Am Tour: McDaniel overcomes rough start to win Jones flight

By Mike BaileySeptember 12, 2014, 11:02 pm

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rich McDaniel got off to a rough start, but settled down after the first three holes, while Joe Moore used the support of his family, as both men nabbed the first two titles in the 2014 Golf Channel Am Tour Championships conducted at Talking Stick and Grayhawk golf clubs.

McDaniel, who held a nine-shot lead in the Jones Flight (handicap 16-19.9) going into the final round at Grayhawk's Raptor Course, bogeyed the first hole, topped his tee shot on the second hole for a double-bogey and almost missed a short putt for bogey on the third hole. In fact, after the second hole, his nine-shot lead was already down to six with 16 holes to go. Making double on the third hole could have started a downward spiral.

"I almost missed it," said McDaniel, who owns a real estate appraisal company in San Diego. "It went around the cup and dropped. It was going to be another double bogey, and I thought my tournament was over. But when it dropped, it just kind of released all the stress, and I said to myself, 'I'm ready, game on; let's go.'"

McDaniel wound up shooting 88, which was more than good enough as he finished four strokes better than the field, with a total of 335, 50-over par. His closest competitor, who shot the low round of the day at 81, was Clint Payton of Seymour, Ind., but he just had too much ground to make up.

"I'm on Cloud 9 right now," McDaniel said. "This was very fun and exciting."

McDaniel, who admits he has an addictive personality, says his compulsion for everything, including golf, might have helped him notch his first national title.

A few years ago, he quit the club where he was a member and just started playing tournament golf. This year, despite working 12-hour days, often seven days a week, he managed to play in 50 golf tournaments, many of the them on the Am Tour. That experience, combined with his volunteer work as a coach for his son's middle school golf team, helped him prepare for this week, he said.

Moore wins Snead flight 


Joe Moore credited his whole family for his sucess this week, including son Craig and wife, Kim, who caddied for him.

For Moore, the fire chief for the Clarkdale (Ariz.) Fire District, winning the Golf Channel Am Tour's Snead flight (20 and over) truly was a family affair. In addition to Moore, his son Craig also competed in the Palmer Flight (handicap 4-6.9) and improved each day, finishing with 80 in the final round.

But the spotlight belonged to mom and dad on Friday. Both of them, because Joe Moore and his wife Kim played as a team. You see, Kim served as caddie for her husband, who was decked out like a tour player in long slacks, white belt and neon green shirt. Not only did she clean his golf balls and clubs and help with yardage, but he said she gave him the moral support and confidence to play his best. In the end his 94 on Friday on the North Course at Talking Stick was good enough to come from three shots back and claim the crystal.

"I honestly don't know if I could have done it without her," said Moore, who also heaped plenty of praise on tournament organizers, golf course staff and the courses as well.

Kim is very familiar with her husband's game. They play together almost every weekend as a family (including Craig) around their home in Cornville, Ariz., which is about 100 miles north of Scottsdale. Kim, in fact, is usually the organizer, gathering the troops, trying to figure out which course they're going to play in the area. Sometimes, they even make trips over to Sedona to play the courses there.

Perhaps playing all that desert golf gave Moore a bit of an edge over players from the rest of the country, but it certainly didn't come easy. He made several doubles and a quad, but also had five pars. Fortunately for Moore and the rest of the field, the third-round leader, Samuel D'Alfonso of Key Biscayne, Fla., had an even tougher day, shooting 103, which allowed Moore to walk through the door.


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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.