Mickelson Singh in Spike Flap

By Associated PressApril 8, 2005, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Vijay Singh didn't like following in Phil Mickelson's footsteps Friday.
 
A complaint about spike marks led to a confrontation in the locker room between the two Masters champions after Singh told rules officials that the metal cleats in Lefty's shoes were too long.
 
Mickelson had to stop on the 13th fairway and show an official the bottom of his shoes. And when he heard Singh talking about his spikes during the rain delay, he decided to confront him.
 
'He expressed his concerns. I expressed my disappointment with the way it was handled,' Mickelson said through his press agent, T.R. Reinman. 'I believe everything is fine now.'
 
Singh played in the group behind the defending Masters champion.
 
They resumed the first round on the par-3 12th, the scariest hole at Augusta. Mickelson hit his tee shot into 5 feet and made birdie, going to 3 under par. Singh hit his tee shot to about 25 feet on the same line and two-putted for par.
 
Mickelson offered an apology, but was angry about the timing of being stopped by two officials on one hole.
 
'They were sent by Vijay to check my spikes because he felt they were unduly damaging the greens,' Mickelson said. 'If that's the case, I am very apologetic and will make every effort to tap down what spike marks I may make in the future. However, I was extremely distracted and would have appreciated if it would have been handled differently or after the round.'
 
Mickelson said more than one-third of the field is using metal spikes, especially because of the wet conditions.
 
Singh contacted a rules official while putting on the 12th green.
 
'He said on the 12th hole that someone in the group in front was tracking the green with his shoes,' said Steve Rintoul, a PGA Tour rules official working at the Masters. 'When he looked at where the track was going, he figured out it was Phil.'
 
Mickelson hit his tee shot down the left side of the 13th fairway, and a rules official met him off the tee. Mickelson showed him his soles, one then the other. The official nodded, and Lefty kept walking.
 
Rintoul said another official on the 13th green watched for abnormal footprints, and found there was no problem.
 
But the debate apparently didn't end there.
 
Mickelson and Singh, the 2000 Masters winner, were in the champions locker room during the rain delay when they had it out.
 
'After sitting in the locker (room) for a while, I heard Vijay talking to other players about it and I confronted him,' Mickelson said.
 
Singh left the course before he could be questioned.
 
Will Nicholson, chairman of the competition committee at the Masters, knew about the complaint, but was unaware that Mickelson's shoes were in question or that Singh had turned him in.
 
'They asked to see if there was a burr on the side of his spikes,' Nicholson said. 'There wasn't.'
 
Rintoul and Nicholson said Mickelson offered to change his shoes at the end of the first round. It was not clear if he started the second round with new shoes, or different spikes.
 
Callaway Golf spokesman Larry Dorman said Mickelson changed to 8 millimeter spikes sometime before The Players Championship, which was held two weeks ago. He had been using 6 millimeter spikes.
 
'He told our guys he was slipping at the Match Play,' Dorman said.
 
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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.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    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.