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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  • 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
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    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.

    PGA Tour suspends Hensby for anti-doping violation

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 8:02 pm

    Mark Hensby has been suspended for one year by the PGA Tour for violating the Tour’s anti-doping policy by failing to provide a sample after notification.

    The Tour made the announcement Monday, reporting that Hensby will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

    The statement reads:

    The PGA Tour announced today that Mark Hensby has violated the Tour Anti-Doping Policy for failing to provide a drug testing sample after notification and has been suspended for a period of one year. He will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

    Hensby, 46, won the John Deere Classic in 2004. He played the Web.com Tour this past year, playing just 14 events. He finished 142nd on the money list. He once ranked among the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking but ranks No. 1,623 today.

    The Sunshine Tour recently suspended player Etienne Bond for one year for failing a drug test. Players previously suspended by the PGA Tour for violating the anti-doping policy include Scott Stallings and Doug Barron.

    The PGA Tour implemented revisions to its anti-doping program with the start of the 2017-18 season. The revisions include blood testing and the supplementation of the Tour’s prohibited list to include all of the substances and methods on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list. As part of this season’s revisions, the Tour announced it would also begin reporting suspensions due to recreational drug use.

    The Tour said it would not issue further comment on Hensby's suspension.