Branshaw Makes Big Move in Round 2

By Sports NetworkOctober 28, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Nationwide Tour ChampionshipPRATTVILLE, Ala. -- David Branshaw fired a 7-under 65 on Friday to take the lead midway through the Nationwide Tour Championship. He stands at 8-under-par 136 and is one ahead at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Capitol Hill.
Jon Mills, one of the three first-round leaders, managed a 2-under 70 in round two and is alone in second place at minus-7.
Steven Bowditch shot a 4-under 68 and is tied for third place with Ryan Armour, who posted a 2-under 70. The pair is knotted at 5-under-par 139.
This event features the top-61 players on the 2005 Nationwide Tour money list. Jason Gore, second on the money list, already made it to the PGA Tour via the 'battlefield promotion,' so the top-20 other players on the money list after the final round will head to the PGA Tour for the 2006 season.
Branshaw wasted little time in breaking into red figures on Friday. He rolled in a 12-foot birdie putt at the first, then drained an 8-footer for birdie at the second.
He dropped a shot at the par-5 fifth, but made up for the bogey with birdies at six and eight to make the turn at 33.
Branshaw birdied the 10th and ran home a 5-footer for birdie at No. 11. He holed a clutch 30-foot par save at the 12th, but bogeyed the 14th when he caught a flier lie from the rough.
That would be the last mistake for Branshaw on Friday. He hit his tee ball inside 2 feet at the par-3 16th to set up birdie, then two-putted for another birdie from 70 feet at the par-5 17th.
Branshaw took sole possession of the lead with a 35-foot birdie putt at the closing hole.
'Putts went in, that hasn't been happening,' said Branshaw, who won the 2002 Gila River Classic. 'Under par is good here. I've always liked my iron game. I wish it could be a little better, but it was fine today.'
Branshaw is 29th on the money list and needs a big finish this week if he is to earn his playing privileges on the PGA Tour next year. Even though Branshaw has the 36-hole lead with a tour card in site, he's cautious.
'We have 36 holes left,' said Branshaw. 'Stay calm, be patient and have fun. Take what the golf course gives you because it's a tough golf course. It's better than being eight shots back.'
Mills, who won this year's Canadian PGA Championship, was 2 under through his first five holes, but parred his next five. He birdied the par-4 11th when his wedge approach landed a foot from the hole.
Things went poorly from there for Mills. He was 8 under par for the championship, but found a fairway bunker off the tee at 12. Mills was forced to lay up short of the green and he failed to save par.
Mills missed the short grass with his drive at 15, then went left of the putting surface with his second. His pitch came up short on the fringe and his 20-footer for par moved right at the end. That bogey left him at 6 under, two behind Branshaw.
At the 457-yard, par-4 finishing hole, Mills hit a 9-iron to 7 feet. He sank that birdie try to get within one of Branshaw.
'Maybe I didn't hit it as well off the tee, but I didn't get in any real trouble,' said Mills, who is fourth on the money list and assured of his card next year. 'No complaints. I gave myself a chance.'
David Morland IV, one of the leaders from Thursday, shot a 1-over-par 73 and is tied for fifth place with Jim McGovern, who carded an even-par 72. The duo is knotted at 4-under-par 140.
Mathew Goggin (70), Bill Haas (71), Rick Price (73) and Cliff Kresge (73) share seventh place at minus-3.
Kevin Durkin, the third co-leader from round one, struggled to a 5-over-par 77 on Friday and is part of a group tied for 18th place at even-par 144.
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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.