Notes Lefty Exacts Revenge Sergios New Girlfriend

By Associated PressAugust 29, 2006, 4:00 pm
PGA Tour (75x100)Pete Bender learned the hard way not to mess with Phil Mickelson.
 
Three years ago, when Bender was the caddie for Rocco Mediate, he found slugs on the cart path during a practice round at Kapalua and put some on the seat of Mickelson's cart as a joke. Little did he know that Lefty would be so engaged in conservation that he would sit down without seeing them.
 
Squish.
 
Mickelson promised he would get even, and he delivered in a big way after the third round at Firestone.
 
Bender, now working for Aaron Baddeley, came off the course Saturday and was promptly greeted by a police officer who told him he was under arrest for at outstanding warrant. Bender's face turned white, and before he knew what was happening, he was in the back seat of a squad car.
 
After the players signed their cards, Mickelson and Baddeley went over to check on him. Now, Bender was in a position of trying to explain why he had been arrested. He pleaded with the officer to explain the charge.
 
Illegal transportation of snails on a golf course.
 
Bender knew he had been had.
 
Mickelson got his revenge.
 
MAKING ENDS MEET
What does the U.S. Amateur champion do for spending money? He caddies at Royal Aberdeen, for starters.
 
'I caddie quite a bit when I can,' Richie Ramsay said. 'Obviously, I'm playing a lot of tournaments in the summer. You know, when I can go out caddying, I do it. We've all got to make some money. ... Everybody's got to make a living and I'm still a student. Have to pay for nights out somehow.'
 
Ramsay said he normally charges about $50 for a loop at Royal Aberdeen.
 
'I may negotiate a bit higher now,' he said with a smile.
 
DIVOTS
Sergio Garcia was seen at Firestone last week with Morgan-Leigh Norman, a student at Boston College. If the last name looks familiar, it should -- she is Greg Norman's daughter. 'She's a wonderful girl and we'll see how it goes,' Garcia said. ... Michelle Wie has a new caddie, at least for the next month. Golfweek magazine reported that Wie has hired Andrew Lano for the Omega European Masters on Sept. 7-10 in Switzerland, followed by the 84 Lumber Classic on the PGA Tour. Lano has spent most of his career working for Kenny Perry. ... Here's a startling checkup on the rest of the 'Big Five' from the start of the year: Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson, Retief Goosen and Ernie Els were a combined 25-over par at the Bridgestone Invitational. ... Jack Nicklaus opened his 300th golf course last week at Sebonack Golf Club in Long Island, N.Y., which he designed with Tom Doak.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK
Since the U.S. Open, Phil Mickelson has finished a combined 58 shots behind Tiger Woods in the four tournaments they have played.
 
FINAL WORD
'If they had won the last two, would they be making this trip?' -- Padraig Harrington on the U.S. Ryder Cup team going to Ireland for two days to practice. Europe has won the last two times in the Ryder Cup.
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Watch: Daly makes birdie from 18-foot-deep bunker

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 11:14 pm

John Daly on Friday somehow got up and down for birdie from the deepest bunker on the PGA Tour.

The sand to the left of the green on the 16th hole at the Stadium Course at PGA West sits 18 feet below the surface of the green.

That proved no problem for Daly, who cleared the lip three times taller than he is and then rolled in a 26-footer.

He fared just slightly better than former Speaker of the House, Tip O'Neill.

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Koepka (wrist) likely out until the Masters

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 9:08 pm

Defending U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka is expected to miss at least the next two months because of a torn tendon in his left wrist.

Koepka, who suffered a partially torn Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU), is hoping to return in time for the Masters.

In a statement released by his management company, Koepka said that doctors are unsure when the injury occurred but that he first felt discomfort at the Hero World Challenge, where he finished last in the 18-man event. Playing through pain, he also finished last at the Tournament of Champions, after which he underwent a second MRI that revealed the tear.

Koepka is expected to miss the next eight to 12 weeks.

“I am frustrated that I will now not be able to play my intended schedule,” Koepka said. “But I am confident in my doctors and in the treatment they have prescribed, and I look forward to teeing it up at the Masters. … I look forward to a quick and successful recovery.”

Prior to the injury, Koepka won the Dunlop Phoenix and cracked the top 10 in the world ranking. 

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Cut Line: Color Rory unafraid of the Ryder Cup

By Rex HoggardJanuary 19, 2018, 7:09 pm

In this week’s edition, Rory McIlroy gets things rolling with some early Ryder Cup banter, Dustin Johnson changes his tune on a possible golf ball roll-back, and the PGA Tour rolls ahead with integrity training.


Made Cut

Paris or bust. Rory McIlroy, who made his 2018 debut this week on the European Tour, can be one of the game’s most affable athletes. He can also be pointed, particularly when discussing the Ryder Cup.

Asked this week in Abu Dhabi about the U.S. team, which won the last Ryder Cup and appears to be rejuvenated by a collection of new players, McIlroy didn’t disappoint.

“If you look at Hazeltine and how they set the course up – big, wide fairways, no rough, pins in the middle of greens – it wasn’t set up for the way the Europeans like to play,” McIlroy said. “I think Paris will be a completely different kettle of fish, so different.”

McIlroy has come by his confidence honestly, having won three of the four Ryder Cups he’s played, so it’s understandable if he doesn't feel like an underdog heaidng to Paris.

“The Americans have obviously been buoyant about their chances, but it’s never as easy as that,” he said. “The Ryder Cup is always close. It always comes down to a few key moments, and it will be no different in Paris. I think we’ll have a great team and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

September can’t get here quick enough.

Mr. Spieth goes to Ponte Vedra Beach. The Tour announced this year’s player advisory council, the 16-member group that works with the circuit’s policy board to govern.

There were no real surprises to the PAC, but news that Jordan Spieth had been selected to run for council chair is interesting. Spieth, who is running against Billy Hurley III and would ascend to the policy board next year if he wins the election, served on the PAC last year and would make a fine addition to the policy board, but it is somewhat out of character for a marquee player.

In recent years, top players like Spieth have largely avoided the distractions that come with the PAC and policy board. Of course, we’ve also learned in recent years that Spieth is not your typical superstar.


Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

On second thought. In December at the Hero World Challenge, Dustin Johnson was asked about a possible golf ball roll-back, which has become an increasingly popular notion in recent years.

“I don't mind seeing every other professional sport. They play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball,” he said in the Bahamas. “I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage.”

The world No. 1 appeared to dial back that take this week in Abu Dhabi, telling BBC Sport, “It's not like we are dominating golf courses. When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy?”

Maybe it didn’t feel that way, but DJ’s eight-stroke romp two weeks ago at the Sentry Tournament of Champions certainly looked pretty easy.

Long odds. I had a chance to watch the Tour’s 15-minute integrity training video that players have been required view and came away with a mixture of confusion and concern.

The majority of the video, which includes a Q&A element, focuses on how to avoid match fixing. Although the circuit has made it clear there is no indication of current match fixing, it’s obviously something to keep an eye on.

The other element that’s worth pointing out is that although the Tour may be taking the new program seriously, some players are not.

“My agent watched [the training video] for me,” said one Tour pro last week at the Sony Open.


Missed Cut

Groundhog Day. To be fair, no one expected Patton Kizzire and James Hahn to need six playoff holes to decide last week’s Sony Open, but the episode does show why variety is the spice of life.

After finishing 72 holes tied at 17 under, Kizzire and Hahn played the 18th hole again and again and again and again. In total, the duo played the par-5 closing hole at Waialae Country Club five times (including in regulation play) on Sunday.

It’s worth noting that the playoff finally ended with Kizzire’s par at the sixth extra hole, which was the par-3 17th. Waialae’s 18th is a fine golf hole, but in this case familiarity really did breed contempt.

Tweet of the week:

It was a common theme last Saturday on Oahu after an island-wide text alert was issued warning of an inbound ballistic missile and advising citizens to “seek immediate shelter.”

The alert turned out to be a mistake, someone pushed the wrong button during a shift change, but for many, like Peterson, it was a serious lesson in perspective.

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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.