Trio Tied Jack Shoots 69

By Sports NetworkApril 29, 2004, 4:00 pm
TRAVELERS REST, S.C. -- Shane Bertsch, Tony Carolan and Bradley Hughes each fired matching rounds of 7-under-par 65 on Thursday to share the opening-round lead of the Charity Pro-Am at the Cliffs.
Play is spread over the Cliffs Valley course and The Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards for the first two rounds before Cliffs Valley takes over on the weekend.
Jack Nicklaus, playing in this tournament for the second consecutive year, opened with a 2-under-par 69 at Keowe Vineyards. This event is a pro-am so Nicklaus came with his sons for the second time.
Nicklaus' involvement spurred Gary Player to enter this week, but he did not fare as well as Nicklaus. Player carded a 2-over-par 73, also at the Keowe Vineyards course.
Bertsch, the 2000 winner of this event, began on the second nine at Cliffs Valley and collected three birdies on his first nine, all from inside 10 feet. At the par-3 second, Bertsch hit a 7-iron to 10 feet to set up his fourth birdie of the round.
At the 499-yard, par-5 sixth, Bertsch knocked a 7-wood inside 3 feet and rolled home the eagle putt to reach 6 under par. He drained a 6-footer for birdie at the eighth to take the clubhouse lead.
'It was a great start to the tournament,' said Bertsch, who took third place last week at the Rheem Classic. 'I kept giving myself chances for birdie. I hit the ball solid.'
Carolan, like Bertsch, started on the back nine at Cliffs Valley and recorded three birdies through his first nine. He birdied No. 1, then rolled home a 15-foot birdie putt at the fifth.
Carolan two-putted from 20 feet for birdie at the sixth and capped off three birdies in a row with 14-footer at the seventh.
'I'm very pleased,' said Carolan, an Australian. 'I made some putts today. Even if we don't have a good day tomorrow, we'll still be in a good spot.'
Hughes played the Cliffs the way it was designed and only tallied two birdies on the front side, five and nine. He caught fire after the turn with three birdies in a row from the 10th, including a 30-footer at the par-3 11th.
Hughes birdied the 14th and 17th holes to get into a share of the lead.
'It was a good score,' said Hughes, who hit all 18 greens in regulation on Thursday. 'I drove it straight on every hole. I had a good feel going all day with my swing.'
Dave Cunningham, Robert Garrigus and Ahmad Bateman are tied for fourth place after posting opening rounds of 6-under-par 66 at the Cliffs Valley track.
Related Links:
  • TGC Airtimes
  • Leaderboard - BMW Charity Pro-Am at the Cliffs
  • Full Coverage - BMW Charity Pro-Am at the Cliffs
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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.