Medalist rolls Pressel squeaks by

By Usga News ServicesJuly 23, 2008, 4:00 pm
USGAWEST HARTFORD, Conn. ' Stroke-play medalist Lisa McCloskey easily advanced in Wednesdays first round of match play at the 2008 U.S. Girls Junior Championship at Hartford Golf Club.
 
On a weather-plagued day that saw three delays totaling five hours and 12 minutes, McCloskey got off to a quick start against Christine Song by winning the first three holes. Song cut the deficit to 1 down with pars on the fourth and fifth holes, but McCloskey came back to birdie the ninth, 10th and 12th holes to earn a 5-and-3 victory shortly before play was suspended for a third time.
 
I was lucky enough to have a lead before those two big rain delays, said McCloskey, who is playing in her fourth Girls Junior. Its hard because you go out there and youre ready to play and it starts raining really hard. Its tough, but most people are used to it.
 
For McCloskey, who admitted shes more comfortable in a stroke-play format, getting through the first match was a relief.
 
It feels good, although there are many matches left, she said. But you have to win the first one to keep on going, so it feels good.
 
Also finishing just before the third weather delay was 2006 U.S. Womens Amateur champion Kimberly Kim, who recorded three consecutive birdies starting at the par-5 ninth to take control against Stacy Kim en route to a 5-and-4 victory.
 
Kimberly Kim, who is trying to become the seventh golfer in USGA history to claim both the Womens Amateur and Girls Junior titles, said she wasnt bothered by the dreary weather.
 
I like the rain, she said. Its better than the heat. I wanted it to rain all day, but I didnt want delays.
 
Defending champion Kristen Park needed extra holes to outlast Veronica Valerio. Park won No. 15 with a birdie and remained 1 up until the par-4 18th, when she missed a 6-foot par putt and Valerio converted hers from 2 feet.
 
I think I was just too aggressive on that, said Park. Its a tough green and I left it on the wrong side.
 
Her chance for redemption came on the first extra hole. After Valerio made her 10-footer for bogey, Park converted her 6-footer for par and the win.
 
I didnt think of that putt as a putt to win, said Park, who is trying to become the first repeat champion since Hollis Stacy won three consecutive Girls Juniors from 1969-71. It was just another putt.
 
Also needing extra holes to advance was 2006 Girls Junior champion Jenny Shin. She made a 21-footer for birdie on the 20th hole to oust 13-year-old Esther Lee.
 
Madison Pressel advanced to the second round for the first time in three Girls Junior appearances but it wasnt easy. Pressel, the younger sister of 2005 U.S. Womens Amateur winner Morgan Pressel, was the equivalent of seven over par in her match against Anna Jang but still managed to earn a 1-up victory.
 
I didnt play my best, but it starts all over tomorrow, said Pressel. [Match play] is a great game.
 
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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.