Canadians Lead World Cup

By Sports NetworkDecember 12, 2002, 5:00 pm
PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico -- Mike Weir and Ian Leggatt combined to shoot a 13-under 59 Thursday to give Canada the first-round lead at the WGC-EMC World Cup. The Australian duo of Adam Scott and Craig Parry are one shot back at 12-under-par 60.
Korea's K.J. Choi, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour in 2002, teamed with S.K. Ho for a round of 11-under 61. They were joined by the French squad of Thomas Levet and Raphael Jacquelin in a tie for third.
Phil Mickelson and David Toms, who partnered for the United States at the Ryder Cup, collected four birdies over the first nine holes.
Mickelson two-putted for birdie at the 10th and the pair added another birdie at the 11th. At the par-4 13th, Toms landed his second shot inside two feet to reach 7-under. The Americans parred the remaining holes to finish six shots off the lead after a round of 65.
Weir and Leggatt were part of a three-way tie for the lead after the first round of this event last year. The pair finished the tournament four shots behind the eventual champions, but at Vista Vallarta Golf Club both players like their chances.
'I think we are both very capable players,' said Leggatt. 'Maybe it's surprising that the country of Canada might be winning the World Golf Championship in December, but I think that's about it.'
The duo made the turn at 5-under in the better ball format. At the par-5 10th, Weir hit his second shot to 15 feet and drained the putt for an eagle.
'A few times we had it in there close and the guy that was outside would make the putt,' said Leggatt. 'That's just how best ball works, it just kind of frees you up a little bit and we did a lot of that today.'
They birdied the next two holes and made it three in a row after Weir ran home a putt from the fringe for a birdie at the 13th.
Weir, who had a quiet year on the PGA Tour in 2002, was on top of his game at the Nicklaus Course. At the 15th, he rolled in a long putt for birdie and followed with a birdie at the 16th to reach 12-under.
At the treacherous par-4 18th, Leggatt made birdie to give his team the outright lead after the opening round.
'It's a good finishing hole,' Weir said of the 18th. 'You have to stand up there and hit a good tee shot, and that's the most important thing, is to get it in the fairway. The pin was in an easy spot today, but as the week goes on, it will be in trickier spots.'
Parry birdied the first three holes to give the Australians an early push and the duo continued to play well with three straight birdies starting at the sixth.
'Craig got us off to an ideal start,' said Scott. 'I just sat back and watched him.'
Parry and Scott were on fire on the inward nine as well with a stretch of four consecutive birdies from the 10th. They added a birdie at the 16th and Parry hit his tee shot to 18 feet for birdie at the 17th to move to 12-under.
'We could have had a couple of more birdies out there, there's no question about that,' said Parry. 'We left a couple out there. All teams are going to do that.'
Levet and Jacquelin had the lead heading to the par-4 last when they encountered the dangers of the closing hole. Both players found the hazard and then Levet had a difficult time placing his ball.
'I tried to place it at first on the flattest spot, but it was high in the slope,' said Levet. 'I thought it was going to stay easily, especially when I put it on quite the high grass, but it didn't.'
The ball rolled back into the hazard just off the green. Levet was given another chance to place it on his way to a double bogey.
'I could spend all day there if the ball starts to move all the time,' said Levet. 'Lucky we didn't get 65 on the last hole.'
Defending nation South Africa, represented this year by Rory Sabbatini and Tim Clark, finished three shots back at 10-under-par 62 alongside the Swedish duo of Niclas Fasth and Carl Pettersson.
Fiji's Vijay Singh teamed with Dinesh Chand for a 9-under 63. They finished four shots behind the leaders in a tie for seventh.
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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.