Skold Earns Top Card at European Q-School
Christophe Pottier of France finished second at 15-under 417, while England's Nick Dougherty was third at 14-under 418.
Skold will make his full return to the European tour after losing his card following the 2000 season.
'I played well all week,' said Skold. 'I felt really confident. It was so important to get the top card. It gets me into the bigger events. I couldn't have done any better this week. The first year on tour I only got into 13 events. Now I know all the guys and know my way around the tour now. I'm feeling more confident about next year. I've got the opportunity to play among the best.'
Skold could have asked for a better start to his final round. The 26-year-old opened with a double-bogey on the first and added a bogey on the fourth. Skold was able to regain his composure with back-to-back birdies from the fifth and added two more on the ninth and 10th. A birdie on the 15th secured the top honors.
Pottier also shot a 70 for his second-place finish. The Frenchman will play his rookie season on the European circuit in 2002 after 10 years as a professional.
'I'm very happy. I won for the first time on the Challenge Tour this year and this just caps a great season,' said Pottier, who captured the Skandia PGA Open in August.
Dougherty, the youngest player in the field at 19, carded a bogey-free round of 3-under 69 for third place.
'Got the job done,' said Dougherty, a member of the 2001 Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team. 'I could be disappointed that I didn't win but you come here to get a European Tour card and I have achieved that.'
David Park, who came into the final round leading the field, struggled to finish with an 80. He dropped into a tie for 12th, nonetheless earning his card under category 11. The Welshman was one of four European Tour winners to earn their 2002 cards.
Spain's Santiago Luna, who captured the 1995 Madeira Island Open, finished in joint-eighth. Russell Claydon of England, winner of the 1998 BMW International, tied for 12th and 1993 BMW International winner Peter Fowler of Australia finished of in 28th place.
Robert Coles will return to the main circuit after falling right on the qualifying-mark of 5-under 427. The Englishman was saved by an eagle from 25 feet on the last hole. Three other players finished tied for 33rd, including Germany's Marcel Siem, who earned the 36th and final card.
Those players who failed to earn their playing rights for next year included three former Ryder Cup players. England's Steven Richardson bogeyed the last hole to finish at 4-under 428, while Philip Walton and Paul Broadhurst finished well off pace.
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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.