LPGAs Stars Gather for First Major

By Martha BrendleMarch 25, 2002, 5:00 pm
Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., has been home to the Nabisco Championship since 1972. This week the 6,520 yard par-72 course plays host to 91 pros along with five lucky amateurs who have ventured to the Palm Springs area ' home of the sacred Cahuilla Indians mineral springs ' with hopes of capturing the first LPGA major of the season.
The late Dinah Shores crown is much coveted and all will be vying for it along with the lions share of the $1.5 million purse.

Defending champion Annika Sorenstam took home the title last year. It was the third of her eight victories last season. Sorenstam and her score of 7-under-par held off Karrie Webb, Janice Moodie, Dottie Pepper, Akiko Fukushima and Rachel Teske ' all of whom finished the event in a five-way tie for second at 10-under.
Fellow competitors Webb and Se Ri Pak will see to it that Sorenstam has her work cut out for her this week. It will be no easy task to defend a title with these two in the field.
Pak has raised the bar this year and looks to take over for Sorenstam. I am tired of second place. I want to be No. 1,' Pak said at her first event back this season. I want to win the first major of the year. For me, it is a great tournament, the Nabisco.

Legend Nancy Lopez, who recently announced that this would be her final full season, will play this week. Lopez won the Championship in 1981 with a two-stroke victory over Carolyn Hill.
Reigning U.S. Womens Amateur champion and University of Arizona sophomore Meridith Duncan and Mexicos Lorena Ochoa, another Arizone collegian, received two of the five sponsor exemptions into this years field.
Rounding out the other three spots are Nicole Perrot of Santiago, Chile and Aree and Naree Wongluekiet. This will be the third appearance for the 15-year-old Wongluekiet twins. Ochoa was low amateur at the conclusion of the 2001 Nabisco Championship while Perrot is the reigning U.S. Girls Junior champion.
The Championship has also invited Suzann Pettersen of Norway, Karine Ichor of France, Raquel Carriedo of Spain, Yuri Fudoh and Chieko Amanuma of Japan to compete this week based on their performances on their respective tours. Carriedo bears watching although she is currently suffering from a bout with tendonitis in her left wrist that may do her a disservice this week.

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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.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

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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.