Langham Leads Flirts with 59

By Sports NetworkApril 23, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Rheem ClassicFORT SMITH, Ark. -- Franklin Langham shot a sizzling 9-under 61 on Friday to surge into the lead during the second round of the Rheem Classic. Langham finished 36 holes at 12-under-par 128 as play was suspended for darkness for the second straight day.
Keoke Cotner posted his second consecutive 65 to finish alone in second place at 10-under-par 130. Kelly Sellers was two shots further back at 8-under-par 132.
After weather problems early on Thursday pushed the completion of the first round into Friday morning, Langham got back to business at Hardscrabble Country Club and nearly matched a Nationwide Tour record.
Starting at the par-5 third, Langham picked up the first of eight consecutive birdies to make his charge up the leaderboard.
'It was just one of those days, when it gets going good the ball seems to find the hole,' said Langham, who fired a 28 on the front nine. 'There are a lot more days when they lip out.'
A par at the 11th left Langham one birdie short of Omar Uresti's 1994 record of nine straight birdies, but Langham kept his sights on another magical number with a birdie at the par-4 14th.
Langham was now 9 under on his round with an excellent shot of breaking 60. The 35-year-old parred the last four holes, however, but walked away with the best round of his career.
'It crossed my mind once but it's a par-70 course,' Langham said of the possibility of shooting 59. 'It would have been nice to break that barrier.'
Cotner played the back side first and faltered out of the gate with a bogey at the 10th. He countered with an eagle at the par-5 11th and tallied back-to-back birdies from the par-4 13th to reach minus-8 for the tournament.
He dropped a shot with a bogey at the 17th but came right back to birdie the very next hole.
Cotner added a pair of birdies on the front nine to finish two shots off the lead.
Rafael Gomez stands alone in fourth place at 7-under-par 133 while Justin Bolli followed at 6-under-par 134.
First-round leader Jim Carter struggled to a round of 73 to join Bryce Molder, Charley Hoffman, Mike Sullivan, Jason Caron, Chris Anderson, Jeff Hart and Ryuji Imada at 5-under-par 135.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Rheem Classic
  • Full Coverage - Rheem Classic
  • Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    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.