Trio at the Top at Transamerica

By Sports NetworkOctober 13, 2001, 4:00 pm
John Mahaffey fired a 10-under-par 62 on Saturday to break the course record and finish at 11-under 133 and share the second-round lead of The Transamerica with Sammy Rachels and overnight leader Allen Doyle. Rachels posted a 63 in round two while Doyle carded a 6-under 66.
 
Mahaffey's round broke the course record at Silverado Country Club by one. Dale Douglass originally shot a 63 in 1991 and was later matched by Bob Charles a year later and Isao Aoki in 1994.
 
Ted Goin is alone in fourth at 10-under followed by Bob Gilder, whose second-round 64 gave him a 9-under 135 for the tournament.
 
Mahaffey wasted no time moving up the leaderboard on Saturday as he birdied his first seven holes, including four putts from inside four feet. He kept his front nine flawless when he ran home a six-foot par save at the ninth for a 7-under 28.
 
'I really wanted to shoot in the 50s,' said Mahaffey, whose seven birdies in a row fell one short of the all-time Senior Tour record. 'I wanted to keep being aggressive and see what I could do.'
 
Mahaffey kept his hot streak going with a five-foot birdie at the par-5 11th and added a four-footer at 14. His only mistake of the round came at the 330-yard 16th when his approach spun off the green. He chipped on but two-putted for bogey.
 
He closed his round in style with a 12-foot birdie at the par-3 17th and a two-putt birdie from 30 feet at the closing hole at the South Course at Silverado Country Club.
 
'It's nice to see the golf ball going where you think it's going,' said Mahaffey, the 1978 PGA Champion who has won only once on the elder circuit. 'I really didn't make a mistake. Everything went right where I was looking. It was fun.'
 
Rachels made four birdies on the front nine but turned it up on the back. He ran in a 20-foot birdie putt at No. 11 and then tallied three birdies in a row, starting on the 13th.
 
The 51-year-old played his second shot at the par-5 18th into a greenside bunker where he blasted out to four feet to set up birdie and join Mahaffey at the top of the leaderboard.
 
'It was a great day for me,' said Rachels, the winner of this year's BellSouth Senior Classic at Opryland. 'I really putted well. It's hard to shoot 63 and get beat.'
 
Doyle, who led by one after Friday's first round, three-putted from 20 feet at the third and took bogey and coupled with the surge by Mahaffey and Rachels, found himself out of the lead.
 
He rebounded with three straight birdies, starting at the fourth to post a 33 on the front side.
 
Doyle, a two-time winner on tour this year including the final major at the Senior Players Championship, holed an eight-foot birdie at 11 and followed with a 15-foot birdie two holes later. He birdied two of his final three to grab a piece of the lead.
 
'I saw the low scores early and you had an idea you had to make something happen,' said Doyle. 'I like my chances and I've given myself a shot.'
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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.