A birdie-free start for Mickelson

By Doug FergusonJune 18, 2010, 12:41 am

2010 U.S. OpenPEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Despite hitting two shots in the ocean Thursday and taking two shots to get out of one bunker, Phil Mickelson never made worse than bogey.

That’s not bad at the U.S. Open.

Despite giving himself a half-dozen chances inside 12 feet, Mickelson didn’t make a single birdie.

“Horrific,” he said.

Mickelson’s bid to turn silver into gold at the U.S. Open, where he already has a record five runner-up finishes, got off to a start he didn’t expect at Pebble Beach. Failing to make a birdie for the first time in three years on the PGA Tour, Mickelson had a 4-over 75 for his highest opening round at the U.S. Open in 13 years.

“It’s just frustrating because I came in here prepared. I came in here ready,” Mickelson said. “I hit a lot of good shots today. I gave myself a lot of birdie opportunities. And I putted terrible.”

In his final chance at a birdie, Lefty’s 25-foot putt dropped toward the right side of the cup and needed one more turn to fall. Instead, it rolled back toward him, and Mickelson turned and stared in disbelief at the expanse of Pacific Ocean behind the ninth green.

Fourteen pars. Four bogeys. No birdies.

It was the latter that bugged Mickelson more than his 5-iron that sailed left of the 17th green into the ocean, or the risky 3-wood he tried to hook over the ocean on the 18th hole that hit the rocks and took a splash.

It was his first U.S. Open round without a birdie since 2007 at Oakmont. It was the first time at any tournament he failed to make a birdie since the Houston Open last year.

“I don’t mind making a bad swing here or there, making a bogey here or there. It’s part of the U.S. Open,” Mickelson said. “I thought going without any doubles was good. It’s just that I’ve got to make birdies.”

He sure had his chances.

Mickelson, a three-time winner at Pebble Beach during the PGA Tour stop in February, was trouble-free until his iron off the 16th tee dove into a bunker and he had to pitch out to the fairway. Then came the 5-iron left of the par-3 17th, and the risky shot on the 18th. Instead of playing a low fade around the trees in the fairway, Mickelson chose to hook a 3-wood from 250 yards with hopes of putting it in the bunker by the green.

It started out over the ocean and stayed there, and he had to scramble for bogey.

He thought for a moment that a big number was inevitable on the par-4 fourth, where PGA champion Y.E. Yang tried to drive the green and came up a yard short. Mickelson pulled his tee shot into the bunker, which kept it from going into the ocean. Facing a delicate sand shot to a tight pin, he left it in the bunker.

Mickelson punched in the corner of his footprints to smooth out his lie when he stopped suddenly, realizing that his ball was in the same big bunker and that he might face a penalty for testing the surface. After discussing it with the rules official, however, players and smoother and caddies can rake the sand as long as it does not affect his next shot.

There was no penalty. There was no par, either, as he blasted out 6 feet long and missed the putt. That was his last bogey, although the frustration was best summed up on the par-5 sixth. From a nasty lie to the left of the green, he chopped out beautifully to 4 feet. His birdie putt never touched the cup.

“I usually find a way to make some birdies, but this was tough,” Mickelson said.

He also opened with a 75 at Congressional in 1997, but that’s where the similarities end. He already was 10 shots behind after the first round at Congressional. When he left Pebble Beach with the late starters making their way into the breezy conditions, Mickelson was only five shots behind the early leaders.

“There’s no way under par is going to win here, I don’t believe,” Mickelson said. “I think over par will win. Because of that, I’m right there. But I need to play well. I need to putt well – score well. I’ve just got to get sharp on the greens.”

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.