Late bogey costs Mickelson shot at 6th major

By Jay CoffinAugust 11, 2014, 2:32 am

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Nine short days ago, Phil Mickelson was lost.

He kept saying over and over again that his game was close. He was working on the proper things, his swing was feeling good, but the results just were not there.

Then he shot a final-round 62 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and declared himself ready to win his sixth major, a total that would match Lee Trevino and Nick Faldo.

It’s difficult to tell if Mickelson, 44, truly believed he would play well this week at the PGA Championship, but he was paired with Tiger Woods over the first two days and whipped his longtime rival by 12 shots. That seemed to give Lefty the ultimate spark.

Following a third-round 67, Mickelson was in Sunday’s penultimate group with Rickie Fowler, whom he considers a good friend. Mickelson made five birdies in the first 11 holes, held a share of the lead at one point on the back nine at Valhalla and shot 66, one of the lowest rounds of the day.

But a bogey on the 16th hole threw all chances of victory away, and Mickelson finished in second place, one shot behind golf’s new king Rory McIlroy.

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This is now Mickelson’s ninth runner-up finish in a major championship, a total that is only behind Jack Nicklaus (19) and Arnold Palmer (10).

“It was a fun day for me to get in the mix and a fun day for me to make some birdies and move up early so that I had a good chance on the back nine,” Mickelson said. “I'm disappointed in the outcome. I thought that had I been able to finish those last, five, six holes strong, could have totally flipped the way I look at this year.

“But now I've got some regrouping to do these next three for four months. I have some glaring areas in my game that I have to work on, and I feel like if I'm able to continue to be strong and healthy and sharp in these areas of my game, I should have four or five good years that I really want to focus in on, and these next three or four months will be critical for me making sure that I address the issues and that I'm ready to go in 2015.”

Those glaring areas, Mickelson said, were his driving and short irons, which he believes were poor for most of the year. Of particular note was a simple wedge shot on the fourth hole from 107 yards that ended 12 feet from the hole and should’ve been inside 5 feet.

Regarding the driving, Mickelson was in the thick of the chase with three holes remaining and failed to position the ball in the fairway on both 16 and 17. He made bogey on 16, and made par on 17, but he had to get up and down from behind the green because he hit a poor approach.

“Those two tee shots hurt,” he said. “Those are the things I’ve got to address. I don’t mind being wild, but when you’ve got to get one in the fairway, you've got to be able to do it.”

Mickelson still has a lot to play for the remainder of this year. Hard to believe that this was his first top-10 finish of the year, but he’ll be heading to the FedEx Cup playoffs in another week. Also, the good PGA performance earned him a spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup team, something that was in question before the week started.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

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.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

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.