Webb Pettersen Continue to Lead at Yarra Yarra
Another Aussie, 22-year-old Tamara Johns, fired a tournament-best 66 at Yarra Yarra Golf Club -- 10 shots better than her score from round two. She vaulted into a tie for fifth place at 1-under 215 with Becky Morgan of Wales, who turned in an even-par 72.
Webb, seeking her second Australian Open title after winning here in 2000, opened a two-shot lead over Pettersen with a 20-foot birdie putt at the 14th hole. She quickly gave the stroke back when she three-putted the 15th for bogey, and Pettersen tied the lead with a two-putt birdie at the par-5 16th.
The pair headed into the final round deadlocked after neither could take advantage of the par-5 closing hole. Pettersen's third shot from a greenside bunker resulted in a two-putt from 30 feet for par. Webb, who was left of the green with her second, chipped to 15 feet before missing her bid for birdie and the outright lead.
'I felt like I hit the ball better today, especially with my irons off the tee,' said Webb, 27, who was denied her fifth straight Australian Ladies Masters title last week after losing in a playoff to the top-ranked Annika Sorenstam. 'On the closing holes, I hit my driver better and got myself on the fairway. All in all I feel pretty good about things.'
The 20-year-old Pettersen was in command of her nerves despite going head-to-head with one of the most successful players in women's golf.
'I'm a little bit excited when I stand on the first tee with all the crowd, but I feel quite comfortable,' said Pettersen, last year's rookie of the year on the Ladies European Tour after capturing her breakthrough win at the 2001 French Open. 'The feelings that come through your head make you feel so strong -- that's why I play golf, it's the feeling I am looking for.'
Pettersen actually had the edge early in the round. She birdied the first hole to get to five-under par, but hit into the trees at the second and posted her lone bogey of the day.
Webb birdied the long par-3 third for the lead at 5-under, only to be joined there when Pettersen sank a birdie putt at the short par-4 fifth.
After holing out from a bunker for birdie at the seventh hole, Webb matched birdies with Pettersen at the par-5 eighth and took one-shot lead into the back nine.
Webb, whose victory at last year's LPGA Championship made her the youngest player and only the fifth woman in history to complete the career Grand Slam, was impressed by her young counterpart in round three.
'[Pettersen] played really well today,' Webb said. 'I'd not seen her hit a ball before, she hits it pretty strong and has a good all around game. She really thought her way around the course -- that is a step in the right direction.'
Crafter, winner of the 1997 Women's Australian Open, negated an eagle at the par-4 fourth with a double-bogey at the par-three 11th en route to a 2-under 70.
Gustafson carded a 5-under 67 that included eight birdies, a bogey and a double-bogey, also at the 11th.
Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish
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.
Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him
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.
Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter
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.
Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose
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.
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.