Trio Tied for Tour Championship Lead

By Sports NetworkNovember 4, 2004, 5:00 pm
04 Tour Championship by Coca-ColaATLANTA -- Jerry Kelly posted a 3-under-par 67 Thursday to grab a share of the lead after the first round of the season-ending Tour Championship.
Kelly shares the lead with 2004 Ryder Cup performers American Jay Haas and Darren Clarke, from the victorious European Ryder Cup team. David Toms and Zach Johnson are tied for fourth place at 2-under-par 68.
World No. 1 Vijay Singh birdied the 17th hole to close out a round of 1-under-par 69. He shares sixth place with six other players. Meanwhile, former World No. 1 and current No. 3 Tiger Woods returned to action with a 2-over-par 72. He stands in a tie for 19th place at East Lake Golf Club.
The players faced some tough conditions at East Lake. The course played longer than normal after over an inch of rain soaked the course in the early morning hours. Then during the round, winds gusted across the course making shots difficult, even for the top players in the game.
Kelly got going with a birdie at the second after he dropped a 6-iron 6 feet from the cup. The 37-year-old chipped in for birdie at the eighth.
Around the turn, Kelly moved to 3 under with a birdie at the par-3 11th. The two-time winner then birdied the par-5 15th to move out in front at minus-4. However, he was unable to save par at the next hole to slip back to 3 under.
'You're out here to win, and I've gone the last two years without a win,' said Kelly. 'This year was really tough on me. Then you make it here and you step out here and you've got to say, 'Okay, you had a great year. You didn't win, you didn't really do everything you wanted to do, but accept it a little bit and enjoy the fact that you're here.' That's what I've done. It has taken a lot of the pressure off and I've kind of enjoyed it.'
Clarke got into red figures as he dropped in a birdie putt from 15 feet out at the third. He missed a 15-foot par putt at the next hole to slip back to even par.
The Ulsterman sank a 5-foot birdie putt at the sixth and came right back with a 10-foot birdie at the next hole. Clarke kept it going with a 25-foot birdie putt at the 12th.
He also got to minus-4 when he rolled in an 18-footer for birdie No. 14. Clarke dropped a shot at the 16th and parred his final two holes to share first place.
'When I drove up this morning the last thing I thought was that we'd be teeing off on time,' Clarke said. 'The course was a little bit wet out there as you would expect. I had a few mud balls, but everybody was going to have those today. Mine didn't go too far astray.'
Haas sank a 12-foot birdie try at three, but like Clarke stumbled to a bogey at four. The 50-year-old stuck an 8-iron within 6 feet of the cup at six to setup another birdie.
Haas moved to minus-2 when he drained a 12-foot birdie putt at the 11th. The Wake Forest alum faltered to a bogey at the 14th. He came right back by rolling in a 16-foot eagle putt from the fringe at 15 to get to 3 under. He closed with three straight pars to share the overnight lead.
'I played very well. I kept the ball in play most of the day, which you had to do out there, with the rough being wet and things like that, but the greens are holding,' said Haas, who on Wednesday was awarded the tour's Payne Stewart Award, given annually to a player who represents the ideals of the game. 'I would expect somebody will be lower than this today, even though it is windy.'
All three of the leaders are looking for their first win of the 2004 season.
Singh is joined at minus-1 by Mark Hensby, Mike Weir, Padraig Harrington, Stephen Ames, Stuart Appleby, John Daly and Steve Flesch.
Stewart Cink and U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen are tied at even-par 70. Sergio Garcia, Masters champion Phil Mickelson and Rory Sabbatini are one stroke further back at 1-over-par 71.
Woods is joined at plus-2 by Chris DiMarco, Carlos Franco, Todd Hamilton and Ernie Els. Els was so frustrated with his game that he broke his putter on the 16th hole and putted with his sand-wedge the last two holes.
Defending champion Chad Campbell stands in a tie for 24th place at 3-over-par 73. Davis Love III, the 1999 runner-up withdrew after 14 holes due to a shoulder injury.
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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.