Scott Maintains Lead at Qatar Masters

By Sports NetworkMarch 16, 2002, 5:00 pm
Adam Scott remained three shots ahead at the Qatar Masters, posting a 3-under 69 in Saturday's third round to lead with a total of 14-under-par 202 at Doha Golf Club.
 
France's Jean-Francois Remesy shot 68 to finish the day alone in second place at 11-under, while Scotland's Colin Montgomerie bogeyed the final hole to fall back into a tie for third at minus-10.
 
Scott, in search of his second European Tour title, increased his advantage to five strokes with four birdies through 10 holes. He dropped a shot at the 12th, however, when his approach with an 8-iron flew over the green and he couldn't convert the up-and-down to save par. It was only his second bogey of the tournament.
 
The 21-year-old Australian settled for pars the rest of the way, even at the 18th. Although he left himself a four-foot putt to birdie the par-5 closing hole, Scott's ball clipped a spike mark and slid by the right side of the cup.
 
'It would have been nice to make that one at the last but overall it is a good result,' said Scott, who notched his breakthrough victory by capturing the Alfred Dunhill Championship in his first start of 2001. 'I had the chance to run away with it because I played beautifully on the front nine.'
 
Scott, who surrendered a five-shot, third-round lead to Peter O'Malley at last year's English Open, said he feels better equipped to deal with the pressures that come with taking a lead into the final round.
 
'I think last year it was all pretty new. When I was ahead I tried to force it a little bit too much,' he said. 'But I think I am a stronger player than I was then with a year's more experience under my belt. Tomorrow I will go out and try to be comfortable straight away, get a putt going in or something like that to get relaxed and get into a good rhythm.
 
'It's nothing you can force, you've just got to let it happen and I think my time has come.'
 
Remesy was four back of Scott after round two but lopped one stroke off that margin with an active round Saturday. Suffering from back pain that flared up late in his round Friday, the 37-year-old Frenchman fought through the discomfort to card six birdies, including four on the back nine, against two bogeys.
 
'I still had to take some precautions with my swing and not hit quite as hard through the ball as normal,' said Remesy, whose lone win came at the 1999 Estoril Open in Portugal. 'I also had to be careful when I was bending down to mark my ball or pick it out of the hole. But fortunately, it didn't go against me, so we will see what happens tomorrow.'
 
Montgomerie, the seven-time Order of Merit winner with 26 victories to his credit, rang up his sixth birdie of the day at the 16th to close within three shots of the lead. He ended on a down note with a three-putt bogey at the 18th to complete his second straight round of 69.
 
Nineteen-year-old Nick Dougherty, a protege of fellow Englishman Nick Faldo, had a 68 to join Monty in third place. Rounding out the quartet at 10-under 206 were Spain's Miguel Angel Martin and Stephen Gallacher of Scotland.
 
England's John Bickerton, Denmark's Anders Hansen and defending champion Tony Johnstone of Zimbabwe finished five shots off the pace at 9-under.
 
Full field scores from the Qatar Masters
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Molinari moves to No. 6 in world with Open win

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:31 pm

After breaking through for his first career major title, Francesco Molinari reached some rarified air in the latest installment of the Official World Golf Rankings.

The Italian's two-shot win at Carnoustie moved him up nine spots to No. 6 in the world, not surprisingly a new career high. But it's also a quick ascent for Molinari, who has now won three of his last six worldwide starts and was ranked No. 33 in the world after missing the cut at The Players Championship two months ago.

A share of second place helped Xander Schauffele jump from No. 24 to No. 18 in the updated standings, while the same result meant Kevin Kisner went from No. 33 to No. 25. Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy both went up one spot after T-2 finishes to No. 2 and No. 7, respectively - a new career high for Rose.

The drama in the rankings unfolded at No. 50, as Tiger Woods moved up 21 spots to exactly No. 50 following his T-6 finish. While some projections had him moving to 51st, Woods was able to sneak into the top 50 just in time to qualify for a return to the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, as the top 50 in the rankings both this week and next qualify for Akron.

That includes Zach Johnson, last year's runner-up who was not yet qualified but moved from No. 52 to No. 49 this week. It also includes Kevin Chappell, who went from 61st to 47th with a T-6 finish in Scotland.

Despite missing the cut at Carnoustie, Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1 for another week followed by Rose, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Molinari is now at No. 6, with McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Jason Day rounding out the top 10.

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Simpson overtakes DeChambeau in Ryder Cup race

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:09 pm

A T-12 finish at The Open allowed Webb Simpson to move past Bryson DeChambeau into the eighth and final automatic qualifying spot in the U.S. Ryder Cup points race with just three weeks to go.

Simpson finished the week at 3 under, five shots behind winner Francesco Molinari. Adding another strong result to his win at TPC Sawgrass and T-10 finish at the U.S. Open, he's now edged in front of DeChambeau by less than 41 points. But with players earning one point per $1,000 each of the next two weeks and 1.5 points per $1,000 at the PGA Championship, the race is far from over.

Jordan Spieth's T-9 finish strengthened his position at No. 6, as the top six players are essentially assured of qualifying automatically. Rickie Fowler held onto his spot at No. 7, while Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner both moved onto the bubble following T-2 finishes at Carnoustie. After a T-6 finish, Tiger Woods jumped from 31st to 20th.

Here's a look at the updated American standings, with the top eight after the PGA qualifying automatically and captain Jim Furyk adding four picks in September:

1. Brooks Koepka

2. Dustin Johnson

3. Patrick Reed

4. Justin Thomas

5. Bubba Watson

6. Jordan Spieth

7. Rickie Fowler

8. Webb Simpson

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9. Bryson DeChambeau

10. Phil Mickelson

11. Xander Schauffele

12. Matt Kuchar

13. Kevin Kisner

14. Tony Finau

15. Brian Harman

On the European side, Molinari was already in position to qualify automatically but is now assured of a spot on Thomas Bjorn's roster this fall. Fellow major champs Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy also solidified their footing with runner-up performances.

Here's a look at how things look for the Europeans, with the top four from each list after the PGA Championship qualifying automatically:

European Points

1. Francesco Molinari

2. Justin Rose

3. Tyrrell Hatton

4. Tommy Fleetwood

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Thorbjorn Olesen

Russell Knox

Eddie Pepperell

World Points

1. Jon Rahm

2. Alex Noren

3. Rory McIlroy

4. Paul Casey

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Matthew Fitzpatrick

Sergio Garcia

Ian Poulter

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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.