Lefty Out Again Mickelson Misses Cut

By Associated PressJuly 20, 2007, 4:00 pm
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland -- These are lean times for Lefty in the majors.
Phil Mickelson came to the 18th hole at the British Open figuring he needed par to avoid missing his second straight cut in a major. He set his feet, had one last look down the fairway, took a mighty swing with the driver and watched the ball sail into the iron gray skies.
Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson has now missed the cut in two straight major championships.
Only to splash into the Barry Burn.
Mickelson ended another frustrating round at Carnoustie on Friday with a double bogey on his last hole for a 6-over 77, and he missed the cut at 6-over 148.
'I thought I was playing better than this,' said Mickelson, who finished two strokes below the cut line.
He had every reason to believe that. Five days ago, Mickelson was on the verge of winning the Scottish Open until he blew a lead on the back nine, then lost to unheralded Gregory Havret of France on the first playoff hole at Loch Lomond. Even so, it was his first time in contention, or even playing all four rounds, since winning The Players Championship in May.
Was this a step back?
'I don't know. It's hard to say,' Mickelson said. 'I've missed a lot of cuts lately. I missed U.S. Open, Congressional. I better get better. I think my next tournament doesn't have a cut, so that will be nice.'
That would be a World Golf Championship at Firestone. The following week is the PGA Championship at Southern Hills, which will be Mickelson's final chance to continue his streak of winning a major each year that dates to his first one at the 2004 Masters.
As well as he plays Southern Hills, this is not an upward trend.
The 77 on Friday was the ninth straight round at a major that Mickelson failed to break par, his longest stretch since he played par or worse the final nine rounds of the 1999 season, which included a missed cut at Carnoustie.
Mickelson no longer blames the left wrist he supposedly injured at Oakmont, rather his putting.
'I was just never on line,' he said.
It was evident on the 15th hole, where Mickelson three-putted from about 60 feet to fall to 4 over par. First, he had caddie Jim 'Bones' Mackay stand over the ball to make sure the line was the same as Mickelson had in mind. Lefty grazed the left edge of the cup, then missed the 4-foot comeback putt.
He held the putter at both ends, looking as though he wanted to snap it in half.
Although he made a solid par save from deep grass behind the 17th green, his round ended on a sour note. After taking a drop from the burn down the left side of the fairway, Mickelson hit 3-wood to the front of the green and left his first putt 4 feet short. The bogey putt never even touched the hole.
'It was a really fair test,' Mickelson said. 'There were under-par scores out there; I just didn't putt well enough to have one of them.'
He also ran into a rule that applies only at the British Open.
Mickelson's approach to the second hole was imbedded in the right rough, and when a ball is plugged, players usually get free relief. The British Open rule is that imbedded lies only apply to those in the closely mown areas of the course.
Mickelson had to put the ball back, then took a penalty drop for an unplayable lie. The slope was so steep that he dropped it twice and watched it roll closer to the hole, then had trouble making the ball stay put even after he placed it.
He walked up to the green, and a few seconds later, the ball rolled into a beautiful lie short of the green, but no closer to the hole. It was a good break, even though it still led to bogey.
'The rule is it has to be stationary five seconds, which it was,' Mickelson said. 'And then after a minute or so, you just play it where it lies unless I had addressed it, which I never did.'
Then he paused to smile.
'Because I felt like it might roll,' he added.
That was about the only thing that went right for him Friday.
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    McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

    One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

    McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

    It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

    McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

    Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

    Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

    Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.