Canadian Tour Announces 2002 US Stops
'It simply made more sense for us to follow the lead of most other tours and adopt a calendar year for the playing schedule of our tournaments' stated Canadian Tour Commissioner Jacques Burelle.
Of further importance was the announcement that the purse for the 2002 Panasonic Panama Open will rise to $225,000.00 US ' a record high both for the event and the Canadian Tour.
'We are thankful to the Panama Tourism Bureau for their additional contribution to our tournament' stated Tournament Director George Downing. 'We are looking forward to welcoming the Top 40 players from the Canadian Tour to this the seventh edition of the Panasonic Panama Open'.
The tour also confirmed Wednesday that it has teamed with Dallas-based Hambric Sports Management to stage the first two tournaments of its 2002 U.S. winter swing in Texas. The events will be held the weeks of March 4th-10th and March 11th-17th and, with several sites under consideration, a final decision on the host sites will be made by the end of October.
'It's a privilege for the Canadian Tour to be coming to the Lone Star State,' commented Canadian Tour Commissioner Jacques Burelle. 'The opportunity to partner with Hambric Sports Management for these events will truly take the Tour to the next level. We look forward to having 'the eyes of Texas upon us' as we undertake our maiden voyage to this great state.'
Speaking on behalf of Hambric Sports Management, President Roscoe O. Hambric, Jr. was equally enthusiastic with Tuesday's announcement.
'The numerous great young players who have turned professional over the last sixteen months collectively represent a pool of talent that is, in my twenty-four years in the business, unprecedented in its depth and quality,' said Hambric.
'Historically, the Canadian Tour has been the developmental Tour which has developed the most young talent for the PGA Tour, and it is the Canadian Tour that will be providing the majority of these great young players the chance to gain critical, high-level Tour experience early in their careers.'
'I am very excited about working with Jacques Burelle and his staff to expand the opportunities provided to the stars of tomorrow by the Canadian Tour. It is especially gratifying for me to promote these tournaments in my home state of Texas, which has produced so many of the game's great players.'
With the Texas dates now in place, the full winter schedule for the 2002 Canadian Tour season has been finalized. The Tour will kick off the 2002 campaign in the Republic of Panama with the Panasonic Panama Open from January 14th-20th.
A few weeks later, from February 11th through 15th, ChampionsGate in Orlando, Fla., will play host to the Winter Qualifying School before the Tour moves into Texas for the first two U.S. events of the year. Scottsdale, Ariz., will then be the site for the next two events, to be played March 25th-31st at McCormick Ranch and April 1st-7th at Eagle Mountain Golf Club.
Rounding out the Canadian Tour's second stint south of the border will be a return visit to Barefoot Resort in Myrtle Beach, SC, with events to be held at the Greg Norman course April 22nd-28th and the Pete Dye layout April 29th-May 5th.
For the stops in Texas, Arizona and South Carolina, The Golf Channel will provide four-round coverage of each event, delivering three hours of live tournament coverage each day with a two-and-a-half hour prime time or late fringe replay. Viewers will also again have the chance to catch the last three rounds of action in an encore presentation during the week following competition. The Golf Channel will also provide daily updates, to be aired during Golf Central, from both the Panasonic Panama Open and Winter Qualifying School.
The complete 2002 Canadian Tour schedule, including all dates in Canada, will be released in mid November.
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Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish
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.
Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him
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.
Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter
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.
Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose
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.
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.