Amateur Increases Lead in Australia

By Sports NetworkNovember 24, 2006, 5:00 pm
2006 MasterCard MastersMELBOURNE, Australia - Aaron Pike, a 21-yard-old amateur from Australia, struggled late, but shot a 3-under 69 on Friday to stay atop the leaderboard after the second round of the MasterCard Masters. Pike stands at 11-under-par 133 and is two ahead at Huntingdale Golf Club.
 
Justin Rose posted a 6-under 66 on Friday and is alone in second place at 9-under-par 135. One shot behind Rose is Kurt Barnes, who also carded a second-round 66.
 
Steven Bowditch (69), Tony Carolan (69), Greg Chalmers (67), Simon Khan (66)) and John Senden (68) are knotted in fourth place at 7-under-par 137.
 
Pike, who matched the course record on Thursday with an 8-under-par 64, parred his first two holes Friday before breaking into red figures with a birdie at the par-3 third.
 
At the par-5 sixth, Pike knocked his third in a bunker and only blasted out to 25 feet. He sank that birdie putt, then made birdie at the seventh to reach 11 under par for the championship.
 
The 21-year-old Australian parred his final two holes on the front side, then returned to the 10th, his first hole during Thursday's first round. In round one, Pike eagled the hole to fly out of the gate, but on Friday, he only managed a birdie.
 
Pike padded his lead with his second birdie in as many rounds at the 606-yard, par-5 14th. He got to 13 under par and owned a four-shot lead over Rose, who finished in the morning.
 
Things fell apart quickly for Pike down the stretch. He bogeyed both the 17th and 18th holes to see his once-strong four-stroke cushion get cut in half with half the tournament to go.
 
The amateur does not even seemed to be greatly impacted by his position on the leaderboard.
 
'Just because I'm leading or just because there might be top-20 golfers breathing down my neck I'm not going to go out there and hit a thousand balls tomorrow morning to try to get better,' said Pike, who did not even take up golf seriously until last year. 'I've shown for the first two days that I can play and if I do it again, if I shoot 11 under again, which is doable, it's going to be hard for one of those guys to run over the top of me.'
 
Rose played the back nine first on Friday and tallied three birdies in his first six holes. He bogeyed the 18th for the second straight day, but made the turn at 2-under-par 34.
 
Rose started his second nine in a similar fashion to his first nine. He birdied one, three and four, then dropped a shot at the fifth. The Englishman birdied six and nine to move into second place.
 
'I played the par-threes really, really well today,' Rose said. 'I made three twos, and hit iron shots close on all of those birdies so anytime you make three twos it tidies up your score pretty quick.'
 
Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin only managed an even-par 72 on Friday, but is alone in ninth place at 6-under-par 138.
 
Aaron Baddeley (71), Peter Lonard (71), James Nitties (68), Carl Suneson (71) and Peter Wilson (74) are tied for 10th place at minus-7.
 
The 36-hole cut fell at 1-over-par 145 and 67 players made it to the weekend. The most notable golfer who failed to make the cut was former U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell. The 2005 U.S. Open winner struggled to a 1-over 73 on Friday and completed two rounds at 3-over-par 147.
 
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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.