Lietzke Triples Last to Share Lead

By Sports NetworkMarch 8, 2003, 5:00 pm
COL. LOMAS ALTAS, Mexico -- Tom Jenkins fired a 7-under 65 Saturday to jump into a three-way tie atop the leaderboard after two rounds of the MasterCard Classic. Jenkins, Eamonn Darcy (68) and defending champion Bruce Lietzke (68) share first place at 9-under-par 135.
 
Isao Aoki and Tom Kite share fourth place at 7-under-par 137 with Steve Veriato one shot further back.
 
Jenkins began his day five shots off Allen Doyle's pace. He started his climb up the leaderboard with back-to-back birdies from the third. Jenkins, who is a three-time winner on the Champions Tour, went on to birdie the par-4 eighth to make the turn at minus-5 for the tournament.
 
Jenkins started his back nine with a birdie at the par-4 10th. However, he gave that stroke back with a bogey at the next.
 
The University of Houston alum moved to 5-under for his round with a birdie at the par-3 14th. Jenkins went on to close out his round with back-to-back birdies from the 17th to grab a share of the lead.
 
Lietzke, who came from behind to win last year's title, had the lead to himself until he found trouble at the 18th.
 
On the closing hole, he dumped one shot in the water and also had to blast out from a buried lie in a bunker. He triple-bogeyed the hole to fall into a share of the lead.
 
'I played 17 holes like Tiger Woods and the 18th hole like my grandmother,' said Lietzke.
 
He birdied three straight holes from the third to get to minus-8 and around the turn, he kept that going with birdies at Nos. 10 and 12.
 
Lietzke extended his lead with birdies at 15 and 17 to move to 12-under for the tournament before the mishap at 18.
 
'That was a really great round other than the last hole,' said Lietzke, who is trying to be the first Champions Tour player since Hale Irwin to successfully defend a title.
 
Irwin accomplished that at the Turtle Bay Championship last fall.
 
Darcy, who is making his Champions Tour debut, started his round with three straight pars. He then birdied the par-4 fourth from four feet. Darcy later rolled in a 40-footer for birdie at the seventh and a 20-footer at the ninth to make the turn at eight-under.
 
The Irishman notched consecutive birdies starting with a 15-footer at the 13th to move to the top of the leaderboard at minus-10. However, Darcy faltered down the stretch with a bogey at the 18th, when he was unable to get up-and-down from a bunker, to fall into a share of the lead.
 
'I played pretty solid for 17 holes until the 18th,' said Darcy. 'I'm struggling a little bit with my irons.'
 
The long-time European Tour player is pleased to be near the top in his first event on the Champions Tour.
 
'I'm surprised a little where I am because this is my first event,' Darcy said. 'I've played very little golf since last October. I am very happy where I am.'
 
Irwin, Seiji Ebihara, David Eger, Walter Hall and Bobby Walzel share seventh place at 5-under-par 139.
 
Jim Thorpe withdrew from the tournament after an incident in Mexico City Friday evening. Thorpe was among a group of six golfers and two caddies that were out to dinner at a local restaurant. While they were dining, the men were robbed at gun point. Some wrist watches and other personal items were taken.
 
Related Links
  • Full-field scores for the MasterCard Classic
  • Full coverage of the MasterCard 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.