Stefani maintains Tampa lead over Scott, Choi

By Will GrayMarch 15, 2013, 10:38 pm

Warmer temperatures allowed for lower scores on the Copperhead Course Friday, but first-round leader Shawn Stefani is still the man to beat after 36 holes. Here is how things shape up heading to the weekend at Innisbrook:

The leaderboard: Shawn Stefani (-7), Adam Scott (-6), K.J. Choi (-6), Harris English (-5), Brian Harman (-5), Jason Dufner (-5)

What it means: Stefani remains out in front for the second straight day, but the big names are not far behind. After a day that resembled major championship conditions - and scoring averages - Thursday, most players were able to extract a bit of revenge on the Copperhead Course Friday as winds abated and temperatures improved.

Round of the day: After an opening 75 Thursday, Erik Compton appeared in danger of missing the 36-hole cut. Six birdies in his second round, though - including four on the back nine - gave Compton the low round of the day, a bogey-free 65 that vaulted him 101 spots up the leaderboard.

Best of the rest: Dufner, Scott and James Driscoll all carded rounds of 5-under 66 Friday, though the latter two did so without making a bogey. The rounds moved both Dufner and Scott into contention, while Driscoll went from the wrong side of the cut line to inside the top 15.

Biggest disappointment: After a 2-under 69 amid tough conditions Thursday put Vijay Singh onto the first page of the leaderboard, the Fijian was unable to maintain the momentum despite the lower scores seen Friday. Singh did not record a single birdie during his round of 2-over 73, falling back to even par for the week and will now begin the weekend seven shots off the pace. 

Main storyline heading into Saturday: Can the underdog keep the contenders at bay? Stefani has never won before on the PGA Tour and is now being chased by several big names. He was able to keep his nerves steady with a 1-under 70 Friday, but playing in the final pairing Saturday may test his mettle.

Shot of the day: Needing a birdie on the 18th hole to make the cut, Daniel Summerhays appeared to be headed for an early exit when his approach shot sailed over the green on the home hole. When his flop shot from near the grandstand improbably found the hole, though, Summerhays was in the house at 2 over, earning him a tee time Saturday after making the cut right on the number.

Quote of the day: 'To go bogey-free anywhere is good, and I think here is particularly good. It's quite a tricky golf course, and mistakes are easily made.' - Scott

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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.