Mickelson Enjoying Life With His Green Jacket
'I said Sunday night that it was going to be hard to wipe away the smile and take away the jacket,' said a beaming Mickelson, clad in green again Tuesday at La Jolla Country Club.
'They tried to pry it away when I left, but I'd have none of it. So here it is,' added Mickelson, who won the Masters with a thrilling 18-foot birdie putt on the last hole.
Mickelson must have had the jacket pressed, because his wife, Amy, said he slept in it Sunday night.
'It was me, Phil and the green jacket,' she said. 'We might be sleeping with that green jacket for a while.'
Lefty returned to the Left Coast on Monday, spending what he called a relaxing day with his family. On Tuesday, he held a news conference at La Jolla Country Club, where he's a member, before heading to Burbank to appear on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.'
Mickelson was reminded that he went from being labeled as the best player to have never won a major to being the only guy with a shot at the Grand Slam this year.
'Yeah, how quickly it changes,' said Mickelson, who had been 0-for-42 in majors as a professional. 'It's been such a nice change. I'm certainly not thinking that far in advance. I really just want to spend the next few weeks enjoying this.
'But I can't wait to get out and play,' he quickly added. 'I'm enjoying playing the game so much. I'm enjoying all my practice sessions, I'm enjoying my time off the course with my family. It's just been such a wonderful year starting out, and this just makes it special.'
Mickelson knows the next few weeks will be hectic, but otherwise, he doesn't anticipate that his life or career will change.
He said Mondays and Tuesdays will remain family days. He won't play again until New Orleans at the end of the month, which will give him time to take his three kids to the zoo, Sea World and Legoland.
Mickelson said it was special sharing the Masters victory with his family.
'To have my children there was awesome, to walk off the 18th green there and to see my wife experiencing the whole thing with me and feeling the same emotion that I felt,' Mickelson said.
'I'm very lucky because of that, to have such a wonderful spouse, to have three wonderful healthy kids. I'm just very lucky, especially given what we went through last year.'
Amy Mickelson nearly died during the birth of their third child, son Evan.
With his family OK, Mickelson can concentrate on golf - and, now, on trying to win another major.
'I do feel that the second will not be as difficult as the first,' said Mickelson, who smiled all the way through his back nine Sunday, when he shot 31 with birdies on five of the last seven holes.
'Because every time I would get in contention, it was almost as though it was an opportunity not to succeed, but an opportunity to fail. I never looked at it like that, but at times, when things began to slide, it was harder for me to turn it around.'
Mickelson also divulged what President Bush told him in a phone call shortly after his jump for joy on the 18th green.
'It was awesome that he called,' Mickelson said. 'And he roughed me up. The President of the United States roughed me up. He said, 'Now I understand why last year you tried to throw a baseball instead of a basketball.' I said, 'What do you mean?' and he said, `I saw you try to jump.'
'So my seven-inch rise wasn't good enough for him, I guess.'
Last summer, Mickelson threw batting practice to 18 Toledo Mud Hens players, most of them pitchers, hoping to earn a chance to pitch in a real game for Detroit's Triple-A affiliate. But the Tigers didn't offer him a minor league contract.
Asked what he'll have on the menu for the Champion's Dinner before next year's Masters, he said: 'I hadn't really thought about it, but I love a little lobster ravioli in a creamy tomato sauce, a little garlic bread and Caesar's salad.
'But who's thinking about it?' he said, smiling.
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Watch: Tiger throws dart, pours in birdie at 8
Starting Sunday five off the lead, Tiger Woods teed off his final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a laced 2-iron and a par at No. 1.
Woods hit the green at the par-3 second but left himself a 50-foot birdie putt and a 6-footer to save par, which we walked in.
Walking in the par putt at No. 2. pic.twitter.com/zuSGZmVL3z— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 18, 2018
A two-putt 4 at the par-5 fourth gave Woods his first birdie of the day and moved him to 8 under for the week. Apparently energized, Tiger pulled driver at the short par-4 fifth and unleashed this violent swing.
A pitch from the thick rough hit a sprinkler head and stopped on the apron, leading to this birdie try, which fortunately hit the pin but unfortunately didn't fall.
Looking to pick up another stroke - or two - at the par-5 sixth, Woods took his drive 317 yards over the water and hit this second shot from 227 yards to 13 feet, leading to another two-putt birdie when his eagle try burned the right edge.
Tiger gets it to 9-under.— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 18, 2018
He's 4 shots back. pic.twitter.com/cAZtM14SlJ
Returning to his trusty 2-iron, Tiger found the fairway at par-4 eighth and then threw this dart from 176 yards to 6 feet and rolled in his third birdie putt of the day to move to 10 under.
Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational
Tiger Woods will start Sunday five off the lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. How will he follow up last week's runner-up? We're tracking him at Bay Hill.
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McIlroy: Time for Tour to limit alcohol sales on course
ORLANDO, Fla. – Rory McIlroy suggested Saturday that the PGA Tour might need to consider curbing alcohol sales to stop some of the abusive fan behavior that has become more prevalent at events.
McIlroy said that a fan repeatedly yelled his wife’s name (Erica) during the third round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
“I was going to go over and have a chat with him,” McIlroy said. “I think it’s gotten a little much, to be honest. I think they need to limit the alcohol sales on the course, or they need to do something, because every week it seems like guys are complaining about it more and more.
“I know that people want to come and enjoy themselves, and I’m all for that, but sometimes when the comments get personal and people get a little bit rowdy, it can get a little much.”
This isn’t the first time that McIlroy has voiced concerns about fan behavior on Tour. Last month at Riviera, he said the rowdy spectators probably cost Tiger Woods a half-shot a round, and after two days in his featured group he had a splitting headache.
A week later, at the Honda Classic, Justin Thomas had a fan removed late in the final round.
McIlroy believes the issue is part of a larger problem, as more events try to replicate the success of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which has one of the liveliest atmospheres on Tour.
“It’s great for that tournament, it’s great for us, but golf is different than a football game, and there’s etiquette involved and you don’t want people to be put off from bringing their kids when people are shouting stuff out,” he said. “You want people to enjoy themselves, have a good day.”
As for a solution, well, McIlroy isn’t quite sure.
“It used to be you bring beers onto the course or buy beers, but not liquor,” he said. “And now it seems like everyone’s walking around with a cocktail. I don’t know whether (the solution) is to go back to letting people walking around with beers in their hands. That’s fine, but I don’t know.”
Confident Lincicome lurking after 54 holes at Founders
PHOENIX – Brittany Lincicome is farther back than she wanted to be going into Sunday at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, but she’s in a good place.
She’s keeping the momentum of her season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic victory going this year.
Her confidence is high.
“Last year, I won in the Bahamas, but then I didn't do anything after that,” Lincicome said. “I don't even know if I had a top 10 after my win in the Bahamas. Obviously, this year, I want to be more consistent.”
Lincicome followed up her victory in the Bahamas this year with a tie for seventh in her next start at the Honda LPGA Thailand. And now she’s right back on another leaderboard with the year’s first major championship just two weeks away. She is, by the way, a two-time winner at the ANA Inspiration.
Missy Pederson, Lincicome’s caddie, is helping her player keep that momentum going with more focus on honing in the scoring clubs.
“One of our major goals is being more consistent,” Pederson said. “She’s so talented, a once in a generation talent. I’m just trying to help out in how to best approach every golf course.”
Pederson has helped Lincicome identify the clubs they’re likely to attack most with on the particular course they are playing that week, to spend more time working with those clubs in practice. It’s building confidence.
“I know the more greens we hit, and the more chances we give ourselves, the more our chances are to be in contention,” Pederson said. “Britt is not big into stats or details, so I have to figure out how to best consolidate that information, to get us exactly where we need to be.”
Lincicome’s growing comfort with clubs she can attack with is helping her confidence through a round.
“I’ve most noticed consistency in her mental game, being able to handle some of the hiccups that happen over the course of a round,” Pederson said. “Whereas before, something might get under her skin, where she might say, `That’s what always happens,’ now, it’s, `All right, I know I’m good enough to get this back.’ I try to get her in positions to hit the clubs we are really hitting well right now.”
That’s leading to a lot more birdies, fewer bogeys and more appearances on leaderboards in the start to this year.