Webb Leads Elite Field

By Martha BrendleNovember 15, 2001, 5:00 pm
There was very little evidence of rust on Karrie Webbs game Thursday, even though its been four or five weeks since she competed in an LPGA Tour event. During that time Webb took a solid two weeks off from golf before returning to her playing and practicing schedule.
Now as the first round of the season-ending Tyco/ADT Tour Championship closes, it is Webb ' winner of two majors this season ' who has thus far denied course owner Donald Trump his dream of wanting even par to be leading this championship.
Webb shot 35-32-67, making a total of three bogeys in the process ' two of which were on the front nine.
The Aussie made bogey on the par-4 first after hitting her 3-wood into the right fairway bunker. Her second bogey of the day fell on the 496-yard par-5 9th after missing the green and winding up in the left bunker.
Using her wedge, she hit it to within 15 feet of the hole only to two-putt. I havent really played a competitive round in four or five weeks, Webb said. Took me a while to settle into the round.
The third, and final, of Webbs bogeys fell on the second-to-last hole. This is where playing partner Annika Sorenstam double bogeyed.
I actually misjudged the wind there and hit it short right on the green, Webb said. But I probably had, I dont know, a 50-, 60-footer. I three-putted. Annika missed the green left in the hazard. Long story short, she didnt get up and down.
Nonetheless, her 5-under-par 67 was just enough to edge out Sorenstam, who shot 33-35 to finish at 4-under 68.
There were many similarities in Webb's and Sorenstam's games Thursday. They both birdied five of the same holes - the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 12th and 18th.
In the end it was the differences that set them apart.
It was on No. 17 that Sorenstam, who had been tied for the lead coming into the final holes, became deflated. Her double bogey on the second-to-last hole left her scrambling to make up ground with only one hole remaining.
It was more important for me (to match Karrie) because I was very upset on 17 for many reasons, Sorenstam said. I felt I played so well all day. You know, I have to birdie this hole, I dont care. I ripped my driver, 7-iron. Pretty much made it from the fairway. Thats how pumped up I was to finish with birdie.
Early leader Marisa Baena ended the day two strokes off the lead and in a tie with three others - Wendy Doolan, Grace Park and Meg Mallon ' all of who are tied at 3-under-par 69.
In the 33rd position on the money list, Baena did not automatically qualify for the event, yet she wasted no time proving that she should be there. Baena carded back-to-back bogeys on the first two holes of the day before rallying into the red with two birdies.
I knew that the third hole was a par-5, Baena said. I reached it on two. I made a two-putt for birdie. Then No. 4, actually made a birdie again. It was about ten feet. That put me back to even again. It was just like nothing had happened.'
The girl who just a week ago was third alternate into the field finished with a solid par and now finds herself a mere two strokes off the lead.
Although this is her first appearance, Baena is feeling no pressure amongst the illustrious field.
I was a little bit nervous, Baena said. Top 30 (players), Im at the bottom of the list. Oh, great. I was like, Im going to go out there, enjoy it. I thought Free money. Money I can go and spend during my off-season. But of course, like everybody else, I wanted to come out here and win.
Park made bogey on the first and didnt bogey a hole again until the par-4 16th. Park made six birdies in her round, taking the outright tournament lead at 5-under-par. Park then proceeded to bogey two of the three closing holes, which left her tied at 3-under-par.
You know, I feel good, but Im mad because I finished with two bogeys, Park said. It sucks.
Pat Hurst, seven months pregnant with her second child (due Jan. 16), started the day with back-to-back bogeys and never did recover. She made the turn at 2-over-par 38 and finished her round 43 strokes later at 9-over for the day.
Hurst had not expected to play in the season-ending event.
Until two weeks ago, I hadnt touched a club for a month, since the week of Sept. 11, the three-time tournament winner said. So Im really just going to go out and try to do the best I can.'
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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.