Mickelson Wears Label Uneasily

By Golf Channel NewsroomAugust 14, 2001, 4:00 pm
Hes won plenty of Tucsons and San Diegos, won his share of Bay Hills and Memorials and Tour Championships. But Phil Mickelson still carries one label rather uneasily ' The Man Without a Major. It is a label, he confesses, he thought he would have erased long before now.
 
I felt that after winning a tournament coming out of college, I thought things like that would happen quickly, he said at the PGA Championship. It has taken a lot more time than I had anticipated. I believe my time will come, and I believe that this week is a nice place to start.
 
Until that happens, he still has the label. And its a fair label ' Best Player Without a Major.
 
I dont think its unfair at all, he said. I think when I win one, people are not going to look at me any differently. I feel as though the way Ive played over the past 10 years, and the tournaments Ive done well in, show the style of player I am. And a win in one tournament really isnt going to change that perception.
 
It would mean a lot to finally break through and win a major, just to prove to myself that it can be done, and all the hard work Ive put into my game in trying to refine it and minimize the misses and play smarter on difficult courses is finally paying off.
 
But I dont think its an unfair label. In fact, its a very complimentary label if you think about it, because to be the best out of all those good players who have not (won) is a compliment.
 
This week, Mickelson will go about his business yet again. He hopes to win, of course. But should he not, how satisfying would it be once again having a chance, but just not quite getting the job done?
 
If I were to not win, then what I have been working on, I will not abandon ' I feel Ive been very close. But I wont be as successful as I was hoping.
 

 
I feel like the last year-and-a-half, I have been able to refine my game to a point where I should be able to contend week-in and week-out, and where I should be able to win the toughest tournaments because they should be the best opportunities for me to win. This week, the U.S. Open, the Masters and the British Open should be the easiest tournaments for me to win, because right now my misses have been minimized and the penalty for a mis-hit shot is so severe that it should make it more difficult for other players. And it should give me the opportunity to come out on top.
 
But Ive worked very hard with Rick (Smith) and Ive even more minimized my mistakes, and I feel as though this golf course is set up for me to do that.
 
One thing that has helped eliminate those mistakes is visualizing the shot before he actually hits it, something Mickelson has tried very hard to do this year. He sees good happening to the shot instead of bad. If he were to visualize something bad, it undoubtedly would lead to a bad shot. If he thought about the ball landing in a water hazard, that would undoubtedly happen.
 
Mickelson is a father now, and a second child will be born to him and Amy in October. Amy and I have worked together more as a team to keep out family together, and to allow my schedule and my practice to even be increased.
 
Its different now that weve had children. Amy has had to work really hard to travel with the 1-year-old, and now that she is pregnant, its been difficult as well. We try very hard to be able to travel together, be together and stay together. So when I get done today, Ill be able to be with my wife and family. Its not easy to do, but she has been able to allow me to set the schedule I would like, and to practice as much as I like. And, were still able to stay together.
 
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McIlroy 'happy to be back', can 'empathize' with Tiger

By Associated PressJanuary 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – After a long layoff from golf, Rory McIlroy has some newfound sympathy for Tiger Woods.

The 28-year-old Northern Irishman is making a comeback at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship after ending his season early last year. He has not played a round since the final day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Oct. 8.

McIlroy, a four-time major champion who has slipped to No. 11 in the world rankings, last won the Tour Championship on the PGA Tour in September 2016. He injured a rib in his first outing of 2017 – at the South African Open – and felt its after-effects throughout the year.

McIlroy, who has seven top-five finishes in his last eight starts in Abu Dhabi, said Tuesday he felt mentally low because of his physical issues.

''Honestly, I was excited to be done. I could have shut it down after the PGA Championship very easily and taken the rest of the year off, but I didn't. I played six events after that, played OK and had a chance to win one of them,'' McIlroy said. ''But I was just excited to take that time off and get myself just sort of a re-set.''

Last week, McIlroy also revealed that he has a minor, non-threatening heart condition that needs regular check-ups.

''After that 3-plus months of a re-set, I'm very happy to be back. I felt like I needed it physically and mentally. I just felt like it was a little bit of a sabbatical. I've been out here for 10 years, and I want to get ready for the next 10.''

McIlroy compared his situation to what Woods has been going through.

''I've only been through, maybe, not even 5 percent of what he's had to go through. And you can tell from where he was to where he is now mentally, because of physically where he is ... he's a totally different person,'' McIlroy said. ''Of course, I empathize with him, and I know he was in a dark place there for a while. It's just so great to see him out of that and back and excited to be playing golf again.''

The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will be the first of back-to-back events for McIlroy, who is also playing next week in Dubai.

''I think the next two weeks will be a big learning curve, just to see where I'm at,'' McIlroy said. ''I'm obviously coming into the events trying to play as well as I can and trying to compete and trying to win, but I think there will definitely be things I'll have to work on going into that stretch in the States.''

The tournament, which starts Thursday, has attracted some big names, including top-ranked Dustin Johnson, No. 6 Justin Rose, No. 9 Henrik Stenson, No. 14 Paul Casey and No. 15 Matt Kuchar. No. 18 Tommy Fleetwood is the defending champion.

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Pre-tourney caution be damned: Stenson rides camel

By Grill Room TeamJanuary 16, 2018, 3:29 pm

If you were under the impression Henrik Stenson's days of engaging in pre-tournament hijinks at HSBC-sponsored events were over, then you don't know the Swedish Superman.

Ahead of this week's HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, the 2016 champion golfer of the year decided to have some fun riding (and pretend-spanking) a camel:

If you can't imagine any reason Stenson wouldn't get on a camel, we will point you to the WGC-HSBC Champions back in October, when Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Haotong Li and Hideki Matsuyama took place in this hire-wire act:

Two weeks later, Stenson revealed a rib injury, and a report from the U.K.'s Telegraph stated "that not only was the Shanghai caper to blame, but that Stenson is annoyed about being persuaded to do it in the first place."

Stenson brushed back at that report in this Instagram post, saying that his "comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal."

I’m disappointed to have to pre-emptively withdraw from the Nedbank Golf Challenge Hosted by Gary Player, I was looking forward to this important year-end event on the European Tour. At this point I am back home in Orlando waiting to do a scan on my ribs and get the necessary rest. I am still hoping for a quick recovery and have not ruled out playing in Dubai next week at this point. My comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal. The plan as of now will be to participate in the DP World Championship if my body is back to 100%. H

A post shared by Henrik Stenson (@henrikstenson) on

And it would appear he genuinely meant those comments, at least enough to get on a camel.

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Spieth, McIlroy to support Major Champions Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:25 pm

Nick Faldo announced Tuesday the creation of the Major Champions Invitational.

The event, scheduled for March 12-14, is an extension of the Faldo Series and will feature both male and female junior players at Bella Collina in Montverde, Fla.

Jordan Spieth, Rory Mcllroy, Annika Sorenstam, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Jerry Pate and John Daly have already committed to supporting the event, which is aimed at mentoring and inspiring the next generation of players.  

“I’m incredibly excited about hosting the Major Champions Invitational, and about the players who have committed to support the event,” Faldo said. “This event will allow major champions to give something back to the game that has given them so much, and hopefully, in time, it will become one of the most elite junior golf events in the world.”

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Rosaforte: Woods plays with Obama, gets rave reviews

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:15 pm

Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte reports on Tiger Woods’ recent round at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., alongside President Barack Obama.

Check out the video, as Rosaforte says Woods received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon.