Mickelson benefits from Quail Hollow setup

By Associated PressMay 1, 2009, 4:00 pm
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. ' The theory had been tossed around for the past couple of days: Quail Hollows rough was set at only 2 inches to help the power players and big names, like Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods.
 
I hope so, Mickelson said, laughing. That would be great.
 
The trade off, though, is much firmer greens than in years past. And Mickelsons four-putt on the tricky 17th green cost him chance for a great round. He settled for a 1-under 71, which left him at 6 under, two behind co-leaders Bubba Watson and Retief Goosen and a shot behind Woods.
2009 Quail Hollow
Phil Mickelson isn't convinced that the Quail Hollow course is friendly for big-hitters like himself. (Getty Images)

 
I left my first putt short on 17. I was fearing rolling it eight, 10 feet by and I left it five feet short, Mickelson said.
 
Mickelson then rolled the next putt by the hole and it rolled nearly 12 feet past the hole.
 
There wasnt anything to stop it, Mickelson said. I probably should have made that 7-, 8-footer coming back, but I just didnt hit a good one.
 
Mickelson is a fan of the short rough, saying it leads to creativity with recovery shots. But he insisted the course is not completely set up for the big hitters and big names because its difficult to keep the ball from running through the firm fairways.
 
Im having to hit a lot of 3-woods and 4-woods off tees, Mickelson said. Im playing my approach shots from the same spots that many of the shorter players would play from.
 
BUBBAS CONCENTRATION: Bubba Watson shot 30 on the front nine on Friday en route to a 7-under 65 and a share of the lead.
 
Imagine how well the long-hitter would do if he could concentrate.
 
My mind just wanders, Watson said. Im thinking about what shoes Im going to buy, I need to wash my car. Im thinking about stuff that doesnt matter because were out there for so long.
 
Watson said one time his caddie, Ted Scott, had to interrupt a conversation about what course theyre going to play later this month in Ohio.
 
Hes like, Shut up, lets talk about this putt right now, Watson said.
 
Staying focused has been a lifelong struggle for Watson, who said he didnt listen in school, either. But hes resisted seeking if he perhaps has attention deficit disorder.
 
I think its just a crutch, Watson said. My dad is from the military, Green Beret Special Forces. He said thats a crutch. Doctors are crutches, so youve got to figure out how to do it on your own.
 
Ranked 80th on the money list and still looking for his first PGA Tour victory, Watson said his caddie has helped him stay focused and not get down after a bad shot. His round on Friday included an eagle on the first hole.
 
And for the record, Watson needs to buy tennis shoes and has a white car with black rims that he hasnt washed in four months. He wouldnt reveal the golf course in Ohio.
 
Because all my fans might come and chase me down, Watson said, grinning.
 
CABRERA CUT: Angel Cabreras first tournament since the Masters ended early. He joined Padraig Harrington, Sergio Garcia and Vijay Singh on the list of prominent players to miss the cut.
 
Cabrera shot 70 on Thursday, but he struggled to a 76 on Friday that included a 41 on the front nine to close his round. Cabrera double-bogeyed the seventh hole when he hit two shots into the water.
 
Singh won at Quail Hollow in 2005 and had been the only player make the cut in the first six years of the tournament. But Singh wasnt close this time in another poor week in a disappointing season.
 
After opening with a 4-over 76, Singh shot 74 on Friday to miss the cut by six shots. He has yet to post a top-10 finish in nine events this year thats included four missed cuts.
 
Harrington was at 4 under with two holes to go on Thursday before finishing triple bogey-double bogey. He didnt recover Friday, shooting 75.
 
Garcia followed Thursdays 71 with a 6-over 78. It included a stretch of four straight bogeys that will prevent him from erasing the ugly memories of blowing a 6-shot final-round lead four years ago.
 
JOHNSONS SOUR FINISH: Zach Johnson was flirting with the course record of 64 until the Green Mile and the swirling wind kept him from second-day lead.
 
Johnson, playing in an early group, approached the difficult closing three holes at 8-under for the day. But as the wind picked up he finished with three consecutive bogeys for a 67 that left him 7 under and one shot out of the lead.
 
Its upsetting, very disappointing, but at the same time I cant be too upset, said Johnson, who won the Sony Open in January. I did a lot of good things.
 
The 2007 Masters champion had birdied seven of the past eight holes as he walked to the 16th tee.
 
His 7-iron approach shot at 16 sailed in the wind, landed over the green he couldnt get up and down.
 
The wind caught his tee shot on the 17th, leaving him short of the hole and again he couldnt save par.
 
Johnson then three-putted 18, but still finished with only his second sub-70 round in 16 attempts at Quail Hollow.
 
Youve got to find what you think is the wind, Johnson said. And thats what I did ' at least it felt like it. You just commit to your shots and try to execute.
 
BOB HOPE CLASSIC: With news that Chrysler has filed for bankruptcy protection, the PGA Tour said Friday that the Bob Hope Classic in the California desert will be played next year and beyond.
 
Chrysler has been the title sponsor of the Hope since 1986, but it asked to have its name removed during the TV broadcast and some signage to avoid attention on the ailing auto industry.
 
The foundation that has been built over the last 50 years provides solid financial footing for the Desert Classic Charities group to continue the strong traditions of the Bob Hope Classic, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said in a statement.
 
Desert Classic Charities, Inc., runs the tournament.
 
The tour said the tournament has raised more than $50 million for charities in the Coachella Valley, with most of that money going to the Eisenhower Medical Center.
 
DIVOTS: Robert Karlsson shot 69 to move within three of the lead in a rare non-major American appearance for the Swede. He asked for a commissioners exemption. I love this event, said Karlsson, who missed the cut at the Masters. I played here in 2007 and for me this is one of the top events. Brad Faxon (1 under) made just his second cut in his first full season back from knee surgery. John Rollins hit his drive into the water on 18 before recovering to hole an 80-foot putt for par ' and make the cut by a stroke.
 
Related Links:
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    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.

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    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.


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    Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

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

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    Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green


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    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.