicklaus Tournament course Tuesday for a 337 total, six shots better than Michael Vogelsberg of Illinois. Stein has finished among the top five in his flight in every tournament he’s played in since joining the Am Tour last year except once. That lone exception, a sixth-place at last year’s national championship, provided motivation throughout the season.

He said playing on the Am Tour has re-energized his enthusiasm for the game.

“I have the potential to play well, but I was very inconsistent,” he said. “When I started playing on Tour, it re-sparked my interest. I started practicing more. The tour is a great thing. At my age, I’m starting to improve again.”

Stein’s father got him into the game when he was 8 years old. He played in amateur tournaments while growing up, even competing against Tiger Woods in the Porter Cup.

“We were at opposite ends of the spectrum (at the event),” he admitted.

Stein won his Am Tour crystal trophy with a steady game on four very tough courses. He only had one birdie the entire tournament, but his play out of the sand kept high numbers at bay.

“I managed to stay out of trouble and avoid the big number. That’s what did it for me,” he said.

His wife, Debbie, supported him throughout the journey, walking every round as a forecaddie. “I have the blisters to prove it,” she said.

Stein said he hopes to keep his game sharp through what could be a snowy off-season near Buffalo, New York. He must prepare for his promotion to the ultra-competitive Hogan flight in 2014.

“We do have a lot of indoor domes, where you can hit 120-yard shots,” he said. “My goal is to work on a few things and sharpen the golf swing and come out and do it again.”

Scott cruises to Sr. Jones flight victory

John Scott held a nine-shot lead heading into the final round of the Senior Jones Flight (for handicaps 16-19.9) at the Golf Channel Am Tour Senior National Championships at PGA West.

That would give him comfort, right?

“It felt more like a burden,” said the 66-year-old Houston resident.

Scott shot a final-round 90 Tuesday on the feared Stadium course, his highest score of the week, but the round was still good enough for a total of 348, five shots better than Florida’s Charlie James, who made a charge with an 84.

Scott said learning to manage his nerves in his first Am Tour national final wasn’t easy. It was his first Am Tour win since one in 2009, the year he joined the circuit.

“The first two days was like riding a bike,” he said. “The last two days was like learning to snow ski when you have never been before. It was like I never hit a mid-iron before.”

Scott, who owns an insurance agency, started playing golf in college after his baseball practices at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas. He played baseball (as a second baseman) left-handed but plays golf right-handed.

Scott played conservative with such a big lead. “I kept it in the fairway and out of the bunkers, and I made some putts,” he said.

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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.