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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  • Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

    By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

    Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

    Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

    Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

    Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

    It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

    The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

    Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

    Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

    ''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

    They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

    ''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

    Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

    ''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

    Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

    Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

    Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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    Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

    Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

    Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

    Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

    The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

    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.