Mickelson hopeful of Woods return

By Associated PressJanuary 28, 2010, 9:03 am

SAN DIEGO (AP)—Phil Mickelson is the No. 1 player in golf, at least amongactive players.

The way he played at the end of last year, and as excited as he is about hisgame going into a new season, he has reason to believe he can be No. 1 whenTiger Woods returns.

His putting feels better ever, courtesy of hooking up with former PGAchampion Dave Stockton toward the end of the FedEx Cup and getting immediateresults with a victory at the Tour Championship. Mickelson says his driving hasgone from a weakness to a weapon. He has gone to a driver with about 6-degreeloft, and his misses are not what they used to be.

Phil Mickelson, left, hits fro…
AP - Jan 27, 4:33 pm EST

And the last two tournaments he played last year, the final day turned intoa duel with Woods. Mickelson won them both.

“At the end of last year, I felt like things were starting to really cometogether,” Mickelson said Wednesday. “Taking some weaknesses and turning theminto strengths give me the confidence or the belief that this could be anexceptional year.”

It starts for Mickelson when the Farmers Insurance Open gets under way atTorrey Pines. And his season starts without Woods, who is on indefinite leavefrom his spectacular and sordid downfall.

That’s about the only thing that tempered Mickelson’s enthusiasm.

He doesn’t look at Woods’ absence as any greater opportunity than when Woodswas playing, for Mickelson is among the few that relish such competition. Nordoes Mickelson look at himself as the one player capable of bringing star powerto golf.

“Nobody will be able to … fill the shoes,” Mickelson said.

Speaking for the first time in public since Woods’ confessed to infidelity,Mickelson didn’t bother waiting for the first question at his press conferenceWednesday. He offered a pre-emptive strike filled with compassion andperspective, even if it was short on detail.

“The game of golf needs him to come back,” Mickelson said. “It’simportant for him to come back and be a part of the sport. But right now, he’sgot a lot more important things going on in his life. Amy and I are good friendswith both Tiger and Elin, and we care deeply about how this turns out.

“But I’m going to choose not to talk about it publicly anymore, and Iappreciate your understanding on that.”

More questions followed, although Mickelson refused to be drawn into adiscussion on whether he can fill the void left by Woods or whether he wassurprised by the amount of media coverage, from gossip magazines to standuproutines on late shows.

He did confirm that he has tried to reach out to his longtime rival and had“limited communication.”

“With the family—not necessarily saying with who in the family,”Mickelson said.

No one has more to gain than Mickelson while Woods is away.

He is the No. 2 player—in the world ranking, PGA Tour victories,television appeal—and even before details emerged of Woods’ infidelity,Mickelson was poised to challenge him like never before.

“My whole career, I’ve been trying to get to No. 1,” he said. “I justhaven’t had much success. But this year, whether or not Tiger is in the field, Istill believe that this is an opportunity for me to compete in majors, tochallenge him. I’ve had some great head-to-head success in the last year or two,and I expect this year—with or without him—to be one of the best years of mycareer.”

Mickelson is a three-time winner at Torrey Pines, although he hasn’tseriously contended since 2001. The South Course later was revamped and thegreens were rebuilt to get ready for the 2008 U.S. Open. Now, however, Mickelsonhopes he has figured it out.

The timing couldn’t be better.

While the Farmers Insurance Open has the prime spot on the West Coastschedule—played during the one-week break before the Super Bowl—the field atTorrey Pines never had been particularly strong. It only looked that way becauseit featured Woods and Mickelson, the top two draws in golf.

Mickelson is among three players from the top 20—the others are RobertAllenby and Ernie Els .

Storms swamped the courses last week, and while they arein good shape heading into the opening round, officials could only get lawnmowers in the rough on Tuesday. It was still thick, prompting Allenby to say ashe studied his ball in the left rough Wednesday, “We played a U.S. Open herealready. Are we playing another one?”

Els played his pro-am late Wednesday, and after missing the fairway on No.7, he grabbed a 7-iron and began a 280-yard walk. He knew that was all the clubhe could play from that rough.

The U.S. Open is the biggest trophy missing from Mickelson’s collection, andhe’s hopeful this is the year he wins that and so many other prizes that haveeluded him—a money title, PGA Tour player of the year, even No. 1 in theworld.

Still, he made no secret of his hopes for Woods. Mickelson wants him back,for himself and the sport.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. 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. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

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

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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