Mickelson, Bradley tied for Northern Trust lead

By Doug FergusonFebruary 19, 2012, 12:57 am

LOS ANGELES – One shot clipped an ash tree and kept Phil Mickelson out of worse trouble than he was in. Another landed behind a Bottle Brush, blocking his path to the 10th green at Riviera. On yet another hole, Mickelson had to thread a 9-iron through the limbs of five eucalyptus trees.

So when he walked into the gallery to find his tee shot on the 15th hole and saw a man flat on his back, Mickelson assumed the worst.

“It wouldn’t be the first time, so I thought for sure I took him out,” Mickelson said Saturday.

Instead, the spectator was being still because the ball was inside the hem of his shorts.

Despite all these adventures, Mickelson managed a 1-under 70 on Saturday to share the lead with PGA champion Keegan Bradley in the Northern Trust Open.

On a day when “routine par” was not part of his vocabulary, Phil was thrilled.

“This was a great round for me because I did not play well, and I shot 1 under par, and I’m atop the leaderboard,” Mickelson said. “Usually when I win, I’ll have two good rounds, and I’ll have two rounds that aren’t so great that I’ve got to keep somewhere in it to give myself a chance.”

The last two days weren’t his best. He still has a great chance to end his West Coast swing with back-to-back wins.

The toughest part might be ahead of him.

Bradley took only five putts over the last five holes, including a 10-footer for par on the last hole that got him into the final group for a 5-under 66 and his best chance at a win since he captured the PGA Championship in August.

What made the par so meaningful was getting a chance to play with Mickelson, whom he considers a mentor. Mickelson invited Bradley in on one of his money games before The Players Championship, where Mickelson graciously showed him the nuances of TPC Sawgrass, until they reached the last green and the cash was on the line.

Mickelson told Bradley and Brendan Steele to get out their wallets, and then he poured in a putt.

“He’s a very competitive guy, but he’s very helpful at the same time,” Bradley said. “I thank him for his advice and help. But he’s going to try to beat me tomorrow, and I’m going to have to try to do the same.”

Even so, this is hardly a two-man race at Riviera.

Mickelson and Bradley were at 7-under 206, one shot ahead of Pat Perez (70), Jonathan Byrd (69) and Bryce Molder (66). Mickelson wasn’t the only player on a wild ride along the fabled course off Sunset Boulevard.

Molder one-putted the last eight greens, five of them for par. Perez three-putted from 10 feet on No. 3 and on the next hole took four putts from 60 feet on the fringe, the last three from inside 5 feet. Byrd took only 21 putts in 18 holes, courtesy of hitting only six greens in regulation.

“My short game was marvelous,” Byrd said.

Defending champion Aaron Baddeley had a 66, while Dustin Johnson chopped up the end of his round before a birdie on the 18th that gave him a 67. They were in the group two shots behind, along with FedEx Cup champion Bill Haas, who had a 68.

Johnson three-putted from just outside 3 feet on the par-5 17th and made bogey.

“I’m going to come out tomorrow and give it everything I’ve got,” Johnson said.

Twelve players were within three shots of the lead, so it could be anyone’s game on Sunday. Mickelson still likes his position.

“I was six back last week, so I would prefer where I’m at this week,” he said.

Mickelson rallied with a 64 in the final round at Pebble Beach, and to win at Riviera would make him the first player to win consecutive PGA Tour events since Tiger Woods in August 2009.

Mickelson’s only regret was not taking advantage of birdie putts, missing from inside 8 feet on the ninth and 16th holes and not giving himself a chance on the par-5 17th when his wedge rolled off the front of the green.

Nothing was more entertaining, however, than his journey into, through and over the trees.

He pulled his tee shot so far right on the par-3 sixth that it was headed for the ivy-covered fence until clipping the ash tree and dropping down. Then, instead of hitting a lofted chip that could run to the pin, he chose to chip some 25 feet past the hole, have it run up the bank and come down. It rolled 12 feet past the hole, and he made it for a par.

On the par-4 eighth, which gives players the option of two fairways, Mickelson found his own route. He blasted a tee shot so far left it went over a white fence and landed at the base of the stairs of a corporate tent. After getting a free drop, he threaded a 9-iron through five eucalyptus trees to 12 feet.

It would have been one of the more amazing birdies in his career, except he missed the putt.

He was introduced to a Bottle Brush on the 10th. That was the name of the tree between the pin and where his tee shot landed. Mickelson caught a tiny branch and didn’t reach the green but hit a skillful pitch to 3 feet for par.

“I’ll get it turned around,” said Mickelson, who spoke to Butch Harmon after his round and headed to the practice range before his private-jet commute home to San Diego. “Today was a big day because if I didn’t fight hard and make pars from some of the places I was at, then I’d be trying to play catch-up to a lot of guys.

“Now, there’s a lot of players that are right in it, within a couple of shots of the lead,” he said. “And it’s going to take a good round tomorrow. But I’m pleased that I put myself in it.”

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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

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

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.