Mickelson hoping to find form in title defense

By Associated PressAugust 28, 2008, 4:00 pm
DeutscheBank Logo 2007NORTON, Mass. ' Phil Mickelsons star presence at the Deutsche Bank Championship was evident Thursday by the company he kept at the TPC Boston.
 
He played the pro-am with tournament host Seth Waugh, the CEO of Deutsche Bank Americas; New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft. Such is the VIP treatment typically afforded the highest-ranked player in the field.
 
FedExCup playoff standings aside, that honor still falls to Mickelson.
 
He is No. 2 in the world ranking, although its easy to forget that. Because while Tiger Woods has been out of sight for two months after his season-ending knee surgery, Mickelson at times has been MIA.
 
Some thought he would take advantage of Woods absence by piling up victories, perhaps another major or two, and giving himself a chance to win the money title or PGA TOUR player of the year for the first time in his career.
 
But it hasnt worked out that way.
 
Mickelson has played four times with only one serious chance at winning, when he had a one-shot lead until bogeys on three of the last four holes at Firestone to tie for fourth. He had to rally to make the weekend at the British Open, was steady but not spectacular in his tie for seventh at the PGA Championship and opened the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup last week with a tie for 19th.
 
Ive played the same way Ive played throughout the year, Mickelson said. I just havent been scoring the way I would like. Even though I feel like Im playing better, the little shots around the greens have cost me. But Im starting to get that turned around, and I expect to have a much better week.
 
By most standards, Mickelson has had a good year. He won at Riviera and Colonial, and he is third on the money list, a little more than $1 million behind Woods. With three more $7 million events, a money title is not out of reach.
 
This would be a good place to turn it around, even if the cast of characters has changed.
 
A year ago, Mickelson surged into FedExCup contention with perhaps the most exciting playoff event at the Deutsche Bank Championship. He played the first two rounds with Woods and Vijay Singh, then hooked up with Woods in the final round and closed with a 66 and beat Woods and two others by two shots.
 
Asked how he remembered last year, Mickelson broke up the room by saying only, Very fondly.
 
It was a fun tournament last year, and I loved the opportunity to have won the tournament, he said. But I also love the way it happened, with the opportunity to play three rounds with Tiger.
 
Woods hasnt played since winning the U.S. Open in a playoff, and the tour has had a taste of life without the worlds most famous athletes. Attendance has been noticeably down in recent events, and television ratings have plunged, as to be expected.
 
Someone asked Mickelson if he wondered what golf would be like if Woods wasnt around. He figured he would be No. 1 in the world and Id be making half as much as I am now.
 
That was a reference to Woods being responsible for such big purses on tour.
 
Im very thankful hes in our sport, and hes had the success and the charisma and the lure to attract corporate America, as well as fans, to the game, he said.
 
Interest now is driven by a slow elimination amid volatile change in the standings as the FedExCup heads to a conclusion next month with $10 million going to the winner.
 
Singh took over the lead with a victory at The Barclays last week, while the two guys he beat in the playoff at Ridgewood ' Sergio Garcia and Kevin Sutherland ' are right behind.
 
Mickelson is at No. 4, and feeling good vibes from the TPC Boston, is hopeful of making a move.
 
There was a fun moment on the practice range after the pro-am that showed where his priorities are. His caddie, Jim Bones Mackay was looking for the perfect spot on the range for Lefty to practice, off to the side at an angle where the light wind was directly into them.
 
This OK? Mackay said when Mickelson arrived.
 
Oh, yeah. Hanging lie. Sidehill. Yeah, thats perfect, Mickelson said in mock sarcasm.
 
Youre left-handed, Mackay replied. You know that, right? You are playing left-handed this week, arent you?
 
Mickelson ended the good-natured exchange by saying, Im going to go chip a few.
 
He spent the next several minutes chipping from various points around a practice green, feeling as though that element of his game ' even Woods believes he has the best short game in golf ' has been hurting him.
 
I feel like Im hitting the ball pretty good, Mickelson said. The key is going to be ' again ' scoring, getting up-and-down around the greens that I miss and getting those birdie putts to drop.
 
As much focus as there is at the top, equally important this week is the bottom. The second round of the playoffs is for the top 120 players, with only 70 advancing to the third round next week in St. Louis for the BMW Championship.
 
Lee Janzen is in a familiar spot.
 
He started these playoffs in the last position, at No. 144, and again is essentially in last place at No. 119 because Alex Cejka withdrew with injury.
 
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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.

    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

    Vandalism

    Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

    Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

    Finances


    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

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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

    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.