Mickelson grouped with Rose, Fitzpatrick at Open

By Will GrayJune 6, 2014, 3:53 pm

Phil Mickelson's quest for the career grand slam will begin alongside the man that beat him last year at Merion.

Mickelson will play the first two rounds of the U.S. Open with defending champion Justin Rose as well as reigning U.S. Amateur champion, Matthew Fitzpatrick. After winning the Open Championship last July, this marks Mickelson's first attempt to complete the career grand slam at the major that has eluded him the most - Lefty's record six runner-up finishes at the U.S. Open began at Pinehurst in 1999 and include 2013, when he finished two shots behind Rose.

Mickelson, Rose and Fitzpatrick will begin on No. 10 at 7:51 a.m. ET Thursday.

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A trio of young guns will play together at Pinehurst, as Jordan Spieth (age 20), Rickie Fowler (25) and Hideki Matsuyama (22) were announced as the second featured group. Spieth, No. 10 in the world, was a runner-up at the Masters in April and tied for fourth at The Players Championship after sharing the 54-hole lead. He'll be joined by Fowler, who tied for 10th last year at Merion and tied for fifth at Augusta National, and Matsuyama, who notched his first career PGA Tour win Sunday at the Memorial.

Spieth, Fowler and Fitzpatrick will get things underway at 8:13 a.m. Thursday off the 10th tee.

Other notable first-round groups include (all times ET):

7:18 a.m. (No. 1): Sergio Garcia, Jason Day, Brandt Snedeker: Three of the best players still without a major. Day is making just his third start since February after battling a thumb injury, while Garcia is teeing it up for the first time since a knee injury kept him from playing the BMW PGA Championship.

7:29 a.m. (No. 1): Henrik Stenson, Matt Kuchar, Lee Westwood: Another trio of marquee players that have yet to win a major. Stenson is one of only two players that will be able to supplant Adam Scott as world No. 1 if he wins at Pinehurst.

7:40 a.m. (No. 1): Webb Simpson, Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell: This group consists of the winners of this event from 2010-2012. McIlroy remains in the spotlight after his highly-publicized breakup, but he'll get to play the first two rounds alongside fellow Ulsterman McDowell.

8:02 a.m. (No. 10): Chris Kirk, Russell Henley, Brendon Todd: University of Georgia alums have had a banner season on the PGA Tour in 2013-14, and this group includes three Bulldogs that have already won. Kirk took the McGladrey Classic in November, while Henley won the Honda Classic and Todd claimed the Byron Nelson Championship last month.

1:03 p.m. (No. 1): Dustin Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Victor Dubuisson: Walker is the only player with three wins this season on the PGA Tour, and he'll play alongside Johnson, who won in China in October. They'll be joined by the Frenchman Dubuisson, whose short-game heroics nearly won him the WGC Match Play title in February.

1:03 p.m. (No. 10): Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker, Bill Haas: Not exactly the most electric group. It's been 11 years since Furyk claimed his U.S. Open title at Olympia Fields, while Stricker saw a good chance slip away last year at Merion. They'll be joined Haas, who took home the FedEx Cup in 2011.

1:25 p.m. (No. 1): Bubba Watson, Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel: Along with Stenson, Watson is the only other player that can take the No. 1 ranking from Scott at Pinehurst, and they'll get plenty of time together during the first two rounds. The group is rounded out by Schwartzel, the Masters champ from 2011.

1:47 p.m. (No. 1): Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley, Martin Kaymer: This group brings together three of the last four PGA Championship winners, including good friends Dufner and Bradley. Kaymer returned to relevance last month when he won at TPC Sawgrass.

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Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook played a six-hole stretch in 6 under and shot an 8-under 64 in breezy conditions Saturday to take the lead at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook began the run at La Quinta Country Club with birdies on Nos. 4-5, eagled the sixth and added birdies on No. 7 and 9 to make the turn in 6-under 30.

After a bogey on the 10th, he birdied Nos. 11, 12 and 15 and saved par on the 18th with a 20-footer to take a 19-under 197 total into the final round on PGA West's Stadium Course. The 26-year-old former Arkansas player is making his first start in the event. He won at Sea Island in November for his first PGA Tour title.

Fellow former Razorbacks star Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were a stroke back. Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 on the Stadium Course. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. They are both winless on the PGA Tour.

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Jon Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium Course to reach 17 under. The top-ranked player in the field at No. 3, Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

Scott Piercy also was two strokes back after a 66 at the Stadium.

Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course, and Harkins shot 68 on the Stadium Course.

Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium Course to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time.

The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. The Southern California recruit had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over for the week.

John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine – and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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Mickelson misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

How rare is his missing the cut there?

The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

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The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.

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Defending champ Gana co-leads Latin America Amateur

By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 11:20 pm

Toto Gana moved into early position to try to win a return trip to the Masters Saturday by grabbing a share of the first-round lead at the Latin America Amateur Championship.

The defending champ posted a 3-under-par 68 at Prince of Wales Country Club in his native Chile, equaling the rounds of Argentina’s Mark Montenegro and Colombia’s Pablo Torres.

They are one shot ahead of Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz and Mario Carmona, Argentina’s Horacio Carbonetti and Jaime Lopez Rivarola and the Dominican Republic’s Rhadames Pena.

It’s a bunched leaderboard, with 19 players within three shots of each at the top of the board in the 72-hole event.

“I think I have my game under control,” said Gana, 20, a freshman at Lynn University. “I hit the ball very well, and I also putted very well. So, I am confident about tomorrow.”

The LAAC’s champion will get more than a Masters invitation. He also will be exempt into the The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event he is eligible to play this year. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

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LAAC returning to Casa de Campo in 2019

By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 8:23 pm

The Latin America Amateur Championship will return to Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic in 2019 (Jan. 17-20), event organizers announced Saturday in Chile, where this year’s championship is underway.

The LAAC champion receives an invitation to play the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club every spring.

The champion is also exempt into The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event for which he is eligible to compete. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

The championship got its start in 2015 with Chile’s Matias Dominguez winning at Pilar Golf in Argentina. In 2016, Casa de Campo hosted, with Costa Rica’s Paul Chaplet winning. At 16, he became the first player from Central America to compete in the Masters. In 2017, Chile’s Toto Gana won the title at  Club de Golf de Panama.