Mickelson 'encouraged' despite 74 at Hoylake

By Jay CoffinJuly 17, 2014, 7:24 pm

HOYLAKE, England – Phil Mickelson set off Thursday afternoon to defend his beloved Open Championship. He figured out how to win a claret jug last year at Muirfield, and it pained him deeply to hand the trophy over to R&A officials earlier in the week.

Although he hasn’t been playing particularly well this year, Mickelson was eager to get out and take another shot at winning a sixth major championship.

Then, suddenly, the next five hours turned into a circus. What’s odd is that most of the antics weren’t his.

Playing partner Ernie Els’ opening tee shot hit an elderly man in the jaw and drew blood. Els was so rattled that he three-putted from inside 2 feet for triple bogey on the hole, was 7 over after seven holes and ultimately shot 79.

The third member of the group, Bubba Watson, lost his temper on the 11th hole and made triple bogey. Although he said afterward that there were no issues, television cameras caught him fussing that so many people were allowed inside the ropes. Watson was distracted for the rest of the round, made bogey on the final hole and shot 76.

Meanwhile, Mickelson was trying to defend his title.

Open Championship full-field scores

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His first five holes were smooth with five pars, then he went bogey, par, birdie, birdie over the next four to get under par after the 11th hole. Bogeys on 13, 14 and 18 stalled momentum and Mickelson shot 2-over 74.

“This is the best I’ve hit it in over a year,” Mickelson proclaimed afterward. “I had as much control over the golf ball as I’ve had in a long time. Whether it was working cuts into the wind, draws into the wind, shots off the tee. Certainly the score sucks, but my game is as good as it’s been in a long time.”

The only real rollercoaster moment for Mickelson came on the final hole. His second shot into the par-5 home hole sailed short and right of the green and into a spot that is marked as on-course out of bounds.

Mickelson didn’t realize where the ball landed and walked toward it. Once he got there, he found out that it was OB and he headed back to where he originally hit his second shot. That shot, his fourth, landed short, left of the green, but he got up and down for bogey 6 after he made a 12 footer.

“Obviously I think it sucks,” Mickelson said when asked his thoughts if he likes on-course OB.

Still, Mickelson remained positive. He’s adamant that he found something during this round. He’s said for more than a month that he’s been just a fraction off with his swing. On Thursday, he insists that his swing is now on plane and results surely will follow.

“I know that this wasn’t a great score, a great start, but this is as encouraged as I’ve been since last year’s Open Championship,” he said. “I think a lot of tremendous shots today and even though the score is not reflective of it, I can feel it’s about to turn. Maybe tomorrow. It could be a week, it could be a month, but it’s going to happen soon.”

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.