Lewis embarking on summer that includes wedding

By Randall MellJune 1, 2016, 8:45 pm

A life-altering summer run begins in earnest this week for Stacy Lewis.

A big three-month run is ahead for all the top players in women’s golf, but there are more than three major championships and the Olympics among the marquee events on Lewis’ schedule over the next 12 weeks. She’s getting married, with the wedding planned Aug. 6, the week after the Ricoh Women’s British Open and 11 days before the start of the Olympic women’s golf competition.

“It's been a challenge,” Lewis said in a pre-tournament news conference Wednesday at the ShopRite Classic. “It's been a lot more than I thought it was going to be. I kind of handed the reins to my mom and said, `Do what you want to do,’ but there's still a lot that I have to do and that we need to take care of.”

Lewis is marrying Gerrod Chadwell, the University of Houston women’s golf coach. She is scheduled to play eight of the nine LPGA events leading up to their wedding.

“The golf has honestly been good, because I think it's my time to get away from all of that and not have to worry about it,” Lewis said. “But we're kind of at the place with the wedding where a lot of stuff is done, which is good, because now I'm heading into the busiest time, and now it's just little stuff.

“I'm looking forward to September, I can tell you that.”

Why is Lewis scheduling her wedding in the middle of such a rigorous run of big events? Her answer says a lot about her changing priorities.

“Some people might think, `Why isn't she waiting until after the Olympics and all that stuff is over?’” Lewis said. “I've waited for this for a long time, and I've wanted this for a long time, and just because of some golf tournaments I'm not going to put my life on hold. I've done that enough, and it's time to do something for myself that I've wanted, and that's what we're going to do.”

At the ANA Inspiration in April, Lewis opened up about her changing priorities, how she’s learning to balance the importance of her personal life with her career.

“The biggest thing is I’ve got somebody in my life that’s more important than any golf tournament I’ll ever play in, or any tournament I’ll ever win, and I honestly never thought I would be up here saying that,” Lewis said at Mission Hills. “It’s a little bit strange to me, and that’s one thing I’m trying to figure out right now.”

Lewis opened the year No. 3 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings. The former world No. 1 slipped a spot to No. 5 last week and another spot to No. 6 this week. She said at the ANA that in learning to juggle priorities, a return to No. 1 might no longer be a pressing goal, because of the scheduling and week-to-week sacrifices that it takes. She said winning majors, however, would remain her professional focus.

Lewis is on friendly turf this week outside Atlantic City, N.J., looking for her first victory in almost two years. She won at the Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club in 2012 and ‘14. She and world No. 4 Brooke Henderson are the only players among the top 10 in the world rankings who will tee it up in Friday’s start of the 54-hole event.

Since last winning at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in the summer of 2014, Lewis has been knocking hard on the door to her 12th LPGA title. She has logged 10 second-place finishes since that last victory. There couldn’t be a better time to mount a hot run with next week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship starting the summer’s major run.

All those close calls, Lewis says, hasn’t deterred her.

“If you asked me a year ago, yes, it was driving me crazy, but I've kind of come to terms with it, that I've finished second a bunch but I've played some good golf,” Lewis said. “It's not like I haven't played well. Sometimes, you kind of take advantage of the situation. I was rolling there for so long, I didn't have to work that hard. It was just things were happening, and I was playing good, and now it's like I've been working hard and I've got to get my act together a little bit.”

Lewis isn’t having a bad year. She has two runner-up finishes this season. Her ball-striking stats are strong. She’s No. 4 in hitting greens in regulation and No. 4 in driving accuracy. She led the tour in putts per greens in regulation last year but has slipped to 24th this year. She is 10th in scoring this season.

“I like what I'm working on,” Lewis said. “I like where the game is going. It's just getting back in those last couple groups, which I've done the last few weeks and getting comfortable there again. I'm starting to trust the swing under pressure. Alabama (the Yokohama Tire Classic) was big because I hit some shots there down the stretch that I needed to hit. Things just didn't quite work out, but being able to hit the shots under pressure is what's going to get that win.”

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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.