Mickelson leads Woods Watney in China

By Doug FergusonNovember 7, 2009, 4:13 pm

HSBC Championship

SHANGHAI – Tiger Woods stalled with pars. Phil Mickelson poured it on with birdies.

The back nine Saturday at the HSBC Champions changed names atop the leaderboard, as Mickelson made three birdies over the last five holes for a 5-under 67 that took him from a two-shot deficit to a two-shot lead over Woods and Nick Watney in the final World Golf Championship of the year.

What didn’t change was the excitement level at Sheshan International, especially with what awaits on Sunday.

Mickelson and Woods will be in the final group Sunday for the first time since 2005, that famous “Duel at Doral,” when Woods rallied from a two-shot deficit in the final round to win.

Mickelson, who was at 14-under 202, was the only player among the top 18 on the leaderboard Saturday to break 70. He made three birdies in his opening five holes and three birdies over his last five holes, his lone bogey coming at No. 9 that provided what he hopes is a good sign. Trapped in the bushes, Lefty inverted a wedge and blasted out right-handed to the fairway.

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He hit a similar shot at Doral this year when he went on to win his first World Golf Championship.

“I thought that might have been a good omen, even though it led to a bogey,” Mickelson said.

Woods appeared to be in control with a 15-foot birdie putt on the 10th to build a two-shot lead. That was his last birdie of the round, however, as he twice missed good birdie chances in the final hour and closed out a frustrating round by hitting into the rough and the bunker on the par-5 18th and having to save par. He wound up with a 2-under 70.

“I didn’t take advantage of the par 5s and 16, I hit it in their stiff and missed that one,” Woods said. “Consequently, I was three shots worse. That’s about right.”

Woods and Mickelson also were paired in the final round at the Masters this year, when both lit up Augusta National with birdies until they ran out of holes. They also played together in the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship in 2007, which Mickelson won by four shots, although they weren’t in the final group.

And they will have company Sunday – and Mickelson’s view, not just in the final group.

Watney continued to fall farther back with a three-putt bogey on the 17th, but he finished with a bang. The 28-year-old rolled in a 50-foot eagle putt on the last hole for a 70 and left him tied with Woods, and it gave the first WGC event in Asia an All-American – for that matter, an all-Californian – final group.

“I thought I played pretty well overall, considering it was my first time playing with Tiger in a tournament, and I was happy that I was able to concentrate and play the shots I needed to play,” Watney said. “Hopefully, at only two back, I might have a shot at the tournament, and I really can’t wait.”

Ryan Moore, who played alongside Woods and Watney, had a 70 and was at 11-under 205.

The best round belonged to Lee Westwood, who leads the Race to Dubai on the European Tour and did himself a huge favor by running off eight birdies in his 65. Westwood was at 10-under 206, and now can consider winning his first WGC event.

“This is a golf course that you can make up a lot of shots over a round,” Westwood said.

Mickelson didn’t have to make up that many, starting only one shot out of the lead. He was briefly tied for the lead on a couple of occasions with birdies early in the round, then seemed to stall on the back nine.

He came to life in the final hour, however. It started with a lob wedge he had to throw up into the strong wind, leaving him a 6-foot birdie putt. Then came a drive he smashed through fairway at the 15th, giving him only a 9-iron to 15 feet and another birdie that had Mickelson singing on the way to the next tee, “Somebody’s got his putter back.”

He missed opportunities on the next two holes, then finished with a pitch that brought an enormous gallery surrounding the 18th green to its feet. Woods had a good view of it all in the group behind him, but he couldn’t answer.

The last time they competed against each other was the Tour Championship six weeks ago, when Mickelson won at East Lake with newfound confidence in his putting stroke, and Woods captured the FedEx Cup trophy.

Only one trophy is at stake Sunday.

“I know we are both looking forward to it,” Mickelson said. “I think it will be a fun day, and we’re excited to be playing in the last group here in China.”

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Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.