Duffy Does Disney
Waldorf began the day six shots back of Flesch, but birdied six of his first seven holes on the Magnolia course en route to his career-low round on the PGA Tour, and the lowest final round to win a Tour event since David Duval carded a 59 at the 1999 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.
Waldorf finished the tournament at 26-under-par, one shot clear of Flesch, who shot 69 on Sunday. Tiger Woods, who played in the final group with Flesch, also shot 3-under-par 69 to finish in solo third place at 23-under-par.
It appeared as if Sunday's final round would be a two-man race between Flesch and Woods. However, neither man was focused solely on the other. After closing to within two of Flesch following the third round, Woods said he wouldn't be surprised if someone shot a superb sub-par round on Sunday to contend for the title.
'Anyone can shoot 62 out here without batting an eye,' Woods said on Saturday.
He was right.
Playing in the group in front of Woods and Flesch, Waldorf birdied his first three holes, parred the 4th, and then birdied three more holes beginning at the 5th. Duffy went out in 6-under-par 30 to make the turn at 22-under.
Woods and Flesch each played the front-nine steadily, if not spectacularly. Both men carded 1-under-par 35s, with each man posting two birdies and one bogey. Tiger's bogey at the par-3 6th broke a string of 110 consecutive holes at par or better.
A birdie at the par-5 10th gave Duffy a share of the lead with Flesch at 23-under. Woods also birdied the 10th to move to 22-under, one shot off the lead.
For Tiger, it was series of missed opportunities on the back nine. The defending champion recorded only one birdie over his final eight holes to finish the tournament at 23-under, three shots back of the eventual champion.
'It was one of those days where I didn't have much,' Woods said. 'But I hung in there and gave myself a chance.'
Waldorf posted a pair of birdies at the 12th and 15th holes, both par-3s, to move to 25-under, a number that was reached by Flesch following a birdie at the par-4 17th.
With a playoff looming, Waldorf stuck his approach shot on the home hole to 10 feet. Last year, Duffy won twice on the PGA Tour - both coming in sudden death. However, this Sunday, no extra holes were needed. Waldorf converted the birdie putt, his 10th of the day, to enter the clubhouse at 26-under.
Flesch, in search of his first Tour victory, kept his hopes alive by also placing his second shot on the 18th to ten feet. But unlike his 38-year-old predecessor, the 33-year-old left-hander was unable to coax in his birdie effort.
'I knew what I had to do,' Flesch said. 'I just couldn't get it to go. I figured somebody might come from behind because Tiger and I weren't playing that good.'
This is Waldorf's fourth career PGA Tour victory, and his third over the last two seasons. The $540,000 first-place check moved the 14-year Tour veteran to 39th on the money list, not enough to qualify him for next week's Tour Championship, but good enough for a trip to the 2001 season-opening Mercedes Championships.
'Obviously, it's a surprise to me,' Waldorf said of his come-from-behind victory. 'Today, I got everything I could out of the round.'
Chris Perry will be making the northward trek to the East Lake Country Club in Atlanta, Ga., for the $5-million Tour Championship. Perry began the week in 32nd place on the money list, but moved to 30th with a tie for 13th this week. Perry surpassed Rocco Mediate for the final spot in the limited field. Mediate was 30th in earnings as the week began, but missed the cut in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
There are three official tournaments remaining on the 2000 PGA Tour schedule, yet only one of those is a full-field event. Next week's Southern Farm Bureau Classic at the Annandale Golf Club in Madison, Miss., is the final opportunity for players to earn their 2001 PGA Tour playing privileges.
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.