Mickelson Tops Tiger - Then Fires Shot at Finchem

By Associated PressSeptember 3, 2007, 4:00 pm
DeutscheBank Logo 2007NORTON, Mass. -- As soon as Phil Mickelson shrugged off Tiger Woods and the rest of the field at the Deutsche Bank Championship, he decided to take on golf's powers-that-be.
 
Complaining that the PGA TOUR Playoffs are too much of a commitment for players already tired from a long season, Mickelson threatened to skip next week's BMW Championship.
 
'My frustration from this past year came from asking for a couple of things in the FedExCup that weren't done, and not feeling all that bad now if I happen to miss,' he said Monday. 'So I'm not really sure how it's going to play out.'
 
Mickelson would not elaborate on his complaints, but he did say that with his kids starting school on Wednesday he was torn between spending time with his family and fighting for points in Chicago. He has brought up his issues with PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem, to no avail.
 
'It's just that I'm conflicted,' Mickelson said, noting that it wasn't just the playoffs but a hectic season overall. 'I certainly feel the obligation to support the FedExCup, to support the PGA TOUR, and support the game of golf. And I also want to have a balance in my life, and my family has sacrificed a lot this year because it's been a very difficult schedule.'
 
Mickelson shot 5-under-par 66 on Monday in the final round of the Deutsche Bank to finish two strokes ahead of Woods, Brett Wetterich and Arron Oberholser. The victory was worth $1.26 million and 9,000 points in the playoffs, moving him to the top of the standings.
 
Wetterich shot 70, making a birdie on the final hole to earn enough points to move up 29 spots in the standings to No. 22 and giving him an excellent shot at making the TOUR Championship.
 
Oberholser was within one shot of Mickelson most of the back nine, but he needed an eagle on the final hole to force a playoff. Instead, he missed a 10-foot birdie putt when the tournament was sealed and improved to No. 29 in the standings; had he made the birdie putt, he would have gone to No. 20 and clinched a spot at East Lake for the Tour Championship.
 
John Mallinger and Bo Van Pelt moved into the top 70 to advance to the third round next week in Chicago.
 
Even if Mickelson does skip the next event, he long ago locked up a spot in the TOUR Championship.
 
But that would make it three consecutive weeks that a top 5 player in the world rankings has sat out one of the playoff events. Tiger Woods sat out Week 1, and Ernie Els sat out the Deutsche Bank to be with his kids as they started school.
 
Even missing Els, the TPC was not lacking in star power.
 
After playing in a threesome with Vijay Singh for the first two rounds, Mickelson and Woods paired up again in Monday's final round. Thousands of fans stood six-deep behind the greens and watched Mickelson move to a five-stroke lead before Woods made a move.
 
'For 10 years I've struggled against Tiger,' Mickelson said. 'The way I was able to answer with a couple birdies when Tiger was making his charge -- it felt pretty good. As we all know, he finishes better than anybody else. He certainly tried to do that today. I was able to hold him off.'
 
It was Mickelson's first victory since THE PLAYERS Championship in May. Then he injured his left wrist that cost him his summer, and only recently has Mickelson been able to swing without flinching.
 
But Woods was the one who was struggling this week.
 
He missed 11 putts from inside 10 feet over the weekend -- four of them from inside 7 feet. He three-putted three times. In the final round, he made just one putt from outside of 13 feet.
 
'It's very frustrating,' Woods said. 'That many three-putts, and I'm still right there, which means I'm hitting the ball well. I just need to clean up my greens for next week.'
 
Woods missed makable putts on three straight holes, including a 15-footer on No. 12 after Mickelson hit his second shot into a hazard and wound up with a double bogey.
 
'He made a mistake there,' Woods said. 'I felt that I should have -- if I could have made that putt, I could have gotten a big chunk back.'
 
Trailing by two strokes, Wood hit his tee shot on the 161-yard, par-3 16th to the back of the green and rolled it just 10 feet from the pin. But then Mickelson went straight at the flag, and left just 6 feet for birdie.
 
Woods sank his putt to get within one stroke -- but just for a matter of seconds. Mickelson also made birdie to move to 15 under and restore the two-stroke lead.
 
'To be able to stand up on 16 after he knocked it close and follow it with a birdie of my own, knock it inside of him and finish with a couple birdies of my own, it feels terrific,' said Mickelson, who improved to 3-2-1 against Woods in heads-up, final-round play.
 
'Now the next step is to try to hopefully go head-to-head in a major. We don't get paired very often in majors, and hopefully next year we'll have a chance to do that.'
 
Woods gave himself a chance for an eagle on No. 18 from 33 feet. But Mickelson ended it when, after going over the green with his second shot, he chipped from out of a downhill lie to within 5 feet -- an easy birdie.
 
For Lefty, it was the cap to a fun week in New England -- his first trip to the Boston area since he celebrated a stunning U.S. victory in the Ryder Cup at Brookline.
 
This time, Mickelson spent some time in Kennebunkport, Maine, for some golf and fishing with former President Bush. After Saturday's round, Mickelson headed over to Fenway Park and saw Red Sox rookie Clay Buchholz throw a no-hitter.
 
'It made for a very special, memorable week,' Mickelson said. 'I'm just so excited with the way it finished.'
 
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  • Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Cameron Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Jason Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Jordan Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

    Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

    Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

    Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

    SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

    Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

    ''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

    But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

    In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

    ''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

    Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

    The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his Web.com card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

    ''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

    NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

    Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

    Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

    Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

    "He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

    The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

    Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

    "I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

    Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

    "From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

    "And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

    "There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."