Sjoland Leads Els in South Africa

By Sports NetworkDecember 15, 2006, 5:00 pm
2006 South African Airways OpenPORT ELIZABETH, South Africa -- Sweden's Patrik Sjoland fired an 8-under 64 on Friday to move to the top of the leaderboard at the South African Airways Open. He stands at 12-under-par 132 and is one ahead after two rounds at Humewood Golf Club.
Ernie Els and Trevor Immelman have combined for five wins in this event and were two of four co-leaders after the first round. On Friday, they both shot rounds of 6-under 66 and are tied for second place at minus-11.
Retief Goosen overcame an 11 on the 17th hole Thursday to shoot a 3-under 69. On Friday, he eagled the same hole en route to a 6-under 66 and a tie for fourth place. Andrew Raitt, the third first-round co-leader, managed a 4-under 68 and joined Goosen at 9-under-par 135.
Sjoland collected his first birdie of the round at the par-3 third hole, then birdied three in a row from the fifth. He tallied his fifth birdie of the front nine at the ninth, a hole he birdied on Thursday, to make the turn at 9 under par.
The Swede dropped a shot at the 10th, then rattled off four pars in a row. Sjoland birdied four in a row from the 15th to move into sole possession of the lead.
Now Sjoland will be in quite a group on Saturday as he joins Els and Immelman, both ranked in the top-13 in the world and both hometowners with five wins in this event.
'I'll probably be a bit nervous, but this is what we play for,' said Sjoland, 'I'm just going to go out and enjoy it and hopefully I can hit a few good shots and make some putts.'
Sjoland lost his European Tour playing card last year, but hard work has gotten him back in a position to win. He captured the 1998 Italian Open, then added the 2000 Irish Open.
'I got the enjoyment back in my game,' admitted Sjoland. 'I had been on tour for 10 years before that and I was tired of the travelling and being away from my family. So it was good to lose my card and have some time to think.'
Els, a three-time major winner, was 3 under par on his round until he chipped in for eagle at the par-4 16th. He added a birdie at 17 to reach 11 under par.
'We all know she isn't showing her teeth yet and we've been quite lucky,' said Els. 'I felt I could've done better on the front nine, but I kept my patience and started making some birdies on the back nine. The eagle on 16 was a nice bonus.'
Immelman was 2 under at the turn, but added a birdie at No. 14. That sparked a great run, which included an eagle and two more birdies, but the wheels came off at the last. He bogeyed the hole to fall back into a tie with Els.
'I was amazed how well I scored for the way I played,' said Immelman. 'I was fighting my game all day. After the birdie on the first I lost my swing and rhythm, and it was a real grind for me.'
Louis Oosthuizen (65), Steve van Vuuren (65), Jaco Van Zyl (65), Fredrik Andersson (67) and last week's third-pace finisher at the Alfred Dunhill Championship, Lee Westwood (68) are knotted in sixth place at 8-under-par 136.
The 36-hole cut fell at even-par 144 and last week's winner Alvaro Quiros missed the weekend by a single stroke.
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.