Stupples Steals the Show in Tucson

By Sports NetworkMarch 14, 2004, 5:00 pm
04 WelchTUCSON, Ariz. -- Karen Stupples fired a 7-under 63 on Sunday to coast to her first career victory on the LPGA Tour at the Welch's/Fry's Championship. Stupples finished the tournament at 22-under-par 258, a new LPGA Tour record for lowest 72-hole raw score.
'This is something that, as a golfer, you dream of happening,' said Stupples. 'But for me, I was never really sure if I could do it.'
Jung Yeon Lee, who matched the 18-hole tournament record with a 60 in the opening round, was joined by Grace Park in a tie for second at 17-under-par 263.
Stacy Prammanasudh posted a 67 to finish alone in fourth place at 15-under-par 265. Laura Davies, Aree Song and Shi Hyun Ahn were two shots further back at 13-under-par 267.
Stupples held a one-shot edge to start the final round but stumbled out of the gate with a bogey on the opening hole of the Dell Urich layout.
The 30-year-old buckled down quickly and recovered with a birdie at the second. Stupples then two-putted for a birdie at the par-5 third and added a birdie at the par-5 sixth to reach 17-under.
Stupples dropped her approach inside six feet for a birdie at the eighth and ran home a 12-foot putt for a birdie at the 10th.
At the par-5 13th, Stupples hit her second shot within 30 feet and drained the eagle putt to pull three shots clear of the field at 21-under par.
Stupples padded her advantage with a birdie at the 16th and parred the two remaining holes for the win.
'I knew where I was all day,' said Stupples, who collected $225,000 at the season-opening event. 'I like the challenge of Grace and Jung Yeon Lee there for a bit, and I really liked that because it's all about the challenge. That's what golf is all about.'
Park kept pace with Stupples early on thanks to a solid front nine. She tallied a birdie at the third and picked up back-to-back birdies from the fifth to move to minus-17.
The Korean then knocked her approach inside 18 feet at the 10th and converted the birdie putt.
Things cooled down for Park from that point on, however, and the 25-year-old closed with a bogey at the last to join Lee in a tie for second.
'Obviously, it's disappointing the way I finished, but Karen was awesome,' said Park. 'She didn't make a single mistake from the outside, and I couldn't hang in there.'
Se Ri Pak, Mi Hyun Kim and Seol-An Jeon shared eighth place at 12-under-par 268. Pat Hurst followed at 11-under-par 269.
Becky Morgan and Eva Dahllof tied for 12th place at 9-under-par 271.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Welch's/Fry's Championship
  • Full Coverage - Welch's/Fry's Championship
  • 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.