Nationwide Tour Tees It Up Down Under

By Sports NetworkFebruary 12, 2007, 5:00 pm
2007 Jacobs Creek Open ChampionshipADELAIDE, South Australia - Continuing its world travels to open the season, the Nationwide Tour heads down under for the Jacob's Creek Open Championship.
As is usually the case, Paul Sheehan, the defending champion, is not in the field. Sheehan managed just a bogey on the second playoff hole last year, but it was good enough to best Michael Sim for the crown.
Sim is also on the PGA TOUR, but has yet to play this year. Sheehan meanwhile has teed it up three times on the PGA Tour this season, but has yet to make a cut.
The 156-player field is split between 78 Nationwide Tour players, 73 from the PGA TOUR of Australasia and five invitations.
A very busy Golf Channel will have coverage of all four rounds beginning Thursday at 10:30 a.m. ET.
The Nationwide Tour shifts to New Zealand next week for the HSBC New Zealand PGA Championship, where Jim Rutledge won last year.
Nationwide Tour Notes
  • TOUR HEADS DOWN UNDER FOR TWO WEEKS -- For the sixth year in a row, the Nationwide Tour travels to Australia and New Zealand to play two events that are co-sanctioned with the PGA Tour of Australasia. The fields are split evenly with 78 players from both tours. They are official events on both circuits.
  • DAY AND FLANAGAN -- YOUNG AUSTRALIAN TALENT TO KEEP AN EYE ON -- Among the many Australians in this week's event are Jason Day of Queensland and Nick Flanagan of New South Wales. Day, who turned 19 in November, is the youngest member of the Nationwide Tour. He is already very well-known in his homeland having won the 2006 Australian Amateur Stroke Play Championship and other select national junior titles. He is making his first start on this tour. Flanagan, 22, defeated Casey Wittenburg on the 37th hole to win the 2003 U.S. Amateur at Oakmont CC. He begins his second full year on the Nationwide Tour having finished 32nd last year in 24 starts.
  • AUSTRALIA WELL REPRESENTED -- This week's host country, Australia, has the largest contingent of members from one country on Tour other than the U.S. again this year with 16. Canada is next with nine. The 2007 Nationwide Tour Media Guide lists 54 players representing 21 countries outside the U.S.
  • 200th WIN MILESTONE / UPDATE -- The Nationwide Tour will have to wait at least one more week to capture its 200th PGA TOUR win. Aaron Baddeley's victory at the recent FBR Open was No. 199. Six of the top 10 at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am were Nationwide Tour alums, including runner-up Kevin Sutherland and third-place finisher John Mallinger.
  • BATES NEEDS JUST ONE MORE -- Nationwide Tour veteran Ben Bates needs just one more weekend appearance to surpass Steve Haskins for the most made cuts in Tour history. The two players are deadlocked with 192 each. Bates, a 45-year-old native of Quincy, FL, has played on Tour every year since its inception in 1990, with the exception of the 1998-2000 seasons when he was a member of the PGA TOUR. Haskins leads the Tour with 370 career starts. Bates has 329.
  • KOOYONGA TURNS BACK THE CLOCK TO 1965 -- Gary Player won the 1965 Australian Open at Kooyonga. He had two rounds of 62 and tournament director Bob Tuohy marked his card for one of them. The story is told that Jack Nicklaus was walking out of the scorer's hut as Player was going in. Player asked him how he played and Nicklaus smiled and said 63. Player replied, Ive got you by one, Jack.
  • TOUR CARDS ISSUED INCREASES FROM 20 TO 25 -- A reminder....beginning in 2007, there will be an increase from 20 to 25 in the number of PGA TOUR cards that are awarded to Nationwide Tour players for 2008 based on the final 2007 money list. The decision was made due to the level of success Nationwide Tour players have had on the PGA TOUR.
  • DID YOU KNOW? Last year, 321 players cashed checks on the Nationwide Tour and a record 62 players earned $100,000 or more.
    Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Jacob's Creek Open Championship
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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.