Howell On Top Early at Chrysler

By Sports NetworkOctober 30, 2003, 5:00 pm
PALM HARBOR, Fla. -- Charles Howell III posted a 5-under-par 66 to lead after the first round of the Chrysler Championship Thursday. Dan Forsman finished one shot back at 4-under-par 67.
Chad Campbell, Robert Gamez, Jerry Kelly and Jose Coceres shared third place at 3-under-par 68.
Howell, who earned his first career victory on the PGA Tour at last year's Michelob Championship at Kingsmill, played the back nine first at the Copperhead Course at Westin Innisbrook and broke into the red with an eagle at the par-5 14th.
'The golf course was very tough today,' said Howell. 'It will reward a good shot, but it's one of the tougher and one of the better courses that we play.'
The 24-year-old dropped a shot with a bogey at the 16th but managed to respond with a birdie at the 18th.
Howell dropped his third shot from a bunker within six feet for a birdie at the first and hit a brilliant approach inside two feet at the par-4 second. Howell tapped in the birdie putt to make it three in a row.
He stumbled with a bogey at the third but ran home a 30-footer for a birdie at the par-3 fourth.
At the par-4 seventh, Howell hit his second shot to 25 feet and drained the birdie putt to secure the opening-round lead.
Howell, who is currently 27th on the PGA Tour money list, hasn't posted a top-10 finish since The International but the Augusta native is in position to gain a spot in the Tour Championship next week.
'You just go play golf,' said Howell. 'At the end of the day you add them up and you see where you stand. Every time I have ever thought about a position on the money list or any time I ever looked around me and who was around me I have always done worse.'
Forsman did his damage on the inward half with three consecutive birdies starting at the par-3 13th.
At the par-4 18th, Forsman knocked his approach to four feet and converted the birdie putt to finish alone in second.
'I don't think you ever beat this place, it's got enough holes out there,' said Forsman. 'You are always at the edge of your seat if you will. It's going to demand everything you got.'
Gamez tallied six birdies and three bogeys for his share of third.
'I have had some success out here,' said Gamez. 'It's always been one of my favorite golf courses to play.'
Davis Love III, J.J. Henry, Duffy Waldorf, Retief Goosen and Steve Lowery finished in a tie for seventh at 2-under-par 69.
Vijay Singh, who could wrap up the money title with a victory this week, was one shot further back in a group at 1-under-par 70 that features Ernie Els.
Defending champion K.J. Choi was one shot further back in a group at even-par 71.
Phil Mickelson, who needs a strong finish this week to work his way into the Tour Championship, gave those hopes a severe blow on Thursday after he opened with a round of 9-over-par 80.
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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.