You Oughta Know: Northern Trust Open

By Will GrayFebruary 17, 2013, 12:28 am

Entering the final round with a three-shot lead, Bill Haas appears in position to successfully defend his title at the Northern Trust Open. Here are some facts and figures You Oughta Know heading into the final round at Riviera:

• With a win, Haas would become the eighth player to win back-to-back titles at the Northern Trust, and first since Phil Mickelson won in both 2008 and 2009. Others to pull off the feat include Ben Hogan (1947-48), Arnold Palmer (1966-67), Corey Pavin (1994-95) and Mike Weir (2003-04).

• Making his first start on the PGA Tour in 2013, Charl Schwartzel appears poised for his highest finish in the U.S. in nearly a year. Following a tie for fifth at last year's WGC-Cadillac Championship, the South African failed to record a top-10 finish in 13 subsequent starts during the 2012 season. Schwartzel, who has been inside the top five in six straight starts worldwide, is the only player with all three rounds in the 60s this week at Riviera.

• Since opening with two bogeys in his first seven holes Thursday, Webb Simpson has made only two more bogeys across the next 47 holes at Riviera and now sits in a tie for second alongside Schwartzel and John Merrick. The reigning U.S. Open champion got off to a similarly slow start last week at Pebble Beach, bogeying three of his first four holes Thursday before working his way back to a T-26 finish.

• Despite a 1-over 72 Saturday, 36-hole co-leader Fredrik Jacobson remains in position to improve his seed for next week's WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. Currently tied for fifth at 8 under, the Swede must finish inside the top 19 Sunday to move up from the 64th seed and avoid a first-round date at Dove Mountain with world No. 1 Rory McIlroy.

• Already the first recipient of the tournament's diversity exemption to make the cut at the Northern Trust Open, Jeremiah Wooding further improved his position with a 1-under 70 Saturday. Making his first career PGA Tour start, the 24-year-old carded four birdies during his third round and will begin Sunday tied for 22nd at 2 under, among a large group that includes names like Matt Kuchar and Ernie Els.

• After beginning the year with a T-23 finish at Kapalua followed by four straight missed cuts, Charlie Beljan appears to have rediscovered the form that helped him win the CMN Hospitals Classic last fall. Beljan, who entering this week had not shot below 69 in 13 rounds thus far in 2013, now has two such rounds through 54 holes at Riviera after an opening 67 and a round of 3-under 68 Saturday.

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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.