Phil Makes US Open Prediction

By Associated PressJune 7, 2006, 4:00 pm
HARRISON, N.Y. - Winged Foot's thick rough was still on Phil Mickelson's mind a day after his latest practice round on the difficult U.S. Open venue.
'I'm going to make a prediction that somebody hits the wrong ball in the rough,' Mickelson said Wednesday after his pro-am round in the Barclays Classic.
'The reason is there have been a lot of members that have been playing and when they hit balls in the rough you can't find it. ... There are, I think, not just hundreds, but thousands of golf balls in the rough that you just can't see.'
While the Barclays Classic's Westchester Country Club is an ideal tuneup for the U.S. Open next week, the PGA Tour's setup on the hilly, tree-lined course is far less demanding off the tee than the long and narrow Winged Foot layout.
'Even though the rough is up, it's nothing like what I saw at Winged Foot,' Mickelson said. 'I haven't seen rough that thick and dense, I don't think ever.'
While Tiger Woods and some other top players rest the week before a major championship, Mickelson prefers to prepare with tournament play.
'I think competing for a championship, feeling the importance of each shot and trying to play at a high level ... is a great way to prepare for trying to do the same thing the next week,' Mickelson said.
Mickelson worked the pre-major strategy to perfection in April, following a 13-stroke victory in the BellSouth Classic with his second Masters win in three years. He also won the final major last year, the PGA Championship at Baltusrol.
'Winning in Atlanta gave me a lot of confidence heading into Augusta,' Mickelson said. 'It was nice to have been able to win by a large number where I wasn't feeling the stress and the pressure on the weekend.'
Coming off a fourth-place tie Sunday in the Memorial, Mickelson played in the rain Wednesday morning in the pro-am. Rain also is expected Thursday, Friday and possibly Saturday on the already-soggy course.
'The negative is that we're not able to get out and practice and work on it, but the positive is that you get some rest,' Mickelson said.
Mickelson is making his fifth career start at Westchester. He tied for 16th last year, five strokes behind winner Padraig Harrington.
'The golf course here at Westchester is just a terrific course,' Mickelson said. 'It's a U.S. Open venue that we get to play every year.'
Mickelson used two drivers ' one with a right-to-left bias and the other with a left-to-right ball flight ' in the BellSouth Classic and Masters and said he might put two in his bag again this week and next, depending on the weather.
'If it's raining, wet and playing long, then I'll use two,' Mickelson said. 'If it's warm, hot and starts getting fast and drier, I'll probably just use one.'
Two-time Westchester winners Vijay Singh and Sergio Garcia also are in the strong field along with Harrington, Retief Goosen, Stuart Appleby, Fred Couples, David Toms and European tour money leader David Howell.
Last year, Harrington holed a 65-foot eagle putt on the final hole to beat Jim Furyk by a stroke. Harrington, a playoff loser to Garcia in 2004 in his first Westchester start, was three strokes behind Furyk with five holes to play.
'The last two years, it's been very warm and the golf course has been firm,' Harrington said. 'It's a totally different golf course. It'll be interesting to see how I fare on it now. It's a different test of golf.'
Divots:@ Furyk withdrew Wednesday because of an upper-back injury after also skipping his charity event Monday in Pennsylvania. ... Mickelson leads the tour in earnings ($3,475,658), scoring average (69.34), putting (1.703 per green reached in regulation) and birdies (4.98 per round). He's also tied for the lead in victories (two) and second in greens in regulation (70.7 percent). ... Ernie Els, the 1996 and '97 winner, withdrew Monday. ... Loren Roberts, a three-time winner this year on the Champions Tour, is making his fourth PGA Tour start of the season. He leads the 50-and-over tour's money list with $1,282,520. ... The tournament is in its 40th season at Westchester. ... The winner will receive $1,035,000 from the $5.75 million purse.
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    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    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

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
    Getty Images

    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.