Notes Leftys Putter Working Nicely

By Associated PressMay 1, 2008, 4:00 pm
2007 Wachovia ChampionshipCHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Phil Mickelson is back on the course'and he brought his putter.
After spending the past few weeks breaking in a new putter and working on his short game, Mickelson made an encouraging return to tournament play Thursday during the first round of the Wachovia Championship.
His 4-under 68 included five birdies, a couldve-been-worse bogey and, most importantly, some close-range consistency that was reminiscent of his only win of the year, his two-stroke triumph over Jeff Quigley in February at the Northern Trust Open.
I made a lot of putts there, but I didnt feel good with the putter. They went in, but I didnt feel confident with the way they were rolling, Mickelson said. Today was a different day for me on the greens. I mean, not only did I make a lot, but the ones that missed were tracking and coming close to the edges. So I feel like heading in here, Im actually putting better, even though I made a lot that week.
Playing at the familiar Quail Hollow Club course where he has three top-seven finishes in four appearances, he posted numbers that back it up.
Mickelson made a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 1, his 10th hole of the day, and that came after he escaped No. 18 with a bogey. He sent his second shot into the water left of the green, took a drop, placed his fourth shot 8 feet from the pin and made that putt to generate some momentum.
You can afford to lose a shot around this course, Mickelson said. Youll make some mistakes, youll make some bogeys, but you dont want to have huge mistakes like doubles, and to make that up-and-down, make that putt, that was a big one.
He finished with birdies on two of his final three holes, wrapping up his round by making a 25-foot chip shot on No. 9 that put him atop the leaderboard for a while.
In all, he made 15 of 16 putts from inside 10 feet to address an old bugaboo ' he had several misses from close range during a disastrous third round that helped knocked him out of contention at the Masters, his most recent tournament. Since then, he ditched his 33 1/2 -inch putter in favor of one that is 1 1/2 inches longer.
Its good to see some positive results from the time I spent the last couple weeks, Mickelson said.
Trevor Murphy skipped this weekends Atlantic 10 championship for a shot at playing against the pros. Smart decision.
The UNC Charlotte senior and last-minute qualifier shot a 71'not bad for an amateur playing one of the PGA TOURs roughest non-majors.
I couldnt even feel the golf club in my hand on my first tee shot, Murphy said.
Murphy didnt even make it into the field for this tournament until earlier this week. Because his college team was off last weekend in preparation for the league championship in Orlando, Fla., the former world-class skiier entered himself in Mondays qualifier and tied another player for the final spot through 18 holes.
He came back the next day for a playoff, needing two extra holes to claim a spot in a field that includes 18 of the worlds top 25 players.
Geoff Ogilvys poor putting kept him from taking the lead.
Ogilvy didnt have any bogeys during his opening-round 70, but he missed several reasonable birdie putts that prevented him from making a charge up the leaderboard.
He missed a 6-foot birdie putt on No. 8, his 17th hole of the round, before tapping in a 2-footer, then finished his day by missing a 30-foot birdie attempt and making a 1-footer.
Just missed putt after putt. It was horrible, really, Ogilvy said. Im not going to practice because practicing my putting tends to make me putt worse, so Im going to go home and learn to putt better.
Theyve complained about slow play for years on the PGA TOUR, and that topic was discussed during a pre-tournament meeting.
We talked a lot about it, and we always do, David Toms said. The issue came up this time about golf course setup, and why does it have to be so difficult. A lot of guys believe that is one of the reasons for the slow play. Golf course setup is why you see pro golfers, the best in the world, a guy shoot 67 and then another guy shoot 79 is because there is such a fine line there. You get on the wrong side, and it just takes a while.
So, I think we can do a combination of things. If you ask the field staff, they would tell you theres way too many people playing, and you cant get them around that fast. Golf course setup, I think, is a big deal. If you saw pins in the middle of the greens like you do for the pro-am, I think wed get along a lot quicker. All of it goes hand in hand.
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    Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

    Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

    The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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    Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

    By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

    The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

    Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

    There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. 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.

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

    Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

    Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

    None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

    Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

    An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

    In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

    Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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