Olazabal Tambellini Tied at BellSouth

By Sports NetworkApril 1, 2004, 5:00 pm
DULUTH, Ga. -- Jose Maria Olazabal and Roger Tambellini each fired rounds of 7-under-par 65 on Thursday to share the first-round lead of the BellSouth Classic.
 
Craig Bowden posted a 6-under 66 for third place at the TPC at Sugarloaf.
 
Reigning PGA Champion Shaun Micheel and Tim Petrovic recorded matching rounds of 5-under 67 for fourth place.
 
Olazabal broke out of the gate quickly with a 20-foot birdie putt at the second hole. Sharp iron play led to tap-in birdies at five and eight for the two-time Masters champion.
 
At the par-five 10th, Olazabal missed the green but was able to two-putt for another birdie. The Spaniard again knocked an approach to tap-in range at the 12th with a 7-iron and was two off the lead.
 
Olazabal hit a 5-iron to eight feet at 15 and drained the birdie putt to reach 6-under par. He laid up with a 3-iron at No. 18 and wedged his approach to three feet to set up the birdie that tied him atop the leaderboard with Tambellini.
 
'It was an extremely good round for me today,' said Olazabal. 'I put the ball pretty close most of the time, and the driver didn't hurt me that much. I missed a few drives but they didn't hurt me all that much.'
 
Olazabal has struggled in the 2004 PGA Tour campaign as his best finish was a tie for 32nd place at the Nissan Open. With the Masters looming next week, the Spaniard hopes a good week this week can help him at Augusta National.
 
'I've always said this golf course is set up pretty much the same way as Augusta,' said Olazabal. 'You do have very undulating greens with a lot of slopes around the green. There's not much rough around the greens. It's a good tune up for next week.'
 
Olazabal has 28 wins worldwide while his co-leader, a winner on the Nationwide Tour last year, is making just his seventh career start on the PGA Tour.
 
Tambellini opened on the back nine Thursday. Early on, his round did not look like a 65. He hit his approach long at the 12th and missed a 20-footer to save par. The 29-year-old Californian didn't make another mistake.
 
At the 14th, Tambellini knocked a 6-iron to four feet to set up his first birdie of the round. Three holes later, it was a wedge to 20 feet for his second birdie and at 18, Tambellini reached the green in two shots and lipped out a 25-foot eagle putt before a tap-in birdie.
 
Tambellini parred the first three holes of his second nine. Then, at the par-5 fourth, he drove into a fairway bunker and wedged his second into the fairway. After hitting a poor 3-iron from 196 yards, Tambellini still holed the putt for birdie, triggering an excellent run to close his round.
 
Tambellini drove into the bunkers at five and wedged his second short of the water. He hit another wedge to five feet and drained the putt to save par.
 
'That was a key hole, really,' said Tambellini. 'That really kept my round going.'
Tambellini missed the green with a 3-wood for his second shot at the par-5 sixth. He holed out his bunker shot for eagle, then tapped in for birdie at seven and sank a 25-footer for birdie at the eighth to polish off his round of 65.
 
'It's not something that I would have ever dreamed of doing this morning,' said Tambellini. 'My putting stroke didn't play great. A round like this, you don't pick them, they pick you.'
 
Adam Scott, the winner of last week's Players Championship, opened with a 4-under 68. He is tied for sixth place with defending champion Ben Crane, Billy Mayfair, Brian Gay, Rory Sabbatini and former U.S. Open champion Scott Simpson.
 
Phil Mickelson, the 2000 BellSouth Classic champion, is tied for 12th at 3-under-par 69. Former PGA Championship winner Rich Beem is among those tied with Mickelson.
 
Related Links:
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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.