Mickelson Loses at Loch Lomond in Playoff

By Associated PressJuly 15, 2007, 4:00 pm
2006 Barclays Scottish OpenGLASGOW, Scotland -- This time, Phil Mickelson got a do-over after hitting a wayward tee shot at the 72nd hole.
 
The next one was even worse.
 
A faulty driver cost Lefty his first European Tour win, as France's Gregory Havret rallied to win the Scottish Open on the first playoff hole Sunday.
 
Gregory Havret
Gregory Havret is doused with champagne after his victory. (Getty Images)
Not exactly the sort of finish Mickelson wanted heading to the British Open, which begins Thursday at Carnoustie, about a two-hour drive away.
 
He's still trying to erase the memory of that U.S. Open meltdown at Winged Foot 13 months ago, where a terrible drive on the 72nd hole led to a double-bogey -- and left him one stroke behind winner Geoff Ogilvy.
 
'I really struggled off the tee and the back nine was a fight for me,' said Mickelson, who bogeyed three of his last five holes at Loch Lomond, including the 18th twice.
 
Havret qualified for his first major, clinching the win with an up-and-down from a greenside bunker. He sank a 6-footer for par in the playoff, then was doused with champagne by countryman Thomas Levet.
 
Now it's on to Carnoustie, where another Frenchman, Jean van de Velde, improbably squandered a three-stroke lead on the final hole of regulation at the 1999 British Open. He went on to lose to Paul Lawrie in a playoff.
 
Havret almost won his place in the Open last Sunday at The K Club, but he finished third in the European Open.
 
'I was disappointed but I knew I had another chance, especially on a course like this that I love so much,' he said.
 
With a one-stroke lead going to the final hole of regulation, Mickelson drove into thick rough along the right side of the fairway. He needed a chip shot and two putts for bogey, while Havret got down in two from 15 feet to force the playoff, both players at 14-under 270 as they headed back to the tee box at 18.
 
Mickelson's redo drive plopped into the shin-high reeds along the water on the left side of the fairway, forcing him to hit an awkward shot that skidded sideways back into the fairway. His third shot wound up on the fringe at the back of the green, leading to another bogey.
 
'I just tried to make a good swing and blocked it left,' Mickelson said. 'I hit a good shot out of the swamp, but I hit the third shot way too hard.'
 
Mickelson, who shot a 2-under 69 in the final round, also bogeyed the 14th and 16th holes in regulation. He bounced back with birdies at the 15th and 17th.
 
'Greg played very solid golf and I played very erratic golf,' Mickelson said. 'I made birdies and bogeys and he just played steady with solid pars and ultimately that won out in the playoff because he was just much more consistent.'
 
Ernie Els (65) finished one shot back at 271, taking third with a 40-foot birdie on the final hole. It was his fourth straight birdie on the 18th.
 
Luke Donald (64), Richard Sterne (64), Pelle Edberg (66) and Louis Oosthuizen (68) tied for fourth at 273.
 
Mickelson, whose only victory abroad was in the 1993 Perrier Open in Paris, a second-tier event, began the day with a one-stroke lead. He stayed in front until the 14th hole, when his bogey combined with Havret's birdie left them tied for the lead.
 
Havret closed with a 68.
 
'When Greg plays solid like that,' Mickelson said, 'not only does he deserve to win, but he makes himself very tough to beat.'
 
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    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


    Masters victory


    Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

    Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

    Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


    Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


    Green jacket tour

    Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

    Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

    Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


    Man of the people


    Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

    Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

    Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


    Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


    Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


    Growing family

    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

    Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


    Departure from TaylorMade


    Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


    Squashed beef with Paddy

    Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

    Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


    Victory at Valderrama


    Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
    Getty Images

    Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

    Well, this is a one new one.

    According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

    “No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

    Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

    “If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

    The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

    “I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

    The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

    Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

    Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.