Notes Mickelson Singh Paired Together

By Associated PressApril 10, 2005, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Nobody said Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh had to play nice, just play together.
 
In a devilish twist, the two were paired for the final round of the Masters on Sunday, two days after a tiff over Mickelson's spikes. Mickelson said afterward the two had 'a great time,' but it sure didn't look like it.
 
They shook hands at the start and finish of their rounds, but that was about the extent of their interaction. They often stood on opposite sides of the tee box, not even looking at each other. They never walked together, usually separated by 20 or 30 yards. They didn't appear to say much, if anything.
 
Singles paired up on the local muni seem closer than these two.
 
'We had a great time,' the defending champion insisted. 'We laughed. We giggled. We had a fun day.'
 
Uh-huh.
 
'There was nothing like that,' Mickelson said when pressed. 'I don't know where you guys come up with that.'
 
Well, their confrontation in the champions locker room Friday might have something to do with it. Singh, the 2000 winner, complained to rules officials on the 12th green that Mickelson's metal spikes were too long.
 
Officials twice checked Mickelson's shoes, and no problems were found. But when the two were in the locker room during a rain delay, Mickelson heard Singh talking about it, and the two argued.
 
'It's not like you guys are saying it was. We had a conversation,' Mickelson said, getting testy. 'That's ridiculous to even bring it up.'
 
NOT SO EASY:
The only place Ernie Els was lurking Sunday was at the back of the pack.
 
A favorite when the Masters began, Els instead had one of his worst showings at Augusta National. He shot a 10-over 298 and finished 47th out of 50 golfers. He didn't break par in any of his rounds.
 
'It wasn't good, was it?' the Big Easy said. 'It just wasn't good. My game wasn't there and that's that. We'll move on.'
 
Though Els had the flu after The Players Championship, he refused to blame illness.
 
'I felt good,' he said. 'I felt my practice rounds were good.'
 
Then the tournament started. Every day seemed to bring a new problem with his game. One day it was putting. Another day it was driving. And yet another day it was his iron game.
 
'My game just wasn't there,' he said. 'One of those weeks.'
 
But Els doesn't usually have those kind of weeks. Not at the Masters. Though he's still looking for his first green jacket, the three-time major champion always seems to be in contention. He had finished out of the top 20 only once in the previous nine years and was sixth or better the last five years.
 
He was runner-up twice in that span, by a shot to Phil Mickelson last year after missing birdie putts on the final two holes and by three shots to Vijay Singh in 2000.
 
'I've got to work on my game, get my game in better shape,' Els said. 'And then I'll start looking at the U.S. Open.'
 
IMMELMAN'S ACE:
When Trevor Immelman's caddie tells him to change clubs, he's not about to argue.
 
The South African aced the par-3 16th hole Sunday after switching clubs at caddie Neil Wallace's suggestion. Immelman wanted to hit an 8-iron, but Wallace told him to go with a 7-iron.
 
The ball hit the right side of the green and rolled into the cup for a hole in one. Immelman screamed and jumped in the air when he saw the ball drop, then swung his right fist in a roundhouse punch.
 
'I'd like to look at the replay,' he said. 'Probably jumped 10 feet in the air.'
 
It was the second ace of his career, and he has Wallace to thank for the other one, too. When he made one at the Dutch Open in 2003, he switched clubs at Wallace's suggestion.
 
'That's why I pay him so much,' Immelman said, smiling.
 
The ace wasn't Immelman's only highlight. He finished in a tie for fifth at 4-under 284, his best showing in three trips to the Masters. It's also his best finish as a pro in the United States.
 
'It's a tremendous boost for my career,' he said. 'I proved to myself I can compete with the best players in the world, on one of the hardest courses in the world.'
 
BACK TO SCHOOL:
Luke List wants to get back to the Masters someday. For now, he's got school to finish.
 
Starting with a 9 a.m. class Monday.
 
'Women's Studies,' the Vanderbilt sophomore said after his final round Sunday. 'It's men and women in American society. It's a funny class. A couple of my buddies are taking it with me.'
 
If List has his way, he won't need the class - or any other - after he graduates. One of two amateurs to make the cut, List shot a 6-over 294 for the tournament, leaving him in a tie for 33rd.
 
Not a terrific score, but he finished ahead of former champion Fred Couples (295) and Ernie Els (298). And he had a couple of good days, shooting a 3-under 69 in the second round and closing with a 70.
 
'From the moment I got here, every round I played, every hole I played, the more I wanted to get back here,' said List, who plans to finish his last two years at Vanderbilt. 'I think I can be out here someday. This is something I want to do for a living.'
 
DIVOTS:
Thomas Bjorn had a dismal final round, shooting a 9-over 81 and finishing at 2-over. He dropped from third all the way down to a tie for 25th. ... Ryan Moore was the low amateur, shooting a 1-under 287. He finished tied for 13th, earning him another trip to the Masters next year. ... Retief Goosen's 5-under 67 was the low round Sunday.
 
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    Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

    By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

    Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

    ''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''


    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


    First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

    ''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

    David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

    The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    ''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

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    The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

    By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

    Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

    Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

    I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

    One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

    So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

    You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

    Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

    I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

    This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

    Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

    On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

    The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

    “What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

    Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

    Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

    Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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    Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

    Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

    Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

    In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

    Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

    After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

    Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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    Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

    Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

    “I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

    Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

    The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.