Mickelson moves within one at Bay Hill

By Doug FergusonMarch 27, 2010, 12:54 am

Arnold Palmer Invitational

ORLANDO, Fla. – Ernie Els is atop the leaderboard at Bay Hill and not sure how he got there.

He’s not alone.

Davis Love III didn’t make a par until his 10th hole Friday in the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He had six bogeys and still wound up with a share of the 36-hole lead on the PGA Tour for the first time in seven years.

Els was 3 feet from being under water and out of the hunt until he salvaged an unlikely par, spurring him to four birdies in a five-hole stretch and in great shape going into the week. Ben Curtis bogeyed his first two holes and shot his best round of the year.

One shot out of the lead was Phil Mickelson, who hit two balls in the water off the tee and one ball in the hole from the fairway.

“It’s been kind of weird, but a little surprised that I’m in the lead,” Els said after his 3-under 69. “But you know, we’re there. It should be an interesting weekend, and obviously looking forward to it.”

Love had seven birdies, two of those when he holed out a chip and a bunker shot, and settled for a 71. Curtis shot 31 on the back nine on his way to a 67, while D.J. Trahan had a 68.

They were at 7-under 137, one shot ahead of Mickelson (67), Retief Goosen (67) and Kevin Na (70).

Mickelson is starting to find his putting stroke at just the right time. The evidence came not so much from the round he shot at Bay Hill that put him into the thick of contention for the first time this year, but from a casual round earlier this week in the California desert.

He shot a 58, the lowest score of his life.

“How did you hear about that?” Mickelson said, unaware either that good news travels fast or that he had mentioned it moments earlier in an interview with British-based Sky Sport.

He made 12 birdies and an eagle at The Plantation Golf Club in Indio, Calif., which Fred Couples helped design. Mickelson went there because the greens are similar to Bay Hill. “I ended up getting the putter going there, as well, and shot 58, yeah. That was fun.”

Friday at Bay Hill was as wild as it was fun, and not just for Mickelson.

Love will remember the 35-foot birdie putt on the 15th, holing out for birdie from a deep bunker in front of the 17th green and chipping in for birdie in front of the seventh green. The ball in the water at No. 8 or the short par putt he missed on the 14th? Forgotten.

“If you would have said Wednesday night whenever I was leaving the course, ‘You’ll be 7 under after two days and right at the top of the leaderboard,’ I’d have taken it,” Love said. “It’s right where you want to be. You want to be in the hunt.”

Love needs a victory at Bay Hill or next week in the Houston Open to get into the Masters.

Mickelson has not come close to winning all year, so it was inspiring for him to get to 6 under. His round, however, was far more complicated than making a bunch of putts. It usually is with Mickelson, which is why Lefty could only laugh when asked if he found the day to be stressful or if that was just a typical round.

“I find that an interesting question because there’s some legitimacy to it,” Mickelson said. “I have a tendency to have up-and-down rounds like that. But it’s fun. I enjoy trying to create shots and hit shots and take on some of these pins and make birdies, and unfortunately, I tend to make a few mistakes at times.”

Starting on the back nine, he poured in three straight birdies from the 11th hole, then added a fourth the not-so-conventional way on the par-5 16th. Fans saw him lay up short of the water and hit a wedge that skipped up the big ridge and stop 3 feet away. Why lay up from inside 250 yards and get a clean look at the green?

“I fatted a hybrid,” he said, chunking the shot so badly that it worked out perfectly.

Indeed, putting saved his round, even if the biggest putts were for bogey. He drove into the water on No. 3 and had to make a 12-foot putt to limit the damage to a bogey, then drove into the water on the par-5 sixth and wound up making a 15-foot bogey putt.

“Those bogey putts were every bit as important as some of the other stuff,” Mickelson said.

The best of that other stuff came at No. 8, where Mickelson hit a wedge from 136 yards that landed short of the hole and dropped in for an eagle.

“You don’t expect that to happen,” he said. “You try to hit good shots and have birdie putts, but when one falls like that, it’s just a bonus.”

Love can relate. He now has holed four shots from off the green, which has compensated for some blunders.

He made six birdies on the back nine, where he started his round, only to kick himself over the three bogeys. Love did well to make bogey on No. 8 after hitting his approach into the water, although driving into a fairway bunker at No. 9 left him no hope of getting to the green, where he made his sixth bogey of the round.

Rarely does a player make six bogeys and stay in the lead.

“A little erratic,” Love said. “Made some pretty simple mistakes today that are a little more disappointing than yesterday’s mistakes, but again, I made a lot of nice putts, hit a lot of good shots, and obviously made a lot of birdies.”

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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.