Harrington Clarke in the Hunt

By Sports NetworkMay 22, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Deutsche Bank-SAP OpenHEIDELBERG, Germany -- Frenchman Gregory Havret posted a 4-under 68 on Saturday to take the third-round lead of the Deutsche Bank - SAP Open TPC of Europe. He finished 54 holes at 12-under-par 204 and leads by two over defending champion Padraig Harrington and Trevor Immelman.
Joakim Haeggman, who won this year's Qatar Masters, fired a 6-under 66 and is tied for fourth place with Darren Clarke, who shot a third-round 70. The duo is knotted at 9-under-par 207.
Louis Oosthuizen carded a 1-under 71 and is alone in sixth at minus-8. Overnight leader Alex Cejka of Germany struggled to a 4-over 76 on Saturday and is seventh at 7-under-par 209.
Havret traded a birdie and a bogey over his first two holes on Saturday but drained a 35-foot eagle putt at the third. He mixed two bogeys and birdie on the rest of his front nine to make the turn at 1 under par.
The Frenchman, who won the 2001 Italian Open, sank a 15-footer for birdie at the 10th to jump into first place at 10 under par. He reached the green in two at the par-5 12th and two-putted from 50 feet for birdie, which maintained his one-shot edge.
Harrington matched Havret in first place but Havret reclaimed the lead. Havret drove into the rough at the 14th but knocked his approach to 3 feet and tapped in the birdie putt. He went two clear of Harrington at the 15th when he holed a 10-footer for birdie.
Havret dropped a shot to par at the par-3 16th when his tee ball landed 60 feet from the hole. He three-putted for the bogey and only held a one-stroke advantage over the 2003 winner.
Harrington ran into his own trouble at the par-5 17th. He missed the fairway then failed to advance his ball back into the fairway. Harrington took a bogey on the hole and fell two behind.
Havret parred the 17th then found the fairway off 18 tee, which was critical for the Frenchman. On Friday, Havret drove into the water and left the hole with a triple-bogey seven.
Saturday was a different story because Havret landed safely on the green in regulation. He was 65 feet short of the hole but lagged a beautiful putt to two feet. Havret calmly rolled home the par putt to take the 54-hole lead for the first time in his European Tour career.
'I was disappointed, of course, with that triple-bogey but as I said at the time, that's golf,' said Havret. 'Overall I had a good day and I'm quite happy. I tried to take it shot by shot. I did some good things and I did some bad things but I just tried to keep going.'
Harrington was only 1 under par until he reached the par-5 12th hole. He missed the green with his second shot but chipped in for eagle to get to 9 under par.
The Irishman hit a spectacular tee ball to the par-3 13th. It stopped a foot from the hole and Harrington tapped in for birdie and a share of the lead at minus-10.
While Havret extended his margin, Harrington tried to keep pace. He drained a 7-foot birdie putt at the 15th to tie Havret at 11-under par but the miscue at 17, cost Harrington.
The No. 8 player in the world had only 8 feet for birdie at the last but missed the putt that would have gotten him within one.
'I fell asleep over the tee shot on the 17th by losing concentration,' said Harrington, who posted a 4-under 68 on Saturday. 'Obviously the putt at the last would have saved the day, but, no, it didn't. I am not even thinking about tomorrow right now. I am thinking about my lunch rather than defending this title.'
Immelman held the lead with three front-nine birdies but only came in at even-par on the back side. He finished a 3-under 69 and is in position for his third victory on tour.
'The course has really shown its teeth after the first day,' said Immelman, who won back-to-back South African Airways Open titles starting last year. 'You've got a British Open feel with the wind and the cold and a U.S. Open feel with the greens and the rough. You are just trying to hang in there.'
Nick Price is alone in eighth place at 6 under par after a third-round 70.
Order of Merit leader Ernie Els (72), Thomas Bjorn (72), 2001 U.S. Open winner Retief Goosen (69), Anders Hansen (73), Soren Hansen (70), David Howell (75), Soren Kjeldsen (71), Stephen Scahill (74) and Marcel Siem (73) share ninth at minus-5.
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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.

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    Rose: T-2 finish renewed my love of The Open

    By Jay CoffinJuly 22, 2018, 9:00 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Justin Rose made the cut on the number at The Open and was out for an early Saturday morning stroll at Carnoustie when, all of a sudden, he started putting together one great shot after another.

    There was no pressure. No one had expected anything from someone so far off the lead. Yet Rose shot 30 on the final nine holes to turn in 7-under 64, the lowest round of the championship. By day’s end he was five shots behind a trio of leaders that included Jordan Spieth.

    Rose followed the 64 with a Sunday 69 to tie for second place, two shots behind winner Francesco Molinari. His 133 total over the weekend was the lowest by a shot, and for a moment he thought he had a chance to hoist the claret jug, until Molinari put on a ball-striking clinic down the stretch with birdies on 14 and 18.

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    “I just think having made the cut number, it’s a great effort to be relevant on the leaderboard on Sunday,” said Rose, who collected his third-career runner-up in a major. He’s also finished 12th or better in all three majors this year.

    In the final round, Rose was well off the pace until his second shot on the par-5 14th hole hit the pin. He had a tap-in eagle to move to 5 under. Birdie at the last moved him to 6 under and made him the clubhouse leader for a few moments.

    “It just proves to me that I can play well in this tournament, that I can win The Open,” Rose said. “When I’m in the hunt, I enjoy it. I play my best golf. I don’t back away.

    “That was a real positive for me, and it renewed the love of The Open for me.”