McGinley and Dodd Share Dunhill Championship Lead

By Sports NetworkJanuary 20, 2002, 5:00 pm
Ireland's Paul McGinley and Welshman Stephen Dodd each posted rounds of 6-under 66 on Thursday to share a one-shot lead after the opening round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship.
Hendrik Buhrmann, Jamie Donaldson, Jean-Francois Remesy, Nic Henning, James Kingston, Greg Owen and Mark Roe are tied for third at 5-under-par 67.
Ernie Els and Retief Goosen, two South Africans with three U.S. Open titles between them, are part of a logjam in 10th at 4-under par.
'I played reasonably well and had quite a few birdie chances but didn't play the par-5s that well,' said Els, referring to his 68 on Thursday. 'I can't say I'm over satisfied with my opening round but at least it's under 70 and it's 4-under par.'
McGinley picked up three birdies on his first nine, the back nine at Houghton Golf Club, but he climbed up the leaderboard late in his round. He birdied the par-5 5th and hit the stick with his tee shot at eight. The near ace set up birdie and he closed his round with a birdie at the 471-yard 9th.
'I'm surprised but pleased,' said McGinley. 'I've just had six weeks off but often it's good to be fresh. I scored well today without playing particularly well. But you can't shoot 66 around here and play poorly. Overall I'm very pleased.'
The Irishman did not intend to compete in this tournament because he wanted to play in more events in America. However, the sponsor's exemptions were not rolling in as he thought they might.
'I had intended going to the West Coast but didnt get enough invitations to make it worthwhile,' said McGinley, who is ranked 32nd in the world and will make his Ryder Cup debut in September. 'It was disappointing, but its not an issue for me to raise.'
Dodd started on the second nine as well and parred the first five holes but went 4-under over his next four to make the turn in 32. He added birdies at Nos. 3 and 5 for his flawless 66.
The 35-year-old finished 66th last week at the South African Open but the end result could have been better. He posted 19 birdies and an eagle in the tournament but that was negated by 14 bogeys, three double-bogeys and a quadruple-bogey.
'Last week I made loads and loads of birdies but quite a few mistakes as well. Today I made the birdies and didn't make the mistakes. I just went out and played and tried my best,' Dodd said.
Andrew Coltart, Carl Pettersson, Mark Pilkington, Mark Mouland, Alastair Forsyth, Anthony Wall, Roger Wessels and Marc Cayeux joined Els and Goosen at 4-under.
Former professional soccer player Roy Wegerle made his professional golf debut on Thursday and it got off to a great start with a birdie at the first hole. It went downhill from there as Wegerle finished with a 4-over 76.
'I was nervous out there, but that's natural,' Wegerle said. 'I played nicely, but I made a few silly mistakes. For instance, I was able to reach all of the par-5s in two, but couldn't take advantage of that.'
Paul Lawrie, the 1999 British Open champion, withdrew from the tournament before play began on Thursday. The Scotsman suffered a back injury and felt unable to compete.
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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.