Rough day for Tiger Saturday at Olympic

By Randall MellJune 17, 2012, 3:52 am

SAN FRANCISCO – Honk if you passed Tiger Woods Saturday at the U.S. Open.

With 13 players moving ahead of Woods in the third round, that’s one noisy leaderboard they’ve got at The Olympic Club.

Tied for the lead at the start of the third round, Woods must have felt as if everyone was passing him.

With a 5-over-par 75, Woods equaled his worst third round in 15 U.S. Opens as a pro. He will begin Sunday five shots off the lead.

Only eight players posted worse scores than Woods on Saturday.

Once the sleekest, sportiest roadster in golf on “Moving Day,” Woods didn’t have his hood up on the roadside Saturday, but he knows his engine needs some work if he’s going to win his 15th major championship.

The good news is that he believes he can have his roadster purring again come Sunday.

“I'm definitely still in the ball game,” Woods said. “I'm only five back, and that's certainly doable on this golf course, for sure.”

Woods has never come from behind after 54 holes to win a major. He has won all 14 of his major championships with the lead going into the final round, or at least a share of it.

The game plan that worked so well for Woods on Thursday and Friday won’t be abandoned. Woods believes his engine just needs a little tune up, not an overhaul. 

“I was still doing the same thing, I just didn't make the pars,” Woods said. “I kept leaving myself in tough spots. I didn't really have that many birdie putts today. They were all lag putts, that or these breaking putts. I didn't have very many good looks.  It's just frustrating when I know I can put myself in position to have a few good looks, at least a few more, and I got to bury those [tough putts].”

Woods day didn’t seem like it could end a whole lot worse, until he walked off the 18th green and accidentally jammed his hand into a camera held by a photographer. Woods shook his hand as if he had hurt it, but he later reported to media that he is fine. He was out on the practice putting green shortly after his round, showing no lingering effects from the incident.

With so many players making moves around Woods on Saturday, the disappointment had to be doubled.

Olympic was rocking more than it has all week with John Peterson making a hole-in-one at the 13th, Ernie Els pitching in for eagle at the 17th, Fredrik Jacobson making three birdies in a row and Lee Westwood closing out a nice charge with a birdie at the 18th.

With all those roars erupting around him, Woods mustered a single birdie. Westwood made five of them passing Woods. Beau Hossler, the 17-year-old amateur, made four of them passing Woods. 

“Today, I felt the course played probably the fairest of the last couple of days,” Els said posting 68 to move into a tie for fourth. “I felt there was a bit more moisture in there, and the flag positions were fine, If you played proper golf, today you could shoot under par.”

Instead of roars, Woods heard mostly groans Saturday, too many of them with galleries feeling his pain as he missed shots.

After stubbing a short chip shot at the 18th, barely getting his ball onto the green, Woods was enveloped in groans from the masses jammed along the hillside above the hole. The same thing happened at the eighth hole, where Woods missed a 3-foot putt for par. He had to back off his bogey putt to let the buzz fade before finishing out.

Woods never got in rhythm, making bogeys at two of the first three holes, four of the first eight.

Jim Furyk outplayed Woods in their pairing as the final group off, posting a round (70) five shots better than Woods to move into a tie for the 54-hole lead with Graeme McDowell.

Still, Furyk isn’t discounting Woods.

“I don't think he looked that far off,” Furyk said. “It's just stuff happens at U.S. Opens sometimes.”

Woods will be looking to make it good stuff on Sunday and race past all those guys who passed him on Saturday.

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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.