Tim Rosaforte - June 11, 2012

By Morning Drive TeamJune 11, 2012, 12:52 pm

Dustin Johnson won in Memphis in his second start after returning from a back injury and his teacher Butch Harmon was surprised that the win happened this quickly. When you are away with an injury, it takes time to return to the competitive mode and Johnson met some pressure during the final round and showed that he was ready for the test. During his time away, Johnson spent a lot of time working on his fitness and parts of his golf game at home in Jupiter, Florida. Johnson had said that he was eager to return to the PGA TOUR and he proved that was not only eager but also ready to return and win.

San Francisco is a great sports town, people town, and golf town. The Olympic Club is located in Daly City and it is just one of several great courses in that area including Harding Park, Lake Merced Golf Club, and San Francisco Golf Club. The people in San Francisco are passionate and knowledgeable about their golf and unlike 1998 when it was used as a parking lot for the U.S. Open, Harding Park is now a jewel of the area thanks in large part to local people like former USGA President Sandy Tatum.

One of the great stories from Sectional Qualifying was Dennis Miller. Miller is a pro at a public course in Ohio and he advanced out of the Columbus, Ohio qualifier in his 13th attempt to play in the U.S. Open for the first time. The putt that he made on the fourth playoff hole has gone viral which shows that people relate to the story of this man from Youngstown, Ohio. Miller will be taking his wife Denise to San Francisco for the first time and they plan to enjoy this week before returning to  their normal lives in Ohio – Denise as a nurse and Dennis as a pro at Mill Creek Golf Course. The fact that Golf Channel is airing Miller’s News Conference live on Monday is more evidence of how strong this story is.

In his second visit to Monday’s Morning Drive, Rosaforte began by discussing some of the best storylines entering the U.S. Open. Casey Martin has to be at the top of the list because of his disability, the fact that he will be playing in his first U.S. Open since the 1998 U.S. Open at The Olympic Club, and the fact that days before qualifying he had led his Oregon Ducks to the semifinals of Match Play in the NCAA Men’s Championship at Riviera Country Club. Rosaforte said that he has been communicating with Martin recently and he knows that Martin is very busy and very stressed heading into the U.S. Open. It was amazing that Martin finished T23 in 1998 and was just one back of former Stanford teammate Tiger Woods. The USGA has said that are more capable of accommodating Martin this year than they were in 1998.

Mark McCormick, a golf pro from New Jersey with bad knees who was giving qualifying one more shot at the age of 49, earned his spot in the U.S. Open field with Bruce Springsteen’s former drummer as his caddie although his son Ryan, who is on the golf team at St. John’s, did not make it. Mark McCormick will be playing a practice round on Tuesday with his golfing idol Phil Mickelson at The Olympic Club and McCormick said that he has been advised to take a few $100 bills for the round.

Shanshan Feng won the Wegmans LPGA Championship and although she may not be familiar to American audiences, the 22-year-old from China entered the week ranked 10th in the world and she has won numerous times around the world. Feng moved to the United States from China at the age of 15 to compete and she has a strong mastery of the English language. While Feng’s win may be great for women’s golf around the world, her win may not be great for women’s golf in the United States as Asian players have won each of the last five Majors. It is an interesting time for the LPGA Tour as they are trying to market women’s golf both locally in the United States and globally around the world. Shanshan Feng could well be the next Yani Tseng and she is unlikely to become a one hit wonder with this win because she has so much talent.

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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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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.