Steele Tops Leaderboard at CanTour Event

By Sports NetworkJune 29, 2006, 4:00 pm
Canadian Tour-LargeEDMONTON, AB -- Brendan Steele fired an 8-under-par 64 Thursday to grab a one-stroke lead after the opening round of the TELUS Edmonton Open.
Scott Gibson and Darren Griff posted matching rounds of 7-under-par 65 to share second place. Wil Collins, Anthony Rodriguez, Brock Mackenzie, Michael Sims and Nik Tayler are one stroke further back at minus-6.
Steele played the back nine first in the opening round. He dropped a stroke on the 12th, but bounced right back with birdies on 13 and 14 at Glendale Golf & Country Club.
The 23-year-old birdied the 16th to make the turn at minus-2. Around the turn, Steele flew up the leaderboard. He birdied each of the first five holes on the front to jump to 7 under.
Steele, a native of California, closed with a birdie on the par-5 ninth to grab a one-stroke lead.
'I wouldn't want to be anywhere else,' stated Steele. 'I knew I was rolling it well and this game is a whole lot easier when the putter is working. There is so much talent out here, you better shoot 64 or 65 if you want to be near the lead. It's a good start, but there is a long way to go.'
Gibson, a big winner last year at the Barton Creek Austin Pro-Am, played the front nine in 4 under par with five birdies and a lone bogey at the third. He carded three birdies on the back nine to move into a share of second place.
Griff also started on the back nine. He was even-par through seven holes with a birdie and a bogey. Griff eagled the par-five 17th to turn at minus-2.
The 34-year-old ran off three straight birdies from the first to jump to 5 under. Griff joined Gibson in second place as he eagled the par-5 ninth.
'If you have a 60-foot putt and you get it to two inches, you're tickled. If it happens to drop in, you're ecstatic,' said Griff of his long eagle putt on 17. 'The 65 beats shooting seven-over, that's for sure. But I'm not going to get too jacked up. I'll go out and try to back it up tomorrow.'
Tour money leader Rob Oppenheim carded a 5-under-par 67 Thursday. He shares ninth place with Ryan Miller, Eugene Smith and Russell Surber. Dong Yi, Daniel DeLeon, Brian Flugstad and Alex Quiroz are one shot back at minus-4.
Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

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.