Nallen Cruises to Record Win

By Sports NetworkOctober 10, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Gila River Golf ClassicCHANDLER, Ariz. -- Chris Nallen closed with a 1-under 71 on Sunday, but it was more than enough to win the Gila River Golf Classic. Nallen finished the event at 24-under-par 264, eight strokes clear of the field.
 
Nallen made a little bit of history with the win. Prior to this, no player had won as a Monday-qualifier in his first career start. He became the 17th Monday-qualifier to go on to win a Nationwide event and the 10th to win in their first start, but no one had done both.
 
If that weren't enough, he became the 19th wire-to-wire winner in Nationwide Tour history. No one had ever done two of these things in one week, let alone all three. The eight-stroke win was also the largest winning margin of the season.
 
'It's pretty cool,' said Nallen, who picked up $85,000 for the victory. 'Everything went right this week and that doesn't happen much. When it does, you just ride it and enjoy it.'
 
Troy Matteson took second place at 16-under-par 272 after closing with a 70 at Whirlwind Golf Club's Cattail Course. Jason Schultz also posted a final-round 70 to close at minus-15. Matthew Jones and Kevin Stadler, a two-time winner this season, finished at 13-under-par 275.
 
Nallen tripped to a bogey at the first, but bounced right back with a birdie at two. He moved to 24 under with a birdie at the par-4 fifth.
 
The 22-year-old coasted to the back side with six consecutive pars. Nallen got up-and-down for birdie at the par-5 12th.
 
Thankfully Nallen had a large lead, as he stumbled to bogeys at each of the next two holes after missing the green each time. He settled down to par the next three holes.
 
Nallen, a four-time All-American at the University of Arizona, closed the tournament in style as he chipped in for birdie at the last.
 
'It's awesome to finish that way and birdie the last hole,' said Nallen. 'I wanted to get it up there close and have a good look at par. It was tracking the whole way, hit the pin and dropped in. It was a great way to end.'
 
The win jumps Nallen all the way to No. 63 on the Nationwide Tour money list with just two full-field events left. The top-60 money winners will qualify for the Tour Championship in three weeks.
 
Matteson made a big move early, but late troubles kept him from making a serious run at Nallen. Matteson opened with back-to-back birdies to move to minus-16. He again sank consecutive birdies from the fourth.
 
After a bogey at six, the 24-year-old Matteson dropped in birdies at the seventh and eighth to get to 19 under. He faltered to bogeys on nine and 10 and his run at Nallen was all but done. He parred his next seven holes before bogeying the last.
 
Scott Petersen, Brent Schwarzrock, Darron Stiles, Jason Buha, Steven Alker and Tyler Williamson shared sixth place at 12-under-par 276.
 
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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.