Appleby Grabs Share of Aussie Open Lead

By Sports NetworkNovember 24, 2001, 5:00 pm
Stuart Appleby shot the day's best round of 4-under 67 to join Scott Laycock atop the leaderboard after Saturday's windy third round of the Australian Open. The Aussie duo finished at 7-under-par 206, three shots ahead of South Africa's Ernie Els.
Els, the fourth-ranked golfer in the world, carded a 2-over 73 in difficult conditions at The Grand Golf Club, where only eight of the 60 players in the field broke par Saturday and just five were under par after 54 holes.
'My start didn't help,' said Els, who had two of his four bogeys on the front nine. 'I didn't quite hit my iron shots the way I wanted to, and then when you start missing you've got to get it up and down and I felt like I had to do that all day.'
The two-time U.S. Open champion hit only half the fairways and 12 of 18 greens in round three. He also stroked 32 putts, six more than he needed over each of the first two days.
Els did finish on an up note, however, sinking a 10-foot birdie putt at the 17th hole before parring the last to finish alone in third place.
Geoff Ogilvy (74) was solo fourth at 3-under-par while Rod Pampling (75) finished alone in fifth place at minus-two.
Appleby managed to negotiate the tricky winds in bogey-free fashion, posting birdies at the fourth, 10th, 13th and 17th to earn a share of the top spot.
'You can get hit pretty hard here, I was pretty nervous all day,' said Appleby, who missed the cut at last week's Australian PGA Championship. 'To win here would be a great way to end the year, but the year's not ended yet. I've got one more round to go.'
Laycock, the overnight leader at 7-under, couldn't budge off that number after an even-par 71. He did push three shots clear of the field with birdies on the first and fourth holes but fell back to the pack after bogeying the ninth and 11th.
'It's one of the hardest rounds I've played,' he said.
Ogilvy was just one shot off Laycock's pace through two rounds but experienced a nightmare start Saturday with three bogeys, a double and a triple after 10 holes, dropping him to 2-over-par.
He battled back by picking up five strokes over the final seven holes, closing with a 30-foot eagle putt at the 17th and a 20-footer for birdie at No. 18.
Pampling, also one back at the start, was able to hold steady with 10 straight pars but suffered four bogeys in the way in.
Denmark's Thomas Bjorn rebounded from an opening 76 with rounds of 67-70 on Friday and Saturday. He was tied for sixth place at even-par 213 with Brett Rumford, Peter Lonard and amateur James Nitties.
Greg Chalmers, the winner of the 1998 Australian Open, rounded out the top 10 with Adam Scott and New Zealand's Richard Lee at 1-over par.
Full-Field Scores From the Holden Australian Open
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Simpson overtakes DeChambeau in Ryder Cup race

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:09 pm

A T-12 finish at The Open allowed Webb Simpson to move past Bryson DeChambeau into the eighth and final automatic qualifying spot in the U.S. Ryder Cup points race with just three weeks to go.

Simpson finished the week at 3 under, five shots behind winner Francesco Molinari. Adding another strong result to his win at TPC Sawgrass and T-10 finish at the U.S. Open, he's now edged in front of DeChambeau by less than 41 points. But with players earning one point per $1,000 each of the next two weeks and 1.5 points per $1,000 at the PGA Championship, the race is far from over.

Jordan Spieth's T-9 finish strengthened his position at No. 6, as the top six players are essentially assured of qualifying automatically. Rickie Fowler held onto his spot at No. 7, while Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner both moved onto the bubble following T-2 finishes at Carnoustie. After a T-6 finish, Tiger Woods jumped from 31st to 20th.

Here's a look at the updated American standings, with the top eight after the PGA qualifying automatically and captain Jim Furyk adding four picks in September:

1. Brooks Koepka

2. Dustin Johnson

3. Patrick Reed

4. Justin Thomas

5. Bubba Watson

6. Jordan Spieth

7. Rickie Fowler

8. Webb Simpson


9. Bryson DeChambeau

10. Phil Mickelson

11. Xander Schauffele

12. Matt Kuchar

13. Kevin Kisner

14. Tony Finau

15. Brian Harman

On the European side, Molinari was already in position to qualify automatically but is now assured of a spot on Thomas Bjorn's roster this fall. Fellow major champs Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy also solidified their footing with runner-up performances.

Here's a look at how things look for the Europeans, with the top four from each list after the PGA Championship qualifying automatically:

European Points

1. Francesco Molinari

2. Justin Rose

3. Tyrrell Hatton

4. Tommy Fleetwood


Thorbjorn Olesen

Russell Knox

Eddie Pepperell

World Points

1. Jon Rahm

2. Alex Noren

3. Rory McIlroy

4. Paul Casey


Matthew Fitzpatrick

Sergio Garcia

Ian Poulter

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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.