Cruel Daily Double Mick and Monty Lose It on 18

By Associated PressJune 18, 2006, 4:00 pm
U.S. OpenMAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Phil Mickelson chose driver. Colin Montgomerie traded in his 6-iron for a 7.
 
Two players who did enough right for 71 holes to win the U.S. Open made a pair of bad decisions on the last hole to lose it. Mick and Monty both made double bogey Sunday on No. 18 to walk away not as winners, but in a bewildering tie for second.

'I had it right in my hands and I let it go,' Mickelson said. 'I just can't believe I did that.'
 
Maybe the most shocking thing about these two final-hole collapses was that they didn't have as much to do with Winged Foot -- the ridiculously unforgiving course that produced the first over-par winner at a U.S. Open since 1978 -- as they did with the players' own poor decision-making.
 
Montgomerie headed into the 72nd hole tied with Mickelson after arguably the best putt of his tortured career in the majors -- a 75-footer that snaked in for birdie. Montgomerie followed by hitting a perfect drive down the right side of the 18th fairway.
 
Monty was 172 yards from the hole with a perfect stance, a perfect lie and a perfect angle into the green. With Mickelson listing behind him, all the Scot needed to do was hit what should have been a routine shot into the green, two-putt, get out with par and wait a while, maybe for a win, almost certainly no worse than a playoff.
 
All week, Montgomerie had been talking about how Winged Foot suited him because it was built for tee-to-green players like him, good ball-strikers on the tee and in the fairway.
 
Colin Montgomerie
Colin Montgomerie's decision to change clubs in the 18th fairway may have cost him the U.S. Open.
His big mistake: At the last minute, he traded in his 6-iron for a 7.
 
'I thought the adrenaline would kick in and I hit it about 10 yards further in that circumstance,' Monty said.
 
The ball fell about 10 yards short, in the deep rough right of the green.
 
'It was a poor shot, there's no question about that, and I put myself in a poor position,' Montgomerie said.
 
Though he'd been getting up and down all day, it wasn't to be this time. His chip flew high and bounced hard, about 35 feet past the hole. His first putt went 10 feet past on the other side. His next one just missed. By the time he had taken his double-bogey 6, he was out of contention, slumping off the course a loser, 0-for-58 in the majors and surely not to be remembered well for his latest collapse.
 
Could it have been that he was thinking too much about winning, knowing that at 42 his good chances at a breakthrough are dwindling?
 
'There were no thoughts of victory at all, no,' he insisted. 'I was just having a Sunday game. Just a few people watching, that's all.'
 
On most days, Monty's meltdown would have been the talk of the tournament.
 
But there was another, even uglier, fiasco still to come from Mickelson.
 
At 4 over and needing a par on 18 to win his third straight major, or a bogey to guarantee a playoff against Geoff Ogilvy, Mickelson could have played it safe.
 
In fact, he insisted he was doing just that when he grabbed his driver to hit 'my bread-and-butter shot, which is just a big, fadey, carve-slice' down the 18th fairway. It was more slice than carve, however, and it came to rest close to the hospitality tents known as the Champion's Pavilion.
 
Others might have taken a smaller club and gone for accuracy off the tee. Not Phil.
 
'I carried only a 4-wood,' Mickelson said. 'I felt like if I hit 4-wood and missed the fairway, I'd be too far back to be able to chase one down there.'
 
He'll never know.
 
He did, however, concede that he regretted his decision to try to slice the ball back around a tree and toward the green with a 3-iron on his next shot. That shot started slicing too soon and hit a tree branch. In all, it went forward about 25 yards, leaving him in desperation mode.
 
'Obviously, in hindsight, if I hit it in the gallery and it doesn't cut, I'm fine,' Lefty said of the untaken option to hit straight out and get a free drop in the rough near the grandstand.
 
The rest of it played out like a typical Mickelson tragedy. Third shot plugged into the bunker. Fourth shot goes over the green. Fifth shot -- the one that would have forced the playoff -- comes from the rough near the green and isn't close. Sixth shot falls and puts him in a three-way tie for second with Montgomerie and Jim Furyk.
 
Montgomerie and Mickelson now have nine second-place finishes in the majors between them.
 
'I had it there and let it go and I cannot believe I did that,' Mickelson said, yet another time.
 
Surely Monty would agree.
 
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    Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

    Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

    Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

    As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

    "That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

    Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

    Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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    Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

    If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

    Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

    But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

    Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

    Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

    Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

    Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

    Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

    Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

    Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

    Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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    Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

    SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

    Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

    “It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

    Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

    “What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

    Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

    “When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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    Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

    SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

    Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

    Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

    Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.