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October 11-14 Frys.com Open


CordeValle Golf Club (Par 71/7,368 yards) San Martin, California


17


Sunday’s playoff was the 17th on the PGA TOUR in 2011, the most in a


Molder answered with his birdie on 18. In the playoff, Molder had three excellent chances to pick up his victory, since his length allowed him to reach the green on the par-4 17th with his driver, but he failed to make an eagle that would have given him the win. Then again, Baird had his


single season in PGA TOUR history. The


six-hole playoff at the Frys.com Open was the longest on the PGA TOUR in 2011.


chances, too. On the fourth hole of their playoff, Molder drove into the hazard but was able to save par, while Baird’s wedge shot hit the top of the flagstick and caromed some 12 feet from the hole. But he missed the putt and Molder could just thank his lucky stars and carry on.


A RECORD-SETTING PLAYOFF For those of you keeping track of such things, the playoff was the 17th of the season, which set a PGA TOUR record in the modern era which, in terms of record keeping, began in 1970. “Obviously, it’s more than disappointing right


now,” said Baird, whose father, Butch, also played on the TOUR. “I thought I’d be standing where Bryce is. I had my chances. Given a chance, you’ve got to make putts.”


Bryce Molder survived a six-hole playoff to win the Frys.com Open.


“You practice and work and you just hope there’s some validating behind it. I don’t feel I deserved to win. But I happened to settle myself down to play.”– Bryce Molder


EVERY VICTORY ON THE PGA TOUR is hard work but the first is almost always the toughest. That was especially true for Bryce Molder, who had to survive a six-hole playoff with Briny Baird to win last year’s Frys.com Open. Molder and Baird played the 17th and 18th


holes twice in the playoff before Molder finally ended the affair with a six-foot birdie putt. For the record, the win came in his 132nd PGA TOUR start. “You practice and work, and you just hope


there’s some validating behind it,” said Molder, who won All-America honors all four years at Georgia Tech. “I don’t feel I deserved to win. But I


204 PGA TOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE 2012


happened to settle myself down to play.” Molder looked to have the tournament well under control when he birdied three of the first four holes on the inward nine to take the lead. He made a safe par on 15 and had a good chance at a birdie on 17 but his 10-foot putt for birdie rimmed the cup. Baird, playing in the next group, reached the


15th green in two and made his birdie to cut Molder’s lead to one. On 17, his drive just cleared the water hazard and hung up on the bank. He then chipped in for his second straight eagle on the hole. It gave him the lead momentarily, until


Baird’s finish, while disappointing, did earn him $540,000, which meant that he easily retained his playing privileges for 2012. He had come into the tournament ranked 148th on the official money list, a very precarious place to be. Finally, this news from the Tiger Woods Watch:


Woods shot three 68s, the first time he had three rounds in the 60s in over a year. He finished tied for 30th, 10 strokes behind the leaders. In a season where he was hobbled with injuries, during which he changed coaches and caddies, it was his ninth and final start of the season. ■


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