Mickelson Wont Give Up Colonial Trophy
The 5-under-par round on the par-70 course tied him with Jim Furyk for the opening-day lead Thursday. For Mickelson, a win here would be a stroll through the history books ' again, he says.
Winning this tournament was a very special feeling because not only was it winning a prestigious event, but I also felt like I became a part of the history of this tournament, with the likes of Ben Hogan and Craig Wood, said Mickelson.
Furyk bogeyed the fourth and fifth holes, but birdied two of the final four to also get to 5-under. Those are two tough holes, he said. Theyre just tough golf holes and I didnt hit the best of shots.
But I hit some good shots and I might have missed some decent putts out there. But I may have gotten away with some, too.
It was putting that placed Mickelson at the top. He rolled in a couple of 35-footers and a 20-footer, mixed in with a couple in the 10-foot range. He didnt miss any from short range, which he has shown a frustrating ability to do the last couple of years.
Im reading the greens well, Mickelson agreed. I made a couple of nice putts out there. I felt confident and I made some long ones to put me in this position.
Mickelson was surprised that the greens staff watered heavily Wednesday night. The course was much faster for the practice rounds.
The scoring was not as low as I thought it would be under these conditions, he said. But it is always difficult to light it up here. This is not a golf course you can go out and overpower.
Brain Gay shot 4-under 66 and said he's playing just like he always has. Only Thursday, the result was much improved.
I havent changed anything, Gay said. Im using the same equipment. But its funny ' last week at the Byron Nelson, I thought I was hitting my irons well and I finished 46th. Im a lot more confident now, and Ive made eight cuts in row.
An interesting sidelight was the play of 51-year-old Tom Kite. Kite rarely plays a regular-tour event nowadays but has always played Colonial. But starting on the front, Kite had it all the way to 4-under, one off the lead, through 11 holes.
Then he, like Furyk and so many others, came to the brutal fourth and fifth holes. And he, like Furyk, bogeyed both. Kite finished at 70.
Full-field scores from the MasterCard Colonial
Lexi involved in a(nother) rules controversy at LPGA Thailand
Jessica Korda stole the show this week at the Honda LPGA Thailand, winning the star-studded event by four strokes in her first start since undergoing serious jaw surgery to address a significant overbite that led to ailments ranging from facial cramping to headaches to sleep apnea.
But just four strokes behind Korda finished Lexi Thompson, who may have challenged for the win on Sunday if not for another rules controversy during the second round of the event.
Thompson, who was famously assessed two two-stroke penalties last year at the ANA Inspiration that ultimately cost her the title, was hit with another two-stroke penalty on Friday in Thailand after she moved a sign out of her swing path at Siam Country Club.
The 23-year-old mistakenly thought a billboard on the 15th hole was a moveable object, when in fact, the local rule deemed this particular advertisement a "temporary immovable obstruction."
The two-stroke penalty was assesed after the round, where the par she made on the hole became a double bogey and what would have been a 66 ballooned into a 68.
After Further Review: JT may face serious Ryder Cup heckling
Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.
On Thomas getting heckler thrown out ...
Justin Thomas polished off a playoff win at the Honda Classic despite the efforts of a fan who screamed for his ball to head for a fairway bunker on the 16th hole.
Thomas signaled for the fan to be ejected after striping his tee shot on No. 16, telling him, “Enjoy your day, buddy. You’re done.” It’s the second straight week that Thomas has had issues with fans, having bristled at some of the behavior he encountered while grouped with Tiger Woods at the Genesis Open.
Thomas’ stance is that golf has earned a reputation as a “classy sport” that should place it above jeering and catcalls from the gallery. It’s a view that is as noble as it is unachievable.
As long as tournaments continue to serve alcohol well into the afternoon hours, there will be outlier fans who will look to get a rise out of players with comments before, during or after swings. Thomas was within his right to ask for the fan’s removal, though I’d imagine the European fans planning to attend this year’s Ryder Cup in Paris might take note of the apparent impact the gallery can have on Thomas while in the heat of battle. – Will Gray
On the debate over rolling back the ball ...
The opening salvos in what promises to be one of the most polarizing eras in golf were exchanged this week. First, USGA CEO Mike Davis, via Jack Nicklaus, announced his arrival: “Mike said, ‘We’re getting there [on the distance issue]. We’re going to get there. I need your help when we get there,’” the Golden Bear explained when asked about the growing drumbeat to curtail how far modern players hit the golf ball.
A few days later, former Acushnet CEO Wally Uihlein fired back: “Mike Davis has not told us (Acushnet/Titleist) that he is close and he has not asked us for help if and when he gets there.”
Perhaps this will turn out to be a misunderstanding and the game’s rules makers and manufacturers will all end up on the same sideline, but it doesn’t feel that way right now. – Rex Hoggard
On Tiger turning up the notch on his comeback ...
It’s safe to say the Tiger Woods comeback is ahead of schedule. After looking lost with his long game in his first two starts of the year, he led the field in proximity to the hole and third in driving distance. He flighted and shaped shots both directions, seemingly at ease, looking nothing like the player we saw at Torrey and Riviera.
If that form continues at Bay Hill and beyond, this has the potential to be one of the greatest comebacks in golf history. – Ryan Lavner
On Korda's journey from pain to promise ...
Jessica Korda is the leader in the clubhouse for best story of the year in women’s golf. She won her first start of the season Sunday at the Honda LPGA Thailand just a little more than two months after undergoing a complex and painful double-jaw surgery to alleviate headaches caused by her jaw’s alignment.
She did so in record-breaking fashion, shattering tournament scoring records against a star-studded field that included the top six players in the world. If Korda can so quickly overcome the challenges of that daunting offseason, there is no telling what else this determined young American star might achieve this year. – Randall Mell
List loses playoff, may have gained performance coach
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Luke List didn’t win in his playoff with Justin Thomas Sunday at the Honda Classic, but he thinks he may have found a pretty good new performance coach.
The guy’s name is “Moose.”
He’s a former Australian rules football player.
Actually, his full name is Brent Stevens, a friend of List’s caddie, who put them on the phone together for the first time last week at the Genesis Open.
List liked a lot of the performance keys Stevens gave him and posted some of the advice in his yardage book, so he could reference them.
“Effort over result” was one of the ideas List scribbled down.
“I feel like I've got the ability to play at this level,” said List, who was seeking his first victory Sunday at PGA National. “It just hasn't quite happened yet, but the more I think about it, I feel like the worse I do. So I focus on what's in front of me, the effort into the shot. I did a really good job of that this week.”
List said he’s interested in maybe visiting Australia to take Moose’s training to another level.
“He's a very fit dude,” List said. “He's got some clients that he brings down to south of Melbourne, to run the sand dunes,” List said, “and if we keep in contact, which I'm sure we will, I'm going to have to go down there and get my butt kicked.”
Both in contention, Thomas hears 'crickets' from Woods
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Tiger Woods has become a friend, confidant and something of an adviser for Justin Thomas.
Whenever Thomas has been in contention in his young career, Woods has often texted him advice or good luck on the eve of the final round.
That wasn’t the case Saturday night after the third round of the Honda Classic.
“Got crickets last night,” Thomas said, laughing.
That’s because Woods was in contention, too, beginning the final round seven shots off the lead.
“I knew he had one thing in mind, and we both had the same thing in mind,” Thomas said. “I thought that was pretty funny.”
Thomas added that he was “very impressed” with Woods’ 12th-place finish at PGA National.