Big shoes to Phil for Mickelson

By Associated PressJanuary 29, 2010, 9:31 am

SAN DIEGO (AP)—Even with expectations as high as ever, Phil Mickelson wants toplay it safe.

He rarely has been this excited to start a PGA Tour season, and for goodreason. Mickelson discovered his putting touch at the end of last year and ismore confident than ever with his driver. He had to rein in those emotions whenhe teed off at Torrey Pines for his first competition since beating Tiger Woods and a world-class field in Shanghai more than two months ago.

The South Course, strong enough to have hosted a U.S. Open, was no place tobe careless.

Mickelson picked up birdies on all of the par 5s and wound up with a 2-under70 at the Farmers Insurance Open, which put him in a tie for 40th and in a goodframe of mind going into Friday’s round on the easier North Course.

“It was cautious,” he said. “I was anxious to get started. I didn’t wantto fire at pins and make a bunch of mistakes. I believe the North Course will bea good opportunity to try to go low.”

This is an important week for Mickelson, and for the PGA Tour.

The talk on tour continues to revolve around Tiger Woods, from the shockingrevelations of his infidelity to the mystery of his whereabouts to speculationon when he might return.

Now that Mickelson is back inside the ropes, there is hope that he can helpfill the void created by Woods’ indefinite break. That he started off with asolid round on the South Course left him pleased. He was six shots behind ScottPiercy , who played the North Course on Thursday and shot 64, and only threebehind the best score on the South Course, a bogey-free 67 by Robert Allenby .

Mickelson, however, has been quick to dismiss the notion that he couldreplace Woods.

“Nobody will be able to … fill the shoes,” he said on the eve of thetournament.

The opening round offered some evidence of that. Mickelson is wildly popularin these parts, having grown up in San Diego, and his appeal extends beyond thePacific bluffs that frame the edge of Torrey Pines. If fans were in awe ofWoods, they adored Mickelson. Lefty was easy to cheer, and fans flocked to himthe way they once did for Fred Couples and Greg Norman .

But there was some energy lacking Thursday at Torrey Pines, just as therewas a year ago when Woods couldn’t play because he was recovering from kneesurgery. The gallery chasing after Mickelson scurried along the cart paths aheadof him, although it never topped 750 people and no one had to jostle for a goodview. The biggest buzz came from the engines of fighter jets, taking off fromnearby Miramar and zooming over the course and out to sea for their trainingexercises.

Attribute most of that to the day of the week. Crowds rarely are largeduring the weekdays at the Farmers Insurance Open. The real measure will be onthe weekend, especially if the weather is gorgeous, and Mickelson is in thehunt.

Friday will be a big day for him to do that.

Allenby was the only player among the top 15 who played the South Course onThursday, and the Australian walked off the course feeling as though he were inthe lead, not three shots behind. Mickelson felt as though he was right where heneeded to be going to a North Course that is 712 yards shorter and played 2 1/2 strokes easier in the opening round.

“I want to work my way into the tournament,” Mickelson said. “(Jack)Nicklaus used to talk about that in majors, that he wanted to try to progress asthe week went along, and I didn’t want to try to come out and win the tournamenton Thursday, because it’s just not possible. I’m hoping I play better tomorrowand shoot a low score on the North, good enough to get myself in contention forthe weekend.”

Mickelson has not won at Torrey Pines in 2001. The timing now could not bebetter for him to end that drought.

Getty Images

Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.