Mickelson Back With the Big Boys
With his victory at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, Mickelson ended a winless drought on the PGA Tour that extended close to 20 months. By defeating Skip Kendall in a one-hole playoff in the desert, Mickelson chased away, at least for now, the caravan of doubters who had an endless list of reasons for why Mickelson had dropped from No. 2 in the world ranking to No. 16 in the last 12 months.
'It's been a long time,' Mickelson said, after winning this event for the second time in three years.
Certainly too long for a player with Lefty's lofty expectations. Sure, the 900-ton gorilla still perches on his back: He hasn't won a major championship. But too many people conveniently forget Mickelson is 6-1 in playoffs and has now closed the deal nine times in the 13 times he has led or shared the lead going into the final round.
Mickelson has 22 victories and has jumped into the fourth spot in the Ryder Cup standings. Somewhere, American captain Hal Sutton is smiling.
The genesis of this victory began in the off-season, a time during which Mickelson worked primarily on his short game with instructor Dave Pelz. He didn't like the way he was swinging at the end of the season. So rather than practice bad full swing habits, he didn't practice the full swing at all.
'I didn't want to force or press the issue,' he said, adding that the work with Pelz was invaluable. 'I'm starting to see results very quickly.'
Perhaps the loudest statement Mickelson made at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic was an equipment change. He took his 3-wood out of the bag and replaced it with a 1-iron. What is not well-known about Mickelson's is how far he hits his irons when he wants to do so. Many tour players will tell you there is no one longer - not Woods nor Daly - with blades in his hands.
It was a concession on Mickelson's part to accuracy. In the past, Mickelson hasn't liked to make concessions. And it has hurt him. This time the switch produced a dramatic up-tick in driving accuracy. The results were instantaneous.
Less than a year ago, this same Phil Mickelson was telling us at the Bank of America Colonial how he planned to hit drivers at that tournament in preparation for the upcoming U.S. Open. We all scratched our heads.
Now Mickelson is making sense: He's making sense to us. More important, he's making sense to himself. Maybe he's learning that less can be more. A lot more.
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Bradley, wife welcome baby boy, already rocking Patriots gear
Keegan Bradley and his wife Jillian announced on social media that they welcomed a baby boy, Logan James Bradley, to the world last week.
The Bradleys both posted photos on Instagram over the weekend, introducing their healthy newborn baby, who was (not-surprisingly) already decked out in head-to-toe New England Patriots gear.
Bradley, 31, grew up in New England and is not shy about showing his support for the area's sports teams.
A big congratulations is in order for the new parents.
And all you other adorable kids of PGA Tour golfers, you've officially been put on notice. You've got some new competition.
Country music star Owen to play in Web.com event
Country music star and avid amateur golfer Jake Owen has accepted a sponsor invitation to play in the 2018 Nashville Golf Open on the Web.com Tour.
Owen, 36, has sold millions of albums while becoming one of the top male singers in the country genre. He has also been frequently spotted on the links, teeing it up last week alongside host Davis Love III in the RSM Classic pro-am and participating each of the last three years as the celebrity partner for Jordan Spieth at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Owen will now try his hand in competition against some of the game's rising stars at the May 24-27 event, held in his hometown and benefitting the charitable foundation of PGA Tour pro Brandt Snedeker.
"I am truly honored to have this opportunity to play golf with guys whose work ethic I admire so much, like my buddy Brandt Snedeker," Owen said in a release. "I know how hard everyone works to get to play in these (Web.com Tour) tournaments. I'm really grateful, and I can't wait for this week in May 2018 to get here."
Owen will be following in the footsteps of NBA superstar Steph Curry, who played on a sponsor invite earlier this year at the Web.com's Ellie Mae Classic and, while missing the cut, largely exceeded expectations. Curry is currently listed as a 0.8 handicap, while Owen played at Pebble Beach in February as a 3 handicap.
Like Curry, Owen will play via an "unrestricted" sponsor invite and will retain his amateur status.
Jeremy Roenick uses golf clubs to catch rattlesnake
The retired American hockey legend who currently works as an NBC Sports analyst was at it again over the weekend, coming across a rattlesnake in Arizona and just casually using a couple of golf clubs to catch it before grabbing it with his bare hands and showing it off for the camera.
Relaxing Sunday morning! What happens when you live in Arizona. pic.twitter.com/RhRwWTLs8s— Jeremy Roenick (@Jeremy_Roenick) November 19, 2017
The person recording can be heard calling Roenick "psycho" and "nuts" several times before the snake is thrown off the property.
That person is not wrong.
What's in the bag: RSM Classic winner Cook
PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook earned his first Tour title at the RSM Classic. Take a look inside his bag.
Driver: Ping G400 (8.5 degrees adjusted to 9.2), with Fujikura Speeder Evolution 661X shaft
Fairway wood: Ping G400 (13 degrees), with Fujikura Motore VC 7.0 shaft
Hybrids: Ping G400 (19, 22 degrees), with Matrix Altus Red X shafts
Irons: Ping S55 (5-PW), with KBS Tour S shafts
Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 (50, 56, 60) with True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shafts
Putter: Ping Sigma G Tyne
Ball: Titleist Pro V1