Mickelson Returns to Loch Lomond

By Associated PressJuly 9, 2008, 4:00 pm
2006 Barclays Scottish OpenGLASGOW, Scotland -- Phil Mickelson has returned for his annual British Open warmup at the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond.
Although the course is nothing like the one at Royal Birkdale, where the Open will be played next week, Mickelson said Wednesday that its the perfect place to hone his game.
Part of getting ready for next week is performing well this week, hitting shots sharply and crisply, being prepared for this week, said Mickelson, who spent three days at Royal Birkdale.
I think its a very fair, fun, difficult test of golf. I saw it in three different conditions'calm, very windy and in a medium breeze, he said. The course is in immaculate shape.
Mickelson had his best chance in five tries of winning the Scottish Open last year until he bogeyed the final hole to fall into a tie with Gregory Havret, then bogeyed it again on the first playoff hole to hand the victory to the Frenchman.
Im hoping to improve on that, Mickelson said.
Mickelson has won twice on the U.S. tour this year, the Northern Trust Open in California in February and the Colonial in Texas in May.
Its been up and down. I had a lot of consistency from 10th to 25th but not the performances in contention as much as I would like, Mickelson said. What Im really concerned about is the next nine or 10-week stretch with the Open, our FedEx Cup, the PGA, Akron. That will really determine how the year went.
Mickelson feels that the absence of Tiger Woods, who had knee surgery after winning the U.S. Open, will affect the rest of the year.
Its going to have a huge effect on the FedEx Cup and the Ryder Cup, losing the No. 1 player in the world from our team, Mickelson said. It will also have a negative effect on television ratings and fan interest. But it opens the way for players to come through and win tournaments they might not have won.
Chief among his rivals here is No. 3-ranked Adam Scott, the winner in Qatar and in the Byron Classic on the U.S. tour this year, and former winners Ernie Els, Colin Montgomerie and Lee Westwood.
Els broke a slump by winning the Honda Classic in Florida but then missed the halfway cut at the Masters, the BMW PGA at Wentworth and the Memorial.
My defense for the last two is that I was just into swing changes with (new coach) Butch (Harmon) and it didnt happen for me, Els said. After the Memorial I did some more work with Butch and the changes are coming around. The more I play the better I will play with the changes.
He had a good U.S. Open going last month until his putting went askew. He tied for 14th.
Els has had three weeks off at his England home, watching the Henley Regatta and Wimbledon with his family.
My game has been a little bit dicey to say the least. Its got a bit of rust on it, he said. But Ive won here twice and I feel this is a good golf course for me. And I feel refreshed.
Els, too, felt the loss of Woods from upcoming majors.
Whoever is going to win next week is going to have to answer questions like Do you think you would have won if Tiger were here? But the game of golf will live on after Tiger Woods, although we will miss him.
Els said his familys welfare remains of primary importance, particularly since his son Ben was diagnosed with autism this year.
He will never be able to play golf or tennis or rugby. But after a while, you cope, Els said. I dont think it has taken my focus away from trying to reach my goals.
Montgomerie faded to 24th in the European Open last week in the defense of the title he won at The K Club a year earlier. Down to 80th in the world, he needs a good two weeks, especially after missing the halfway cut in the Scottish and British Opens last year.
Luke Donald has withdrawn with a wrist injury, and David Frost pulled out to rest after earning a spot at the British Open at the European Open on Sunday.
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.