Golf Talk Live - David Duval Transcript Segment 2

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 1998, 5:00 pm
SCOTT VAN PELT
WELL THERE IT IS AGAIN. THAT SUGGESTION: 'THE BEST PLAYER'. AND I,
I KNOW THIS IS SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU A LITTLE BIT EDGEY BECAUSE YOU, AS YOU'VE SAID IN THE PAST, HAVE THAT MAJOR HOLE IN THE RESUME AS WE JUST TALKED ABOUT IN THE LAST SEGMENT. VERY NARROWLY FILLED IT WITH THE MASTERS. BUT,

DAVID DUVAL
UH-HUH.

SCOTT VAN PELT
UH, THE MASTERS ASIDE, THE MAJORS ASIDE, THE RESUME IS AWFULLY IMPRESSIVE. AND IN THE LAST 13 MONTHS, YOU'VE CERTAINLY PLAYED AS WELL AS ANYONE.

GOLF, MAYBE ISN'T A SPORT THAT LENDS ITSELF TO ONE BEST. DON'T YOU THINK

DAVID DUVAL
NO. NO. NO.

SCOTT VAN PELT
MAYBE THERE ARE A GROUP OF, AND IF THERE ARE A GROUP OF, WOULD YOU AT LEAST PUT YOURSELF IN THAT?

DAVID DUVAL
UH, I THINK I WOULD, UH...

SCOTT VAN PELT
(LAUGH) YOU HATE THIS SO MUCH.

DAVID DUVAL
DESERVE -- DESERVE AT LEAST A LOOK. YOU KNOW, I MIGHT BE JUST ON THE FRINGE OF THAT GROUP.

SCOTT VAN PELT
COME ON.

DAVID DUVAL
YOU KNOW, UH. YOU KNOW, UH,

EGO DOESN'T SERVE YOU WELL. I MEAN, WHAT DOES IT DO FOR YOU. UH, YOU KNOW, IT'S - IT'S GOOD TO BE CONFIDENT AT [SP1]WHAT YOU DOING WHEN YOU'RE PLAYING. BUT,

AS YOU LOOK BACK ON ANY OF THE GREAT PLAYERS IN GOLF, IN BASKETBALL, FOOTBALL, BA -- ANYTHING, PEOPLE TELL THEM THEY'RE THE BEST. THEY DON'T TELL PEOPLE THEY'RE THE BEST.

SCOTT VAN PELT
RIGHT.

DAVID DUVAL
YOU KNOW,AND IF PEOPLE WANT TO ARGUE THAT THEN THAT'S FINE. AND IT'S VERY FLATTERING.

UM, BUT MY AIM, I CERTAINLY WANT TO BE CONSIDERED THE BEST PLAYER AT SOME POINT IN MY CAREER. UM, YOU KNOW, THAT WILL, I WILL HAVE REACHED THE PINNACLE THEN. UM,

AND LIKE I SAID, UM, YOU COULD ARGUE THAT I'VE, I REACHED IT AT SOME POINT THIS YEAR. UM, BUT I DO HAVE THAT MAJOR HOLE IN MY RESUME.

SCOTT VAN PELT
UH-HUH. WELL THE -- I DON'T THINK THAT ANYONE WOULD ACCUSE YOU OF HAVING EGO IN AT LEAST IN ADMITTING WHAT IS VERY PLAINLY OBVIOUS, THAT YOU HAVE PLAYED AS WELL OVER THIS STRETCH AS ANYONE. AND,

MAYBE PERHAPS DO YOU THINK TO YOURSELF YOU DON'T WANT TO ADMIT YOU'VE REACHED WHAT YOU CONSIDERED THE ZENITH BECAUSE IF YOU DO THEN YOU'RE A YOUNG MAN AND WHERE DO YOU GO FROM HERE?

DAVID DUVAL
WELL IT -- IT'S, 'CAUSE THEN AT THE SAME TIME, YOU COULD ASK CAN YOU GET BETTER.. AND,

YOU KNOW, IF YOU THINK YOU'RE THE BEST PLAYER AND THEN YOU CAN GET BETTER, I THINK I -- I HONESTLY THINK THAT IT'S A BIT, UM, DISRESPECTFUL TO THE OTHER PLAYER, I MEAN, OTHER PLAYERS.

THERE YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT THE ABSOLUTE WORLD'S BEST AT WHAT THEY DO.

SCOTT VAN PELT
UH-HUH.

DAVID DUVAL
UM, I JUST, I JUST CAN'T SIT HERE AND TELL YOU THAT I'M BETTER THAN ALL OF THEM. I JUST DON'T BELIEVE THAT.

SCOTT VAN PELT
WELL, WE'VE GOT A GENTLEMEN ON THE LINE THAT'S CERTAINLY IS ONE OF THE BEST. HE'S THE PLAYER OF THE YEAR THIS YEAR ON THE PGA TOUR, MARK O'MEARA.

MARK, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR CALLING IN AND CONGRATULATIONS ON A MUCH DESERVED AWARD.

MARK O'MEARA, CALLER (MALE):
WELL, SCOTT THANKS. DAVID,

DAVID DUVAL
HEY MARK.

MARK O'MEARA, CALLER (MALE):
UH, I GOTTA TELL YOU, BUD UH, WE'VE PLAYED A LOT OF GOLF TOGETHER AND I KNOW THAT YOU DON'T WANT TO SAY IT BUT YOU'VE GOT MY VOTE AS THIS. AND MAYBE, YOU KNOW, IT'S YOU AND TIGER AND MAYBE LEE WESTWOOD RIGHT NOW, BUT UH, YOU'RE RIGHT UP THERE, BUD, IN MY BOOKS AND YOU KNOW THAT.

DAVID DUVAL
THANK YOU.

SCOTT VAN PELT
I HAVE TO ASK YOU REAL QUICKLY, MARK, DAVID TOLD ME TO SNEAK THIS IN, WHAT DID HE TELL YOU WHEN YOU LEFT THE AWARDS DINNER THE OTHER EVENING? DO YOU REMEMBER?

MARK O'MEARA, CALLER (MALE):
ACTUALLY, YOU KNOW, HE -- HE HAD A LOT OF TROPHIES AND I WAS FORTUNATE TO GET THAT ONE. BUT, YOU KNOW, LIKE I, I WENT OVER AND TOLD DAVID BEFORE I WENT UP THERE AND ACCEPTED, THAT I KNEW IN MY HEART THAT HE DESERVED IT JUST AS MUCH AS I DID, IF NOT MORE. AND YOU KNOW, I TRULY BELIEVED THAT.

BUT MAYBE BECAUSE OF MY AGE OR THIS OR THAT, UH, THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN THE REASON WHY I SQUEAKED THROUGH. BUT, I -- I DON'T REMEMBER. I KNOW WE WERE STANDING OUT FRONT.

DAVID DUVAL
HE, UH.

MARK O'MEARA (MALE):
AND I TOLD HIM THAT IT WON'T BE TOO LONG BEFORE HIS NAME IS ON THAT

DAVID DUVAL
YEAH. HE, UH,

MARK O'MEARA (MALE):
PLAYER OF THE YEAR.

DAVID DUVAL
ENLISTED HIS WIFE AND HIS CHILDREN WERE THERE AND THEY HAD THE NICKLAUS TROPHY OUT. AND, AND UH, MINE HAD BEEN BOXED UP AND WE'RE WALKING AROUND AND I SAID, 'MARK, I GOT TWO. YOU ONLY GOT ONE.'

MARK O'MEARA/DAVID DUVAL (MALES):
(BOTH LAUGH TOGETHER)

SCOTT VAN PELT
YOU, YOU CERTAINLY EARNED YOURS AND MARK CLEARLY EARNED HIS AS WELL. AND MARK, WE'VE -- YOU AND I TALKED ABOUT THIS BETWEEN OURSELVES ABOUT WHO DESERVES THIS AWARD AND

REALLY YOU COULD HAVE GOTTEN CAUGHT UP IN THE LOGISTICS AND SEMANTICS OF PLAYER OF THE YEAR, BUT EITHER WAY, IT WAS CLEARLY GOING TO BE A GREAT SELECTION THAT THE PLAYERS MADE.

AND UH, YOU'VE GOT TO BE AWFULLY SATISFIED ABOUT HOW THAT WENT. I'M CURIOUS IF YOU'RE EXCITED ABOUT THE PROSPECT OF MAYBE GOING DOWN UNDER AND TEAMING UP WITH THIS GUY AFTER WHAT HE DID IN THE LAST PRESIDENT'S CUP. YOU -- YOU KICKED BUTT AND TOOK NAMES IN THAT ONE.

MARK O'MEARA, CALLER (MALE):
WELL ABSOLUTELY. I MEAN, TWO YEARS AGO WHEN WE PLAYED PRACTICE ROUNDS I TOLD OUR CAPTAIN, ARNOLD PALMER, I'M NOT USUALLY THIS WAY, BUT I WENT TO ARNOLD. I SAID, 'HEY LOOK, I PLAYED A PRACTICE ROUND WITH DAVID DUVAL.' I SAID, 'THIS KID IS ON. HE'S GOT A LOT OF TALENT.'

I SAID, 'LET ME, LET ME GO OUT WITH DAVID IN THE FIRST MATCH AND WE'LL GET YOU A POINT.' AND SURE ENOUGH, ARNOLD UH, PUT US TOGETHER. AND NOT ONLY DID WE GOT ONE POINT, BUT I BELIEVE WE GOT 4.

AND YOU KNOW, WE WOULD HAVE LIKED 3 TOGETHER, WE REALLY WOULD HAVE LOVED TO PLAY EVERY SINGLE MATCH TOGETHER, BUT HE SPLIT US UP, WHICH I WAS KIND OF SURPRISED.

AND YOU KNOW, IT'D BE AN HONOR TO PLAY ALONG SIDE WITH DAVID DOWN AT UH ROYAL MELBOURNE. BUT, YOU KNOW, IT'S GOING TO BE DIFFERENT CAPTAIN. IT'S A YOUNG TALENTED TEAM. I EXPECT DAVID TO GO ALL 5 MATCHES. I MEAN, I MIGHT NOT PLAY ALL 5, BUT I EXPECT HIM TO BE READY TO GO ALL 5.

SCOTT VAN PELT
WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM MARK? I MEAN, IT HAD TO MEAN A LOT TO YOU BECAUSE IT WAS A VERY DIFFERENT SITUATION. YOU WERE IN 12TH AS BASICALLY THE LAST MAN ON THE LISTAS THE CAPTAIN'S SELECTION.

AND UH, THERE WERE SOME QUESTIONS AS TO WHETHER OR NOT YOU WERE GONNA GO IN THE FIRST PLACE -- WE CAN GET TO THAT LATER -- BUT,

TO HAVE SOMEONE THAT WAS AS RESPECTED AS MARK O'MEARA KIND OF COME PUT HIS ARM AROUND YOU IN A SENSE AND SAY, 'HEY, COME WITH ME AND WE'RE GONNA DO ALL RIGHT.'
THAT HAD TO REALLY GIVE YOU A LOT OF CONFIDENCE, DAVID.

DAVID DUVAL
ABSOLUTELY. YOU KNOW, TO -- TO GET THE VOTE FROM A -- PLAYER OF HIS STATURE. UM, TO ACTUALLY GO AND SAY, 'I WANT TO GO OUT PLAY WITH HIM. I WANT TO BE PAIRED WITH HIM'. UM,

YOU KNOW, I KNEW WHEN I GOT THERE, AS THE PRACTICE ROUNDS PROGRESSED, THAT I WAS PLAYING WELL. I WAS HITTING THE GOLF BALL VERY WELL. UM,

BUT TO HAVE A TEAMMATE RECOGNIZE THAT AND THEN SEEK TO BE TEAMED UP WITH ME, UM, THAT I THINK THAT GAVE ME THAT BIT OF EXTRA CONFIDENCE I HAD NEEDED TO, UH, KIND OF FORGET ABOUT ALL THE HOOPLA OF WHETHER I SHOULD BE THERE OR SHOULDN'T BE THERE AND JUST GO OUT AND PLAY.

SCOTT VAN PELT
MARK, I HEARD AN INTERESTING STORY ABOUT THE TWO OF YOU. UH, YOU AND DAVID HAD SPENT A LITTLE BIT OF TIME IN YOUR HOME THIS SUMMER. I GUESS YOU HAD HIM IN AND HE GOT A CHANCE TO LOOK AROUND AND SEE THE, THE TROPHIES AND MAYBE THAT HE DOESN'T HAVE THOSE MAJOR TROPHIES YET BUT DID YOU,

YOU BROUGHT HIM IN AND GAVE HIM A LOOK AT WHAT YOU HAD ACHIEVED ON THE COURSE AND I GUESS MAYBE IN A SENSE SAID THAT ALL THIS SOMEDAY WILL BE YOURS. THAT KIND OF THING?

MARK O'MEARA (MALE):
WELL, I TRULY BELIEVE THAT SCOTT. I MEAN, I -- I'VE BEEN AROUND DAVID LONG ENOUGH. I KNOW DAVID'S GAME, HIS DEMEANOR ON AND OFF THE GOLF COURSE.

AND, YOU KNOW, IT WAS DURING THE DISNEY TOURNAMENT THAT HE AND HIS GIRLFRIEND, JULIE, CAME BY THE HOUSE. AND WE, WE JUST KIND OF SHOWED THEM AROUND AND THEN I TOOK THEM IN.

AND THE CLARET JUG AND THE MASTERS TROPHY OBVIOUSLY ARE SPECIAL TO ANYONE, ANY ONE OF THE MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIPS ARE VERY SPECIAL.

BUT, YOU KNOW, I JUST WANTED DAVID TO KIND OF TAKE A LOOK AND SEE --I KNOW THAT HE'S SEEN THEM -- BUT I KNOW THAT HE'S GONNA TO SEE THEM EVEN CLOSER LOOK IN THE NEAR FUTURE. I - I TRULY BELIEVE THAT AND IT'S JUST A MATTER OF TIME.

BECAUSE WHEN YOU PLAY GOLF THE WAY THAT DAVID DUVAL PLAYS GOLF. AND HE KNOWS HOW TO, HOW TO CLOSE THE DEAL. AND HE'S, LIKE YOU SAID, I MEAN, IF YOU LOOK AT ALL THE TOURNAMENTS HE'S WON, I MEAN, HE DEFENDED HIS TITLE AT KINGSMILL THIS YEAR.

YOU KNOW, I JUST, THAT'S VERY VERY IMPRESSIVE. AND I TRULY BELIEVE THAT IF IT'S NOT NEXT YEAR, IT'LL BE VERY NEAR IN THE FUTURE, HE'S GONNA WIN A MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP.

SCOTT VAN PELT
YOU UH, YOU THINK THAT THAT'S THE CASE? I MEAN, YOU THINK YOU'RE ON THE CUSP HOPEFULLY?

DAVID DUVAL
I HOPE SO. I, I FEEL THAT MY GAME IS THERE. UM, YOU KNOW, IT'S SUCH A AWKWARD SITUATION. YOU'RE FACED WITH HAVING THINGS NEEDING TO FALL INTO PLACE FOR YOU. AND IT HAS TO HAPPEN ON ONE OF 4 GIVEN WEEKS THROUGHOUT THE COURSE OF THE YEAR.

AND THE ODDS ARE STACKED AGAINST YOU. WHENEVER YOU'RE TEED UP IN A TOURNAMENT, AND MUCH LESS A MASTERS, THE ODDS ARE AGAINST EVERY INDIVIDUAL TO WIN THAT GOLF TOURNAMENT. UM,

HOWEVER, SOMEBODY IS GOING TO WIN.

SCOTT VAN PELT
RIGHT.

DAVID DUVAL
UM, SO I THINK, UH, THAT GOES TO YOUR PREPARATION, BEING READY TO PLAY WHEN YOU GET THERE AND - AND JUST DOING IT AND FORGETTING ABOUT EVERYTHING ELSE.

SCOTT VAN PELT
OH WHEN MARK O'MEARA SUGGESTS YOU'RE ON THE CUSP, I THINK YOU GOTTA BELIEVE HIM. MARK, LET ME CUT THROUGH THIS PLAYER OF THE YEAR STUFF, ALL THIS GOLF. WHO -- WHO CARES. WHO, WHO'S THE BETTER FISHERMAN, YOU OR THIS MAN RIGHT HERE? IF YOU'RE OUT THERE ANGLING, WHO'S -- WHO'S GONNA LAND THE BIG BASS?

MARK O'MEARA, CALLER (MALE):
I DON'T KNOW. WE'RE GONNA HAVE TO DO SOME FLY FISHING THIS SUMMER. BUT I THINK MAYBE, MAYBE DAVID MIGHT HAVE THE EDGE ON THE FLY FISHING AND I, MAYBE I GOT A LITTLE BIT OF THE EDGE ON BASS FISHING.

BUT YOU KNOW, HE'S ALSO GETTING INTO THAT SALT WATER FLY FISHING SO WE, WE GOT TO GET OUT AND DO MORE OF THAT. UNFORTUNATELY, THE WAY OUR SCHEDULES ARE, WE TRAVEL SO MUCH, AS DAVID POINTED OUT.

I MEAN, I'M IN LA QUINTA, CALIFORNIA, RIGHT NOW DOING SOME OUTINGS AND GETTING READY FOR THE SKINS GAME, BUT IT'S JUST UH, WE DON'T GET THAT MUCH TIME TO -- TO DO THE THINGS WE REALLY LOVE TO DO. BUT MAYBE NEXT SUMMER WE'LL BE ABLE TO DO THAT.

AND YOU KNOW, IT'S FUNNY HOW DAVID POINTED OUT ABOUT THE MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIPS BEING PREPARED, YOU KNOW, HAVING YOUR GAME AT THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME, I MEAN, LUCK HAS A LOT TO DO WITH WINNING ANY GOLF TOURNAMENT, LET ALONE A MAJOR, AND AS HE POINTED OUT WITH THOSE PUTTS ON 17 AND 18,

I MEAN, I, YOU KNOW, MY BALL WENT IN. HIS BALL DIDN'T GO IN. I MEAN, THAT'S - THAT'S SUCH A FINE LINE ON THE PGA TOUR. AND, YOU KNOW, THAT'S WHAT IT TAKES. IT TAKES A LITTLE BIT OF TIMING, TAKES A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK AND SOMETIMES THE MORE TIMES YOU'RE THERE, SOONER OR LATER SOMETHING LIKE THAT HAPPENS.

BUT I, I TRULY BELIEVE THAT IT'S JUST A MATTER OF TIME. PLUS, BY NOT TRYING TOO HARD, JUST LETTING YOUR GAME PLAY AND PLAY EACH SHOT AT A TIME, THAT'S WHEN IT WILL USUALLY COME YOUR WAY.

SCOTT VAN PELT
WELL, DAVID DUVAL HAS ALWAYS BEEN A VERY PATIENT PLAYER. YOUR PATIENCE THIS YEAR WAS REWARDED. WE CONGRATULATE YOU ON THAT. WE THANK YOU FOR CALLING IN. AND UH, WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU DOWN UNDER IN A FEW WEEKS FOR THE PRESIDENT'S CUP, MARK.

MARK O'MEARA (MALE):
WELL, I LOOK FORWARD TO IT SCOTT. I'LL SEE YOU AT UH SUN CITY, DAVID.

DAVID DUVAL
YOU GOT IT, MARK. HEY, SAFE TRAVEL.

MARK O'MEARA (MALE):
THANKS FOR HAVING ME ON THE SHOW. ALRIGHT. BYE-BYE.

SCOTT VAN PELT
ALWAYS OUR PLEASURE. TAKE GOOD CARE, MARK.

WE BETTER TAKE A VERY SHORT BREAK, AND AS WE DO, WE'RE GONNA TORTURE DAVID

DAVID DUVAL
(LAUGH);

SCOTT VAN PELT
JUST A LITTLE BIT AND TAKE A LOOK BACK, AT WHAT HE LOOKED LIKE AS A YOUNG MAN. OH, YOU CAN'T SEE IT GOOD ENOUGH TO REALLY UNDERSTAND IT. WE COULD HAVE SOME FUN UP THERE CLOSE UP.

DAVID DUVAL
(LAUGH)

SCOTT VAN PELT
STAY WITH US. GOLF TALK LIVE COMES BACK IN JUST A MOMENT.

(BREAK)

NEXT SEGMENT
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Rahm (62) fires career low round

By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

@tommyfleetwood_1

A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.

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Mickelson starts fast, fades to 70 at La Quinta

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

Phil Mickelson got off to a fast start in his first competitive round of 2018 - for six holes, at least.

The 47-year-old is making his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, and only his third competitive appearance since the BMW Championship in September. Four birdies over his first six holes indicated that a strong opener might be in the cards, but Mickelson played his subsequent holes in 2 over.

It added up to a 2-under 70 at La Quinta Country Club, typically the easiest of the three courses in rotation this week, and left Mickelson eight shots behind Jon Rahm.

"It was fun to get back out and be competitive," Mickelson told reporters. "I for some reason am stuck on 70 here at La Quinta, whether I get off to a good start or a bad one, I end up shooting the same score."


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


Mickelson stunted his momentum with a tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 eighth hole, but he managed to save bogey and otherwise drove the ball relatively well. Instead, he pointed to his normally reliable iron play as the culprit for his back-nine backslide on a day when more than 120 players in the 156-man field broke par.

Mickelson will now head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course with the Stadium Course on tap for Saturday's third round. While there were several low scores Thursday at La Quinta, Mickelson remains bullish about the birdie opportunities that still lie ahead.

"This isn't the course where I go low on," Mickelson said. "I feel more comfortable on Stadium and Nicklaus. Neither of them are nearly as tight and I tend to score a lot lower on those other two than I do here, historically."