Molder, Baird find that winning isn't easy on TOUR

October 09, 2011
Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM Site Producer

SAN MARTIN, Calif. -- Winning. It ain't easy.


Bryce Molder and Briny Baird sure proved it Sunday at the Open, where the sun almost beat them both.

There's a reason Baird and Molder had gone a combined 478 starts without a victory -- Baird owns 347 of those. Make that 348 now.

As for Molder, what were a few more holes? Or six more holes in what was the longest playoff of the year in a year filled with playoffs -- 17 of them in fact, more than any other year in PGA TOUR history.

"I've had some chances going into the last day, and I felt like I was really upset because I felt like I didn't give myself a chance to win at all, not because I wasn't hitting the shots, but because I showed up and I played scared," Molder said. "I played to not mess up."

During the hour-plus long playoff, it seemed like that's all either player would not do.

And even when Molder did mess up, like when he hit it into the hazard on the fourth extra hole (the 18thin case you lost track), he recovered and Baird couldn't take advantage.

With his ball nestled in a thick clump of long grass, Molder lashed it out to the front of the green and two-putted from some 80 feet.

As much as neither guy was able to win until the sun nearly set, shots like that proved plenty -- at least in Molder's case.

"I really struggled a lot from about 2003 to about 2006 or 2007 just to get comfortable back playing on the PGA TOUR and getting comfortable to where I could actually get in contention took a lot," Molder said. "It took a lot of work to fight through that."

Just ask Baird. He's 0-for-his lifetime out here. But he kept getting up and dusting himself off despite a career that makes PraireView A&M's football team -- losers of 80 straight during the 1990s -- look like a powerhouse.

There's a lot to be said for the former.

"I'm pissed, but I'm not angry," Baird said. "I guess there's really not that much difference. I don't know if you can really say that or not, but it's disappointing, and I mean I know how long I've played, and I lost my concentration one time today and it was one of the putts that I had to win the golf tournament. I looked ahead, and that was a mistake.

"I don't know if I missed the putt because of that, but I did some really good things today. I was happy with that, and as happy as I was with that, like said, I'm not happy with the outcome, but what are you going to do? There were a lot of days where I couldn't -- it wasn't that I couldn't wait for it to be over with, but [it was] a little bit. I think a lot of guys would be lying if they told you they hadn't felt that before."

Molder especially.

It took a lot of work, upstairs and his swing, to get to where he ended up on Sunday.

"Some guys have the hammer down 100 miles per hour and that's all they know," Molder said. "I'm not that guy."

He is now.