Mickelson Wins Loses Aggressively
Hes not a kid anymore ' his 31st birthday is Saturday. But as No. 31 comes closer, one wonders what has happened. Last year he seemingly was one of the only ones who had no fear of Tiger Woods. This year, he has lost to a number of guys who arent named Woods.
There are two ways to look at his Sunday setbacks, of course. One is that he has become one of those tormented souls known as a choker. The other is that he has played some incredible golf to get into a position to win so often. Mickelson likes to think of it as the second way.
Its very encouraging to me that Ive been able to get it contention week-in and week-out, he said after coming in this week from a U.S. Open practice round. And what that does is it gives me the confidence that heading into this week, its not hit-or-miss.
I know that if I play well, if I play smart and make good decisions and manage my game, I dont need to have anything extraordinary to happen for me to get in contention over the weekend. Thats a great confidence-builder, and (is the reason why) Ive had a number of opportunities.
Mickelson has 18 wins during a pro career, which isnt yet 10 years old. He hasnt been known as a man who cant close a victory until this year. Included in his runner-up finishes is a loss to Woods at Bay Hill, but that one wasnt exactly because of choking. He had a great round on Sunday, and only Woods caroms on 16 and 18 off the gallery beat him.
This tournament will be different from the other tournaments in the past because I wont have to go out and still shoot 67 or 68 to maintain the lead, he said. Ill be able to keep it around par and it should be good enough.
Mickelson doesnt own any major championships in his 18 victories, though he has finished second in the 99 Open, third in the 96 Masters, and third in the 94 PGA. He has always played aggressively, and sometimes the aggressiveness has paid handsomely; sometimes it has been costly.
Ive come to the realization that I cant change my approach to the game, said Mickelson. I dont enjoy playing conservative. And I have not won tournaments playing conservative. Ive never played conservative.
So to change my style would be wrong. It would really be putting me at a disadvantage. To make a few more intelligent decisions or less risky shots - that I wouldnt necessarily call conservative.
I would just call making birdie from 30 feet, as opposed to five feet, (is aggressive); I will certainly approach certain pins, but it will still be aggressive. Ill still be thinking birdie, and still Ill be able to shoot some low scores.
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.
Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.
The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. 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. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
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.
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
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18