Goosen Leads Woods by One at Grand Slam
This event features golf's four professional major champions in a 36-hole stroke-play tournament.
Goosen distanced himself from the group at the par-5 sixth when he roped a 3-wood from 255 yards out, but missed the green long. He holed a sand wedge from 25 yards for an eagle-three to reach 5-under-par.
'I had a pretty good lie down in the rough and it was a good chip shot, just ran it perfect and it landed and went in the hole,' said Goosen, referring to his eagle. 'That was nice.'
Goosen broke out quickly at Poipu Bay Resort Golf Course with a four-foot birdie putt at the par-5 second. He added a six-footer a hole later after he hit a beautiful tee shot at the 203-yard par-3.
The U.S. Open champion wedged his approach inside five feet at No. 5 to set up his third birdie before the eagle at No. 6.
Goosen would like to cap off his best career season. The 11-year veteran won his first major at Southern Hills in June and became the first non-European to capture the Order of Merit title (leading money winner) since Greg Norman in 1982. He is also playing well coming into the Grand Slam after teaming with Ernie Els to win the WGC-EMC World Cup of Golf last weekend.
'I'm pretty confident and happy with the year,' said Goosen, who added a five-foot birdie at No. 14. 'I was just trying to get a little bit comfortable on the tee. I kept in play today so that was the main thing.'
Woods also got off to a hot start with birdies at his opening two holes. He added a tap-in birdie at No. 6 which was amazing considering he drove behind a tree but hooked a 6-iron to six feet. He missed the eagle try but tapped in for birdie.
The three-time defending champion nailed a pitching wedge to nine feet at No. 7 to reach 4-under par, but dropped his first shot of the round at No. 9 when missed the green with a sand wedge and failed to save par from 16 feet.
Woods rebounded with five-foot birdie at the 10th and parred the next seven holes. He two-putted from 45 feet at the last to get within one of Goosen.
'I was very happy to shoot what I shot today because I was not driving the golf ball the way I wanted,' said Woods, the only player to win this event three times in a row. 'To end up at 5-under par, I was pretty happy with that.'
Toms went on to the back nine tied with Goosen at 5-under. He birdied two of his first four before he made three birdies in a row, starting at No. 7. The PGA champion fell down the leaderboard at 11 when he missed the green at the par-3 hole and failed to convert a two-footer for bogey.
The 2001 three-time winner clawed back with back-to-back birdies at Nos. 14 and 15, but a bogey on the 17th gave him his 68.
'I was very happy with the round,' said Toms. 'It was my first competitive round of the golf course and I felt like I played it pretty well.'
Duval struggled from the beginning with a bogey at the first. He double-bogeyed No. 5 after driving out of bounds, and Nos. 7 and 18 when he found water.
'I played poorly,' said Duval, who shed the title of 'best player to never win a major' at the British Open. 'I'm glad the day is over.'
Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish
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.
Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him
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.
Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter
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.
Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose
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.
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.