Schroeder Sets Pace at Emerald Coast
Schroeder went deep with a 70-foot birdie putt from the edge of the green at the par-3 3rd hole, then began a streak of three straight birdies with a 20-footer at the fifth.
'I got off to a great start with the long birdie putt at No. 3,' said Schroeder, the winner of a 1973 match-play event on the PGA Tour who is seeking his first win on the elder circuit. 'I attribute my round to the putter I'm using. It's allowed me to roll the ball a lot better.'
Schroeder needed some good rolls around the turn, as he put himself in the position to have to make two six-footers and a 10-footer to save par at Nos. 8, 9 and 10.
He notched another par save with a great greenside bunker shot at the 12th, followed by a gap wedge to 10 feet to set up his final birdie at 13.
'I didn't miss any putt that was makeable today,' said Schroeder, whose 65 matched his career-low round on the Senior Tour. 'You need to do that if you are going to win.'
Currently in his sixth season on the Senior Tour, Schroeder earned partial exempt status for 2001 with a top-16 finish at the Senior Tour National Qualifying Tournament in December. A non-exempt player over the last two years, Schroeder played in only 11 events in 1999 and just five in 2000.
Should Schroeder keep the lead Saturday and hang on to win Sunday, he would become the third player in successive years to win this event in wire-to-wire fashion. Bob Duval led from start to finish in 1999 and Gil Morgan turned the trick last year.
Smith, who joined the Senior Tour late in last year's campaign, also qualified for a conditional exemption for this season based on his finish at Q-School.
He mixed three birdies with two bogeys on his front nine Friday, but was steady on the way in with birdies at Nos. 11, 14 and 15.
Jim Colbert, who rang up his 20th Senior Tour victory and his first since 1998 at the SBC Senior Classic two weeks ago, is tied with Mike Hill, Tom Wargo, Tom Jenkins, Walter Hall and Toshiba Senior Classic winner Jose Maria Canizares at 2-under par.
Larry Nelson, No. 1 on the money list with two early season wins, is four shots off the pace with seven others after shooting 69 over the par-70 layout.
Morgan is six strokes back at 1-over par.
Full-Field Scores from the Emerald Coast Classic
Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish
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.
Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him
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.
Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter
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.
Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose
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.
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.