DiMarco Leads BellSouth

By Sports NetworkApril 3, 2003, 5:00 pm
DULUTH, Ga. -- Chris DiMarco shot a 5-under 67 Thursday to take the lead after the opening round of the BellSouth Classic. DiMarco finished with a one-shot edge over a group of players that includes defending champion Retief Goosen.
Goosen was joined by Billy Andrade, Bob Burns, Aaron Barber, Brad Lardon and Jay Williamson in a tie for second at 4-under-par 68.
'Today was one of the better swinging rounds I've had where I was consistent with my iron play and had a lot of really good shots at the hole,' said DiMarco, a three-time winner on the PGA Tour. 'I was very much in control of my game.'
DiMarco, who has posted three top-10 finishes so far this year, got things started at the TPC at Sugarloaf with a birdie at the fifth. He then hit a sand wedge to four feet for a birdie at the par-5 sixth.
The 34-year-old birdied the par-4 ninth and converted a six-foot putt for a birdie at the par-5 10th. At the par-4 14th, DiMarco drained a 15-foot putt for a birdie and followed that up with a 20-footer for a birdie at the next hole.
DiMarco, who finished in a tie for 23rd at this event last year, stumbled with a bogey at the 17th but managed to hang on to the clubhouse lead as players start to ready themselves for the for the first major of 2003, the Masters, next week at Augusta National.
'It was definitely tough out there. The course isn't playing that long but the greens are like rocks,' said DiMarco. 'I like this course especially when it plays like this. I think it plays better fast and hard. There's some really hard holes out here.'
Goosen opened with a birdie at the first but stumbled with a bogey at the very next hole. The South African made the turn at even-par, but caught fire on the back side.
He birdied the 10th and two-putted for a birdie at the 13th. At the 16th, Goosen hit a 6-iron to six feet for a birdie and drained a five-foot putt at the 17th to finish one shot off the lead.
'I obviously feel pretty comfortable around this course. I like the way it sets up for me, and I like the greens,' said Goosen. 'Although it's playing shorter and the fairways are running. The greens are much more difficult to get close to the flags.'
Rookie John Morgan held a share of the lead with DiMarco, but found trouble at the ninth, his last, with a double bogey.
The young Englishman was joined by Fred Couples, Lee Janzen, Paul Stankowski, Mark Calcavecchia, Paul Azinger and Joey Sindelar in a tie for eighth at 3-under-par 69.
'We all know you have to putt well out here to score well,' said Stankowski. 'You've got to hit good shots. You can't just hit it all over the lot here.'
J.J. Henry, Mike Heinen, Bob Tway, Brandt Jobe, John Huston, Tom Pernice Jr. and Olin Browne finished three shots off the lead at 2-under-par 70.
Phil Mickelson, who is making his first start since the birth of his third child, had four birdies, three bogeys and a double bogey to finish in a tie for 57th at 1-over-par 73.
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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.