Phil Mickelson Press Conference Transcript
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, I was excited. I just came out and played disappointingly poor today. Actually, I felt pretty good striking the ball, but what happened was is I continued to miss putts and have it carry over into my iron play, because now I've started to press a little bit. I didn't feel comfortable knocking it 10 or 12 or 15 feet. I felt like I had to knock it in. Even the one on 18, I don't know how that one went in, to be honest with you. It just barely caught the lip. I thought I missed that one low, too. And it was really evident on 10 when I had a pretty basic 8-footer and it just wasn't even close. So I struggled today just trying to get the stroke and the alignment down a little bit, and it was -- on these greens where there is no margin for error as firm as they are, it was a tough day because of that. But, the way I look at it is I shot even par on a pretty tough course putting pretty poorly.
Q. Are you the type of guy that does not want to burn one this week, so to speak?
PHIL MICKELSON: No. That's not it. I'm going to go out tomorrow and try to shoot 8- or 9-under and see if I can win this tournament. Certainly, I'm not in the best of position. Eight or nine may not even be enough, but that's certainly what I will be trying to do tomorrow.
Q. What about the Masters --(inaudible)?
PHIL MICKELSON: That's the last thing on my mind now, to be honest.
Q. What's it like playing with Tiger?
PHIL MICKELSON: I just have a lot of respect for him, not just as a player, but as a person. I enjoy playing with him. I don't know what else to say. It's not like I really even watch him swing. I may have watched him swing once or twice. I just think that -- I like playing with the best. I don't want to -- I want to play with the best, I guess.
Q. A huge crowd following you guys --?
PHIL MICKELSON: You don't see it, though. You really don't. Big or little crowds, you just don't see it.
Q. You've been riding more of a roller coaster lately than normally, like yesterday a lot of birdies and a lot of bogeys?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, it has been a little up and down, with the only good round being the last round at Bay Hill where I was solid and didn't -- didn't really lose any concentration throughout the round. I had my bouts today, as I have every day. I don't know what to say, because I feel like I've been playing well. I feel like I'm just looking -- it seems like I'm looking ahead, as opposed to staying in the present. I just remember on Sunday's round at Bay Hill when I made a putt on 5 for birdie. It was my first birdie of the day, and I didn't feel like I was forced to make that putt. I missed birdieing the par 5, No. 4, and normally I would feel a little bit anxious to get one -- one birdie out of the way. I didn't really feel that. Here, if I'm not 6-under after three holes, I feel like I've got to push it. I've had a difficult time the last few -- couple of weeks, being patient. Today, I actually thought I did a really good job on that, in that my goal after being 2-over through three, and not feeling really good about where I was at with the wind -- it was windy, too, was to get even par at the turn and try to light it up in the back. And I ended up hitting a 3-iron 210 yards dead into the wind on No. 5 to within two feet, which I needed to because I was not going to make a putt, or I didn't feel like it and I got that one out of the way. Even the one on 9, it was about a 5- -- about a 6-footer, just kind of got on line. Started it; didn't start it on line, but it was going slow enough that it just caught the lip. I'm going to go work on it, though, because I've been putting well. That's what's disappointing.
Full Coverage of the Players Championship
Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test
One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.
Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.
"I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."
Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.
"I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.
Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.
"Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."
Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage
Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.
Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.
Swipe to see what’s up in my world. It’s long-winded.... short version, we lost the baby. Had to share this since we had shared the news already. I know you’re all so supportive and kind. I just couldn’t face it before. Now let’s get back to our regularly scheduled programming. #ihavealotoffeelings #andphotostocatchupon
“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”
The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.
“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia
This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.
The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.
Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.
The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.
A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.
And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.
Green jacket tour
Man of the people
Ace at 17th at Sawgrass
Departure from TaylorMade
Squashed beef with Paddy
Victory at Valderrama
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates:
No. 4: Dec. 13
No. 3: Dec. 14
No. 2: Dec. 15
No. 1: Dec. 18