Curtis Cup begins Friday in Scotland

By Associated PressJune 7, 2012, 11:21 pm

NAIRN, Scotland – Britain and Ireland captain Tegwen Matthews is confident her eight-woman team can halt the United States' domination of the biennial Curtis Cup, which begins Friday.

The 37th edition of the event between the two teams of female amateur golfers opens with three foursomes matches on the Nairn Golf Club course, east of Inverness in northern Scotland.

Since the inaugural encounter in 1932, the U.S. has won 28 of the 36 Curtis Cups contested, including the past seven.

Matthews, who played in four prior Curtis Cup matches, believes the key to winning back the trophy is getting off to a good start.

''When you're only playing 18 holes you have to get off to a quick start and my team needs to be aware the first three to four holes are very crucial to the whole match,'' she said. ''That's why I've had the girls play those holes up-and-down goodness knows how many times this week. It's the same with the last two to three holes as I've also had them play those last few holes as they are very strong closing holes.''

In a surprise, Charley Hull of England, the world's leading women's amateur, was left out of the opening round of matches. The 16-year-old is the youngest of all 16 women competing and, at No. 4 in the world, she is also the highest ranked.

''There's no particular reason (for Hull's omission) as everyone is playing particular well,'' captain Tegwen Matthews said. ''I need fresh legs every round, so the fact that Charley is not playing in the morning means absolute nothing.''

There was controversy earlier this year when Hull was not on the British and Irish team training squad after accepting an invitation to compete in the first women's major championship of 2012. But after Hull played at the LPGA Kraft Nabisco in California, she was put back on the squad.

In the opening foursomes: American pair Austin Ernst and Brooke Pancake take on Kelly Tidy and Amy Boulden, US duo Amy Anderson and Tiffany Lua meet Holly Clyburn and Bronte Law, and teammates Lindy Duncan and Lisa McCloskey play Leona Maguire and Stephanie Meadow.

U.S. captain Patricia Cornett revealed her team has been inundated with messages of support including one from former President George H.W. Bush.

However Cornett, who played in the 1978 winning team and also the 1988 losing side, was not as outspoken as her rival.

''The matches have always been quite competitive and yes, the Americans have tended to win in the recent past but there was a time back, and I was a member of that team in 1988, when GB&I were winning,'' Cornett said.

''Whenever the matches are over here advantage-wise GB&I are favorites and this year GB&I has a terrific team, so I am looking forward to very competitive matches.''

Leading the Americans is Lindy Duncan of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The 21-year old No. 8-ranked player made the halfway cut in last year's U.S. Women's Open.

But on the U.S. side just one, 21-year old Brooke Pancake of Chattanooga, Tenn., is set to turn professional immediately after Sunday's final round of matches.

''I've been asked a lot if I am going to wait to play in a number of other big amateur events later this year before I turn pro, but I could not think of a better way to end my amateur career than with the Curtis Cup and here in Scotland, and the home of golf,'' Pancake said.

''I have been extremely blessed to have some of the doors open for me being an amateur and hopefully many more will open for me after Sunday as a professional.''

Teams

GB&I: Tegwen Matthews (captain, Wales), Amy Boulden (Wales), Holly Clyburn (England), Charley Hull (England), Bronte Hall( England), Leona Maguire (Ireland), Stephanie Meadow (Northern Ireland), Pamela Pretswell (Scotland), Kelly Tidy (England)

United States: Patricia Cornett (captain), Amy Anderson, Lindy Duncan, Austin Ernst, Tiffany Lua, Lisa McCloskey, Brooke Pancake, Erica Popson, Emily Tubert      

 

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


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.