Notes Leftys fun project fighting breast cancer

By Doug FergusonMay 19, 2009, 4:00 pm
What started as a fun project to share his wizardry with the short game has gone beyond Phil Mickelsons expectations.
 
His Secrets of the Short Game DVD debuted last month at No. 2 on the Billboard Video Sales recreational sports category. Early sales have topped 25,000 copies, and it now is in the second print run.
 
We did a lot better than we prepared for, Mickelson said, which is a good problem to have.
 
Lefty considered it a success even before it went on sale.
 
He has amazed with his short game since he was a kid and his father built a putting green in the yard. Mickelson is most famous for his flop shot, but he has shown incredible imagination from all points around the green and with all clubs, such as the side sauce he put on a wedge at The Players Championship one year, or the 9-iron he played from a buried lie in front of a lip in a bunker at the Ryder Cup.
 
Making the DVD allowed him to teach himself.
 
I had no script, he said. I had to come up with the outline and decide what I wanted to say. That forced me to think about what I actually do and how I can articulate it clearly. Its not a difficult concept. Its easy to understand and emulate. I had to identify what I do, and I had to simplify it. I got rid of the complex jargon and got back to the basic techniques.
 
The DVD was produced by Terry Jastrow, a former ABC golf producer who created instruction videos with Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson among others in the 1980s. It was shot over two days in January at The Bridges of Rancho Santa Fe. The DVD is about two hours and covers every shot inside 50 yards.
 
Mickelson said he wanted to help players of all levels, but the highest compliments have been seeing some tour players using the drills. And last week, he received an unsolicited testimonial from Ted Purdy.
 
Purdy had 20 birdies at Hilton Head and only finished at 2-under 282 for the tournament. He was browsing through a PGA Tour store in the airport when he came across Mickelsons DVD and plunked down $49.95.
 
Ive always been a decent ball striker, and my putting has turned around, but my short game always seems to lag, Purdy said. I bought the DVD, and Ive been chipping great ever since.
 

 
SKINNERS LIFE: The economy didnt stop Val Skinner from raising another $500,000 through her LIFE event, believed to be the biggest one-day golf fundraiser for breast cancer programs.
 
The 10th anniversary was held Monday at Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey. Among the 28 LPGA players who participated were Solheim Cup captain Beth Daniel, Meg Mallon, Morgan Pressel, Karrie Webb, Laura Davies and Kraft Nabisco winner Brittany Lincicome.
 
LIFE stands for LPGA Pros in the Fight to Eradicate breast cancer. It now has raised more than $5.6 million for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Skinner founded LIFE in honor of former LPGA player Heather Farr, who died of breast cancer in 1993 at age 28.
 
While I am extremely proud of what LIFE has accomplished in the past decade, I know that we still have much work ahead in the fight to eradicate breast cancer, Skinner said.
 

 
DIVOTS: This isnt a shot Briny Baird will face on the PGA Tour ' a 9-iron from 230 yards with a 375-foot drop in elevation. In a promotion for his corporate sponsor, P.F. Changs China Bistro, Baird hit from the top of the Omni Hotel to a target in the outfield of Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres. Baird hit the target eight out of 10 times, meaning the restaurant will make good on an online coupon for a free lettuce wrap, along with a $25,000 donation to the San Diego Navy/Marine Corps Relief Society. John Kaczkowski has been promoted to president and CEO of the Western Golf Association. He succeeds Don Johnson, who has led the WGA the last 21 years. Kaczkowski had been the associations VP of tournaments. Dicks Sporting Goods has agreed to continue as a title sponsor on the Champions Tour for upstate New York through 2012. People vs. the Pros is returning to the silly-season schedule this year, played Oct. 23-27 at Pinehurst Resort on courses Nos. 1, 2 and 4. The two winning amateurs after 54 holes will use their handicap index to play the final round against Fred Couples and Nick Faldo.
 

 
STAT OF THE WEEK: The Irish Open offered more world ranking points than the Texas Open, the first time the European Tour has had a stronger field than the PGA Tour since the third week of January.
 

 
FINAL WORD: When youre trying to win a tournament, youre not playing for money. The only time youre playing for money is when youre not going to win the tournament. ' Scott Verplank.
 

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  • Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Cameron Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Jason Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Jordan Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

    Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

    Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

    Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

    SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

    Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

    ''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

    But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

    In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

    ''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

    Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

    The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his Web.com card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

    ''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

    NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

    Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

    Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

    Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

    "He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

    The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

    Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

    "I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

    Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

    "From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

    "And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

    "There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."