Phil Mickelson goes back to the putting basics

By Doug FergusonSeptember 26, 2009, 4:43 am

THE TOUR Championship by Coke 2007 LogoATLANTA – Phil Mickelson says he is putting better than he has over the last two years, which he attributes to spending time last week in San Diego with Dave Stockton, the former PGA champion renowned for his putting tips.

Stockton worked with Annika Sorenstam in the years before she retired. He also spent some time with Michelle Wie in the weeks leading to the Solheim Cup, where the Hawaii teen made more big putts in one week than she had all year.

Stockton was at Torrey Pines last week for an LPGA event, and Mickelson hooked up with him.

“He basically reaffirmed the way I’ve always liked to putt, and I’ve gone right back to it,” Mickelson said Friday after a 67 put him only five shots out of the lead at the Tour Championship. “It just feels terrific.”

Mickelson said he and Stockton share the same putting principles, in which the hands are pressed forward ahead of the club and the stance is slightly wider.

“I’ve gone right back to it, and it just seems to feel more natural, much more comfortable,” Mickelson said. “I’ve been rolling the ball great and making a lot of putts.”

He did not say how his work with Stockton will affect Dave Pelz, who has been Mickelson’s short-game coach. Lefty made no secret that putting has been holding him back over the last two years, with the occasional good tournament.

“Now I feel like I’ve got the right track, the right direction that I want,” Mickelson said. “And I’ll continue to spend more time with him as need be.”

TIGER & PADDY: Tiger Woods and Padraig Harrington first played together in the third round of the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black, an experience for Harrington as he tried to deal with so many photographers moving to get into position.

Harrington is used to it now, as he should be. It seems as though they have been playing together every week.

They will be the final pairing Saturday at East Lake, the ninth time this year Woods and Harrington have been in the same group, and the fifth time since the final round of the Bridgestone Invitational.

Woods has posted the score every time except the second round at Bay Hill, when he had a 69 and Harrington shot 68.

“I think it’s always best to be playing and watching the No. 1 guy,” Harrington said. “It’s always nice to be trying to push him. The key for me is to make sure I push Tiger to be a better play. That’s got to be the key when you’re out there.

“I’ve enjoyed most of the rounds we’ve played over the last couple of weeks. The way to do it is play your own game, but I’ve been quite comfortable out there.”

The most memorable pairing came in the final round at Firestone, when Harrington had a three-shot lead and ended up four shots behind Woods, courtesy of a triple bogey on the 16th hole when they were put on the clock.

Just don’t get the idea Harrington is intimidated by him.

“When you’re out there on the golf course, he’s just another guy,” Harrington said. “You can’t put him up on a pedestal like that. It wouldn’t help in that sense.”

CRANK UP THE NOISE: Padraig Harrington doesn’t mind the large and loud crowds that come from playing with Tiger Woods. He finds that far easier than a sparse crowd, in which he can more easily notice spectators moving or talking.

And that got Harrington to thinking.

He doesn’t follow basketball religiously, but he remains perplexed by the home fans scream and wave their arms when the opponent is on the free throw line.

“If everybody kept quiet, it would put the guy under a lot of pressure,” Harrington said. “And if you got one guy down to make noise, it would really put him off. Some college has got to start that. Everybody goes quiet, and then … you don’t even need anybody to make noise. There’s a lot more pressure than when everybody is waving those and cheering.”

BERMUDA GRASS: Tiger Woods grew up on poa annua greens in California, where he learned to sweep the putter up at the ball to get it rolling. It’s a similar style to Mark O’Meara and Scott Simpson, good putters in their prime who grew up in California.

Bermuda used to give him fits, and even after a 68 on Friday, Woods had some issues. He was missing putts on the high side of the hole when the grain didn’t take the ball. He missed his 4-foot eagle putt when he couldn’t figure if the grain was more significant than the slope, and on another short miss, he said the grain grabbed his ball to the left.

That’s one of the advantage of living in Florida the last 10 years, which has Bermuda greens on the golf courses. As a kid, Woods said he did not see Bermuda greens until a junior tournament in Arkansas when he was 13.

“One of the reasons why I moved to Florida—not only for taxes,” he said with a big grin, “but also it was a bonus to learn how to putt on Bermuda grass, because I never did.”

He has done all right on Bermuda, winning on courses like Doral, Kapalua and Disney.

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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.