Park Prevails Over Song for First Major

By Sports NetworkMarch 28, 2004, 5:00 pm
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- Grace Park birdied the par-5 18th on Sunday to complete a round of 69 for her first career major title at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
'My knees, my arms, my whole body was shaking,' said Park, who finished at 11- under-par 277. 'I don't know if anybody else is that way, but I remember every win that I've had, seriously, I didn't know if I could start the club.'
Park stood on the 18th tee with a two-shot edge over LPGA Tour rookie Aree Song. Song, who was trying to become the youngest player to ever win a major on the LPGA Tour, roped her approach onto the green and watched as her ball rolled inside 30 feet of the cup.
Park played her second shot short of the water and knocked her third to 6 feet before Song drained her eagle putt to take the clubhouse lead at 10 under par.
'I knew I had to make a three to have any chance,' said Song. 'I just read it perfectly.'
There was plenty of excitement left however. Park, who fell short of her first major win in a playoff to Annika Sorenstam at last year's LPGA Championship, responded and calmly converted the birdie try for the biggest win of her career.
'I knew exactly what I had to do,' said Park, who won for the fifth time on the LPGA Tour. 'I watched Aree's putt, actually. I saw it go in the hole and then I knew that I really, really had to make my 6-footer.'
Park, who began the day tied with Song at 8 under, found trouble early with a bogey at the third.
The turning point came around the turn for Park with a birdie at the ninth. She added a birdie at the 10th and another at the 11th to grab the outright lead.
At the par-4 12th, Park dropped her second shot within 6 feet of the cup and sank the putt for her fourth consecutive birdie to open a two-shot edge over the field.
The 25-year-old struggled off the tee en route to a bogey at the 15th but showed her experience with a perfect play at the last to take home the title on the Dinah Shore Course at Mission Hills.
'It's believing in myself,' said Park. 'Believing in my hard work that I had done. Just trusting that I could do this, If you want it really, really badly, you can get it. And I guess I was the one that wanted it the most.'
Song grabbed the lead with a birdie at the second and pulled two ahead with a birdie at the 10th.
The 17-year-old faltered with a bogey at the very next hole, however, and fell further back with a bogey at the 16th.
Song persisted and finished the best way she could with an eagle at the last to secure second place alone at 10-under-par 278.
'I just don't think I could have done anymore,' said Song, who shot a 70. 'I felt like I squeezed out a lot of shots today with the game I had. When you don't hit it in the fairway here it's a very difficult course to make birdie on.'
Karrie Webb birdied the 18th to complete a round of 69. She finished alone in third place at 9-under-par 279, one shot clear of another young star.
Michelle Wie was impressive again on Sunday as the 14-year-old carded a 1-under 71 to finish fourth at 7-under-par 281.
Wie, who tallied two birdies and a bogey in the final round, improved her result from last year's tournament for her best career finish on the LPGA Tour.
'I kind of feel drained right now. I'm just so tired. It's just been four long, hot days,' said Wie. 'I was tired today but I made a promise to myself today even if nothing works out that I'm still going to fight until the end.'
Cristie Kerr posted a 69 to join Catriona Matthew in a tie for fifth at 6-under-par 282. Mi Hyun Kim was one shot further back at 5-under-par 283.
Rosie Jones, Lorena Ochoa, Candie Kung, Christina Kim and Jung Yeon Lee shared eighth place at 4-under-par 284.
Annika Sorenstam, whose bid for a single season grand slam will have to wait until next year, closed with a 69 to finish one shot further back at 3-under-par 285 along Hee-Won Han and Stacy Prammanasudh.
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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.