Harris Tops Jenkins in Champions Playoff

By Sports NetworkJune 25, 2006, 4:00 pm
EAST MEADOW, N.Y. -- John Harris, the 1993 U.S. Amateur champion, earned his first professional victory at the Commerce Bank Championship on Sunday when he defeated Tom Jenkins in a playoff.
 
'I'm pretty overwhelmed,' said Harris, who pocketed $225,000 for the victory. 'I'm really proud of the way I played. It's been a long four years.'
 
Harris fired a 7-under 64 in the final round to get into the clubhouse at 11-under-par 202. Jenkins birdied his 17th hole and made par from the rough at 18 for a 2-under 69.
 
The pair returned to the par-4 closing hole for the playoff. Harris, who bogeyed the hole in both the second and third rounds, spilt the fairway with his drive, while Jenkins landed in the right rough.
 
Jenkins had all kinds of tree trouble with his second, but played a nice shot short of the green. Harris hit a sensational 6-iron 6 feet right of the flag.
 
Jenkins pitched his third almost 7 feet from the hole, then drained the par save to apply the pressure on Harris. The former amateur star calmly sank his birdie putt for the win.
 
'I played this hole twice today and bogeyed it both times so I felt like it owed me something,' said Harris. 'I visualized good shots and they came off just the way I looked at them.'
 
The playoff culminated a long day at the Red Course at Eisenhower Park on Sunday. Heavy rain forced the suspension of play on Saturday, so most of the field completed the second round on Sunday before the final round.
 
Jay Haas, who was looking for his fourth consecutive win on the Champions Tour, let one get away on Sunday. He missed a 4-foot birdie putt on 17, then could not birdie the last to get into the extra session.
 
He shot a 2-under 69 and tied for third with Gil Morgan, who also carded a 69 in the final round, and Andy Bean, who bogeyed the last to miss the playoff and shoot a 4-under 67. The group came in at 10-under-par 203.
 
Dana Quigley posted a 6-under 65 in the final round to come in sixth place at minus-9.
 
Harris flew out of the gate in Sunday's final round with birdies at two, three and six. He closed his front nine with a birdie at the ninth, but his play on the back nine is what got him to the winner's circle.
 
He birdied the 11th and 12th holes, but when his 20-footer at the par-3 13th found the bottom of the cup, he found himself tied for the lead with Bean.
 
Bean, who will have to wait for Champions Tour win No. 1, fell down the leaderboard when his approach shot at 13 plugged in a bunker. He made bogey, but got the shot back with a 4-foot birdie putt at the next hole.
 
Harris, playing several groups ahead, rolled in an 18-foot birdie putt at the 16th to stay one ahead of Bean. Bean dropped a shot at the 16th to fall two back, but tapped in a short birdie putt at the par-5 17th to get within one.
 
Harris came back to the field at 18. His drive found the fairway, but his approach sailed right of the green. Harris chipped his third to 35 feet and two-putted to fall back into a tie with Bean.
 
Bean was the next to tumble at the final hole. He drove into the right rough and his second landed short and left of the green. Bean hit his third 6 feet past the hole and missed the par putt, leaving Jenkins, Haas and Morgan as the only players who could tie Harris.
 
Haas birdied the 14th to get to minus-10, but could not get anything to fall the rest of the way. He had a 4-footer at 17, but pushed it.
 
Jenkins, who collected only one previous birdie at the seventh, rolled in a 4-footer of his own for a birdie at the 17th. Morgan holed an 18-footer at the same hole to get within one.
 
At the 18th, Jenkins was tied for the lead with Harris, while Morgan and Haas needed birdies to tie. Jenkins drove into the right rough and came up short of the putting surface with his second. Morgan never factored into the hole and Haas gave himself a 25-foot chance to reach 11 under par.
 
Jenkins chipped to 2 feet and kicked in the par putt. Haas missed his birdie try to leave Harris and Jenkins to the playoff.
 
Dave Eichelberger, Scott Simpson and Massy Kuramoto all carded rounds of 2- under 69 on Sunday. They tied for seventh place with Tom Wargo, who shot a 70 in the final round, at 8-under-par 205.
 
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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.