Gogel and Pebble A Match Made in Heaven

By Kelly TilghmanFebruary 6, 2002, 5:00 pm
One would think after his painful loss at the 2000 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Matt Gogel would never want to see the back nine at Pebble again. Thankfully that was far from the case. Gogel has a relentless passion for this heavenly layout. That passion is the very reason he captured the title in 2002.
 
When you lead a tour event by seven shots with seven holes to play, in almost every case you are a lock to win. That wasnt the situation two years ago when Tiger Woods stole a dream from PGA Tour rookie Matt Gogel. It was one of the more disturbing Sunday scenes in the history of our beloved game, but this young man from Kansas held his head high and listened to the profound words of the worlds No. 1- ranked player just after missing his putt to force a playoff on the 18th green: Be proud.

One year later, a slightly less wet-behind-the-ears Gogel surprisingly made his way to the top of the AT&T leaderboard for the second straight season, thanks to a second round 62 at Spyglass Hill. His mere presence in the lead captured the attention of anyone who witnessed Y2Ks debacle.
 
However, the question begged, Would he be able to oust the demons lurking from Tigers assault the year before? It only took one day for that answer to surface. A third-round 81 at Poppy Hills instantly erased Gogels chances of victory and perhaps any trace of confidence when holding a lead.
 
Outside of a few impressive finishes at random PGA Tour events, Pebble is the only place where Gogel has ever scared a win. Surely after his second nightmare came to fruition in 2001, this two-year veteran would harbor a serious grudge against this venue and this tournament. Wouldnt he?
 
A very smart man once posed this question, What do a hero and a coward have in common? The answer - fear. The only way to overcome a fear is to face it time and time again until it dissipates. Matt Gogel made a concerted effort to continue his rocky affair with this breathtaking golf course by playing it as often as he could.
 
Later that year, Gogel was invited to play in the Callaway Pebble Beach Invitational where he tied for 10th. It was there that a friend, a connected friend, asked him back to play whenever he had the chance. Gogel anxiously took him up on the invitation and brought 15 of his buddies out for the time of their lives, just two weeks before the 2002 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Gogel was facing his fears. He loved his venue and, thanks to his perseverance, learned how to get along with it.

Just a few days ago, one of the best stories in golf began to take shape. For the third consecutive year, Matt Gogel staged a charge at Pebble Beach. As this now three-year veteran, husband and father of a brand new baby girl stood over a 15-foot putt at the par-5 18th that would eventually win the tournament, he said to caddy, Ive made this putt a hundred times. Why cant I make it now? As the old saying goes, the rest is history.

Matt Gogel is now a PGA Tour winner and an example for all who want to call themselves that very same thing. His love affair at Pebble Beach continues and he joins a beautiful list of champions.
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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.