England Soars into World Cup Lead

By Sports NetworkNovember 19, 2004, 5:00 pm
04 WGC-EMC World CupSEVILLE, Spain -- The English tandem of Luke Donald and Paul Casey combined for an 8-under 64 in Friday's alternate-shot format to take a commanding lead after two rounds of the World Golf Championships - World Cup. The duo stands at 19-under-par 125 and is five ahead of the team from Austria, Markus Brier and Martin Wiegele.
 
Brier and Wiegele could not get up and down for par from a greenside bunker at the 18th at Real Club de Golf Sevilla. That bogey gave them a 2-under 70 and a two-round total of 14-under-par 130.
 
The English team was one back in third place after Thursday's opening round, but wasted little time in getting the top spot on the leaderboard. The pair birdied four in a row from the third to go two clear of the field.
 
Donald and Casey, both of whom represented Europe in this year's Ryder Cup, did not relent. Casey drained a 20-foot birdie putt at the eighth to go three ahead, then Donald knocked the team's third to 10 feet to set up another Casey birdie putt at the par-5 ninth.
 
The duo kept their huge margin even when they ran into trouble. At the 10th, Casey drove into the right rough, and Donald hit the approach well left of the green. Casey pitched to 20 feet and Donald sank the par putt to keep their large lead.
 
Donald's second at the par-4 12th spun back to 3 feet. Casey tapped in the birdie putt, then holed a 5-footer for birdie at 14 after Donald blasted out from a greenside bunker. The English team made it three in a row at 15 when Donald's approach from a fairway trap came up 18 feet short. Casey converted the birdie try to give England a six-shot advantage.
 
The Austrian team clawed back with a 6-foot birdie putt at the 13th. They trailed by five and looked like they might gain another stroke when England appeared to be in danger at the par-5 16th.
 
Casey drove in the water right and after a drop, Donald hit a fairway-metal from the rough that just cleared a lake guarding the green. Casey chipped 5 feet short of the flag, but Donald drained the par-saving putt.
 
At the 18th, Donald's second landed over the flag in the back rough. Casey chipped 8 feet past the hole and Donald played too much break in his putt. The team made bogey and saw its lead slip to four.
 
But Austria, who played in the final group on Friday thanks to sharing the first-round lead with Ireland, also had problems at 18. The team was over the green in two and also failed to save par, giving England a five-shot lead with two rounds to play.
 
'I think we played very solidly today,' said Donald. 'I think our plan was to give me a lot of iron shots and leave Paul with all of the putts. He's putting great right now. That kept our momentum going.'
 
So England has a five-shot lead, but does that mean they will play conservatively on Saturday?
 
'The beauty is we've got four-ball tomorrow,' said Casey. 'There's no reason to hold back with two balls in play tomorrow. We'll try to put together something in double-digits, 10-under or plus. Hopefully we'll be in a good position for Sunday.'
 
The Austrian team was a shocking co-leader after the opening round considering they were not even qualified for the tournament. They missed the mark by three strokes in a qualifying event last month in Mexico, but when Thailand withdrew, the Austrian side got a spot.
 
Austria started poorly with a bogey at the third, but rebounded with a birdie at the eighth. They combined for three birdies in a four-hole span from the 10th to get into a share of second with Ireland, but Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley fell on hard times on the back nine.
 
Harrington and McGinley, who won this event in 1997, was in second throughout much of the second round, but disaster struck at the par-5 16th. McGinley needed to roll in a 35-footer for bogey, but came up almost 4 feet short. Harrington made the putt for double bogey and parred out for a 1-under 71.
 
The Irish team is tied for third place at 13-under-par 131 with the defending champion South Africa (Rory Sabbatini & Trevor Immelman, 65), Sweden (Fredrik Jacobson & Joakim Haeggman, 67), the United States of America (Bob Tway & Scott Verplank, 67), Japan (Shigeki Maruyama & Hidemichi Tanaka, 69) and host country Spain (Miguel Angel Jimenez & Sergio Garcia, 68).
 
Australia's team of Nick O'Hern and Stephen Leaney posted a 4-under 68 and are alone in ninth place at 12-under-par 132. Marcel Siem and Kariem Baraka of Germany carded a 3-under 69 and are in 10th at minus-11.
 
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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.