New Zealand Takes Lead Americans Tied for Fourth

By Sports NetworkNovember 16, 2001, 5:00 pm
Michael Campbell and David Smail teamed up to shoot a 6-under 66 that lifted New Zealand into the lead at 15-under-par 129 after Friday's alternate-shot second round of the WGC-EMC World Cup.
The Japanese tandem of Toshi Izawa and Shigeki Maruyama delighted the home fans at the Taiheiyo Club's Gotemba Course by grabbing a share of second place with Scotland at 11-under. The hosts combined for a 69, while Andrew Coltart and Dean Robertson, who fired a better-ball 62 Thursday to put Scotland atop the leaderboard with Canada and Sweden, posted a 71.
Defending champions Tiger Woods and David Duval of the United States, tied for 11th at the start of the day, produced a 68 and moved into a tie for fourth at 10-under par with Thomas Bjorn and Soren Hansen of Denmark (69), and Sergio Garcia and Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain (71).
The Canadians and the Swedes matched 73s to drop back into seventh place in the 24-country field with Argentina (68), France (68), Fiji (69) and South Africa (71).
Campbell, the 30th-ranked player in the world with four career wins on the European Tour, has tallied 15 birdies over the two days with Smail. Smail, the world's 136th-ranked golfer, competes on the Australasian Tour and has experience playing the 7,232-yard Gotemba layout.
'It's definitely an advantage,' Smail - the winner of last year's Canon Challenge - said. 'I know the grass types here and what it's like to play in Japan this time of year. I've played this course three or four times in the past and am quite familiar with it.'
Woods and Duval, the most formidable pairing rankings-wise at Nos. 1 and 3, respectively, struggled a bit in Thursday's best-ball format, taking a penalty when Duval rolled a practice putt on the 16th green after Woods had holed out.
The U.S. representatives got their act together on the back nine Friday, birdieing three of the first four holes after the turn.
After Duval knocked his approach to 10 feet at the par-4 10th, Woods sank the putt to convert the birdie. At the par-5 11th, Duval hit his team's third shot to six feet and Woods managed to connect again.
Although he missed a five-footer for birdie at the 12th, Woods came through at par-3 13th after Duval's tee shot set up another six-foot birdie try.
Duval missed the green at the par-3 17th and Woods made the situation worse when he chipped short of the hole. They needed two more putts to get down for bogey but fashioned a birdie at the closing hole to negate the dropped shot.
'It could have been a really low number today, but that's just the way it goes,' said Woods, who is looking to be part of a third straight victory for the U.S. at the World Cup.
'This format is awfully difficult to get into a rhythm, and we found it a little bit in the middle of the round. But we just made our share of mistakes a little bit, too.'
Before successfully joining forces with Duval in Argentina last year, Woods teamed up with Mark O'Meara to win the event in Malaysia in 1999.
The U.S. has won 23 of the 46 World Cups held since the event's inception in 1953.
The World Cup is the final World Golf Championships event scheduled for 2001. Steve Stricker captured the WGC-Match Play Championship in Australia back in January, and Woods won his third straight WGC-NEC Invitational at Firestone in August after an epic seven-hole playoff with Jim Furyk.
The third tournament in the series, the WGC-American Express Championship, was scheduled for September 13-16 but was cancelled in the wake of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington on September 11.
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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.