Love Conquers the World

By Mercer BaggsDecember 3, 2000, 5:00 pm
It wasn't an official win, but it sure was a meaningful one.
 
Davis Love III fired a blemish-free 8-under-par 64 Sunday to earn a come-from-behind victory over Tiger Woods (69) and Sergio Garcia (73) at the Williams World Challenge, his first win of any kind since the 1998 MCI Classic.
 
Love began the day at the Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., trailing leader Garcia by four shots; while tournament host and Love nemesis Woods was a full three strokes clear of Sunday's protagonist.
 
Garcia and Woods were scheduled for a head-to-head Sunday showdown; however, neither man was able to pull away from Love - let alone each other.
 
Love III comments on his Williams World Challenge win.
 
Woods played the front nine in 1-under-par to move to 18-under for the tournament, two shots lower than his playing companion, who despite an eagle at the par-5 2nd, carded three straight bogeys beginning at the 6th.
 
Garcia had held at least a share of the lead since he eagled the 2nd in Thursday's first round. Leading by one at the par-4 7th, the Spaniard hit his tee shot into the boulders residing in the center of the fairway, 300 yards removed from the tee box.
 
That was the second of three consecutive bogeys, the third of which cost Garcia the top spot on the leaderboard for the first time in his last 60 holes played.
 
Garcia made an early run on the outward half by recording his fourth eagle of the week at the par-5 11th. But a couple of pars on both back-nine par-5s, combined with a double-bogey 5 at the 17th cost the 20-year-old any chance he had of winning the $1 million first-prize.
 
Love first earned a share of the lead when he chipped in for birdie at the par-4 9th. The next two holes ultimately determined the tournament.
 
Love added his fourth birdie in his last six holes at the par-4 10th. Tiger made a bogey. At the 11th, Love rolled in an eagle putt. Tiger only managed a birdie.
 
After both men had played the first two holes on the back nine, Love held a two-shot advantage at 20-under-par. That cushion would remain down the stretch as Love and Woods each posted a pair of birdies over their final seven holes.
 
'Obviously, it was a great day,' said Love. 'I knew I had to go out and shoot a good score and I did. I was very patient today.'
 
The victory was of primary importance because it came over Tiger, at his tournament. Woods had been the bane of Love's professional existence ever since the rookie defeated the veteran in a playoff at the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational.
 
Woods comments on his 2nd place finish.
 
All told, Love has finished second to Woods on three 'official' occasions. But that doesn't count the number of match-play losses, the disappointing rounds when paired together, the mental frustrations.
 
Love will now be looking to follow in the footsteps of Tom Lehman, who won the inaugural Williams World Challenge in January, and then captured the Phoenix Open less than a month later for his first PGA Tour title since 1996.
 
'It was important that I putted good for two days,' said Love, who also shot 64 while paired with Woods on Friday. 'The money is great, beating Tiger and Sergio is great, but making the pressure putts on Sunday is the best.'
 
This event benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation, which is geared toward helping introduce the game of golf to disadvantaged youths. Woods donated the entirety of his $500,000 second-place check to his foundation.
 
Woods will now travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina to play in the World Golf Championship-EMC World Cup with partner David Duval.
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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

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


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.