Casey Losing Grip on Money Title

By Sports NetworkOctober 28, 2006, 4:00 pm
2005 Volvo MastersSOTOGRANDE, Spain -- Jeev Milkha Singh, who claimed his first European Tour win in April, shot a 3-under 68 on Saturday to take the lead heading into the final round of the season-ending Volvo Masters.
Singh birdied two of the last four holes at Valderrama to dissolve a logjam at the top of the leaderboard, ending three rounds at 3-under-par 210 for a one-shot lead over four players.
Already a four-time winner on the Asian Tour, Singh finally broke through for his first European Tour win at the Volvo China Open six months ago. Along the way, he learned something about closing out a victory.
'I've got to just keep my head down and go,' said Singh, who was the first Indian golfer to qualify for The European Tour when he won his tour card in 1997.
That might be a better idea than looking back, where there are 11 players within three shots of Singh's lead.
Spain's own Sergio Garcia, the world No. 9, shot his second consecutive 1-under 70 and shares second place with Swedes Johan Edfors (69) and Henrik Stenson (73) and Englishman Lee Westwood (72) at 2-under 211.
John Bickerton (70) and David Lynn (72) of England are one shot further back at 212.
Among the remaining pack, there are four players vying for their first Order of Merit title as the European Tour's leading money winner.
Current leader Paul Casey of England had his best round of the week, an even- par 71 that moved him into a tie for 32nd place at 6-over 219. Casey continues to recover from a virus that required him to receive an injection on Thursday, when he opened with a 76.
Each of his challengers for the Harry Vardon Trophy sits in considerably better position, due mostly to that first-round score.
'Unfortunately the tournament is lost,' Casey admitted. 'There's nothing I can do about that. The first two days when I was ill pretty much killed off my chances of being in contention.
'Whatever happens happens,' he added. 'It would certainly be disappointing (not to win the Order of Merit) but I don't think it would be a crushing disappointment. If it does not happen, I have plenty more chances. But I certainly want the Order of Merit before I hang up the clubs.'
Irishman Padraig Harrington, who snared second place in the rankings with a victory two weeks ago, had a 72 on Saturday but remains within striking distance at 1-over 214.
Harrington was 2 under through 11 holes, but bogeyed three straight from No. 14 to fall into a tie for 13th place.
'Four behind is not the end of the world, but I've put a lot of people between me and the lead and you've got to think somebody is going to shoot a decent score (Sunday),' said Harrington.
'It's not insurmountable, but when I was coasting along winning was a lot easier prospect than it is now.'
The No. 3 and 4 challengers, Englishman David Howell and Swede Robert Karlsson, are tied for eighth place at even-par 213 after both shot 1-under 70.
Howell, once vying to become the first wire-to-wire Order of Merit champion before he suffered a shoulder injury, birdied five consecutive holes early in his round. But he posted four bogeys without another birdie the rest of the way.
'I was in a nice little zone early on,' Howell said, 'but then came the three- putt. Classic error, momentum lost. After being five under through seven it was obviously disappointing only to score 70.'
Karlsson recovered from a 74 on Friday and birdied the 17th hole to get to even par. He and Howell share eighth place with Sweden's Niclas Fasth (71), France's Raphael Jacquelin (69) and Germany's Marcel Siem (72).
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Volvo Masters
  • Full Coverage - Volvo Masters
  • Golf Channel Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    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.