Weir Has Earned a Shot at Tiger

By Ian HutchinsonSeptember 29, 2007, 4:00 pm
MONTREAL -- Just a few short days ago, the suggestion of a singles showdown between Mike Weir and Tiger Woods might have been considered posturing to a partisan Canadian crowd at Royal Montreal that has adored its native son since he produced a Masters victory in 2003.
 
It didnt matter that Weir has struggled since losing the 2004 Canadian Open to Vijay Singh in a playoff and some of his countrymen openly questioned him being selected as a captains pick by International captain Gary Player for the Presidents Cup.
 
Weirsy versus Woods is what they wanted and Weirsy versus Woods is exactly what they got and for all the right reasons.
 
After joining Ernie Els on Saturday afternoon to defeat Charles Howell III and Lucas Glover 4 and 2 in four-ball play, Weir has been the dominant player on an International team that was swamped in foursomes and four-ball play Saturday.
 
The Internationals face a near-impossible task in coming back from a 14.5 to 7.5 deficit against an American team that has traditionally dominated Presidents Cup singles matches. In each of the last three events, the U.S. has won 7.5 to 4.5 in singles play and holds a 42.5 to 29.5 all-time lead.
 
Cynics would say that Woods versus Weir is all that this Presidents Cup has left and they may be right, but Weir is 2-1-1 so far, tying him with Vijay Singh for the best record among International players and the match is positioned so it may make a difference if there is any chance of a comeback against the U.S.
 
Weir and Woods will be the fourth match out of the blocks on Sunday, playing right behind Singh and Phil Mickelson and ahead of Angel Cabrera and Woody Austin.
 
Ive got my hands full, thats for sure, said Weir. I think its good for the fans. Everybody is fired up about the match. We need some momentum, so hopefully I can play well and get some blue on the board.
 
Theres three groups in front of us. Hopefully, there will be some blue on the board before I even get started and that will give me some momentum. Ive really fed off the crowd this week and, hopefully, I can do that tomorrow because Ill need it.
 
Weirs last PGA TOUR win came at the 2004 Nissan Open and during his recent struggles, he has made significant swing changes and switched coaches, but since Thursday, he has resembled the old Weir with sharp irons and dependable putting.
 
Ernie Els has played alongside Weir in both of his four-ball wins and says Weir is the logical choice. The way hes played all week, hes basically earned his spot to play against the world No. 1.
 
Ive played with him the last two days and Ive seen the way hes playing. If theres one player on our team that can really give Tiger a go, it will be Mike Weir. Hes going to have all of Canada behind him. I think it will be great for the tournament, great for the fans and for television.
 
Weve got to find some wins early on and try and turn this thing around. I mean youre up against a very large mountain here, but I think its a great match-up.
 
Stuart Appleby echoes those comments. I think Mike has earned the right to represent us against the No. 1 player in the world and certainly, in Canada, its a bit of a Cinderella story.
 
We have not put him there for token value. I guess theres a sentimental point to it and also a functional point. Hes not a weak link and its not lambs to the slaughter. Where is he in the matches? Four? Thats the meaty part of the tee times. We obviously have to find some victories very, very quickly.
 
Weir has never played against Woods in either the Presidents Cup or the Accenture Match Play Championship, but Els know what its like to go head-on with Tiger in front of his countrymen after the 2003 Presidents Cup in South Africa.
 
I knew I was up against it. I had a good Presidents Cup in South Africa in front of my home fans, so I was up for it, but I wasnt good enough on the day.
 
Mikes playing so solid. Hes not hitting a lot of bad shots and thats what youve got to do against (Woods). Youve got to keep playing your game and, hopefully, Mikes putts drop tomorrow and he can shoot something like 6 or 7 under and have a chance against Tiger.
 
I think it will be great. What Ive seen with the crowd, I really think hes got a bit of an advantage there.
 

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    Toronto Sun Editor's Note: Ian Hutchinson is golf columnist for the Toronto Sun and senior writer for Pro Shop Magazine, a Canadian golf trade publication, and Canadian Golfer Magazine. He is also a frequent contributor to Golf Scene and Golf Canada Magazine, the official magazine of the Royal Canadian Golf Association.
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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.