New Yorkers Know Its Phil Time

By Golf Channel NewsroomJune 13, 2006, 4:00 pm
U.S. OpenMAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Theyre tough as nails, they like grit more than polish and they pull for players who grind it out and can take whatever the back pages of the tabloids throw at them.
 
Hes marshmallow soft, all smiles and shrugs, and lives a life of leisure with his picture-perfect family on the Left Coast.
 
New Yorkers and Phil Mickelson: Common sense says they shouldnt love each other, but for some reason, they do. And never more so than when the U.S. Open, which happens to coincide each year with Mickelsons birthday, comes back to the Big Apple.
 
They sang Happy Birthday to him at Bethpage. They chanted his name at Shinnecock. This year, the course is Winged Foot, just a quick train ride from Manhattan. The lovefest begins Thursday.
 
Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson is a fan favorite no matter where he tees it up.
How to explain this strange dichotomy'the warm-and-fuzzy teddy bear being embraced in the birthplace of the Bronx Cheer? There are, it seems, as many theories as there are FOPs'Fans of Phil.
 
Hes an average guy, said John Mulvaney of Washington Township, N.J., who spent some time Tuesday watching Phils nine holes of practice. He gambles. He hangs out. Hes a good guy, a cool guy. For a while there, he always choked. Hes just a good guy to root for.
 
Some of his biggest chok... um, disappointments came in two U.S. Opens held outside the city. Who can forget the scene at Bethpage in 2002 when Phil, schvitzing in the hot, humid weather and looking particularly doughy and out of shape, missed an excruciating 8-footer on 16 to end his run at Tiger Woods?
 
He was the peoples choice that day, even though he finished second for the second time at the U.S. Open and fell to 0-for-40 in the majors.
 
I have never seen a crowd behind a player the way they were today with Phil, Mickelsons playing partner, Jeff Maggert, said that day.
 
Mickelson promised to get in better shape after that one, acknowledging that fitness could have played a factor in his inability to break through under brutal conditions. Since then, he has firmed things up a bit and, more importantly, figured out a way to win in the biggest tournaments.
 
But still not at the U.S. Open.
 
So, it wasnt surprising that when he charged into the lead, only to come in an excruciating second to Retief Goosen at Shinnecock in 2004, he was every bit the peoples choice.
 
Its very flattering, he said that day, after losing the tournament with a three-putt from 5 feet on the 17th hole. I dont know what to say. People have been terrific to me and my family.
 
Another theory for why the act plays so well in and around Manhattan: He is not Tiger Woods.
 
He responds to questions the way he feels, said Gavin Blainey, a salesman at a golf shop in midtown Manhattan. I think people here pick up on the fact that Phil comes off as real. With Tiger, it seems more robotic. Its like the answers he gives today are the same as the ones he gave five years ago.
 
This week, though, it is Tiger who comes to Winged Foot as the more sympathetic of the two characters. How often can that be said?
 
During an engaging, 40-minute news conference Tuesday, it was Woods who let the people in, talking about the effect of the nine-week layoff necessitated by the recent death of his father, Earl, and how difficult it has been to return to his sport.
 
I had no desire to play the game of golf, Woods conceded.
 
Mickelson, meanwhile, spent most of his news conference, held right after Woods left the room, discussing which driver'or drivers'he would put in his bag. Hes the winner of two straight majors, no longer quite as sad-sack as he used to be.
 
Mickelson has never been able to really explain his peculiar bond with New Yorkers. One thing he does know'no matter how chubby he looked or how badly he wilted, he cant remember being razzed at a major in New York.
 
A lot of times when youre playing, you dont hear it, he said. Even though they might be yelling it, you dont hear it because your mind might be somewhere else. I think its important, whether its positive feedback or negative feedback, you have to let it go in one ear and out the other and enjoy the moment and enjoy the atmosphere of it.
 
When Mickelson is on the course in New York, the atmosphere is always electric, even if it doesnt quite make sense.
 
This is, after all, a city that loved Joe Namath for his glitz and his guarantee, Willis Reed for hobbling out there on one leg, Derek Jeter for always coming through in the clutch and leading the Yankees back to greatness.
 
And then, theres Phil.
 
Hes always been a good guy, he always does the right thing, he does a lot of charity work, hes always smiling, said Gary Lishnoff of Norwalk, Conn. Hes got the great-looking family. People like that no matter where they come from. And all those years without winning a major helped, too.
 
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee:

Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''


Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.

Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

Leaderboard: Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

What it means: Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.