He Said/She Said: Tribute to Lefty

By Bailey MosierMay 8, 2012, 2:50 pm

With Philip Alfred Mickelson being inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, the Golf Guy and Birdie Bailey decided to weigh in on what Mickelson means to them and the game they follow and cover.

By THE GOLF GUY

I’ve thought long and hard about why I love Phil Mickelson.

He’s my favorite golfer of all time (sorry, No. 2 Greg Norman) and he also happens to be one of my top-5 athletes across all sport (Bjorn Borg, Dr. J, Martina Navratilova, Phil and Kobe Bryant).

But why do I love Lefty?

Why do I continue to put all my chips behind a guy that seemingly disappoints me more often than he lets me enjoy a celebratory finish?

Look, I’m the biggest bandwagon fan in the world. I can hop off and on the success train of a team or player faster than Charlie Rymer can go through a plate of cookies (sorry Charlie, Chamblee put me up to that one).

But with Phil, I have happily – and at times not-so-happily – NEVER left my seat on his bandwagon.

Could it be as simple as the aw-shucks smile he carries on the golf course?

Was it the agonizingly long wait he (we) had to endure to earn his first major?

His non-stop signing of autographs for fans?

His always entertaining news conferences?

The endless list of mindbogglingly great golf shots, flop shots ... and dumb shots?

All of it.

Some call him Roller-Coaster Phil. I’m thinking more like Banana Split Phil. Strawberry, vanilla and chocolate ice cream. A banana. Chocolate syrup. Whipped cream. Cherries. And, of course … plenty of nuts. Just like watching Phil, it can be oh-so-delicious and satisfying (2004 Masters). And just like watching Phil, it can sometimes leave you feeling a little sick to you stomach (U.S. Open 2006 Winged Foot).

Like Mickelson has hinted over the last week or so leading into his induction, here's hoping there's plenty more tasty treats to enjoy in his career.


By BIRDIE BAILEY

Oh, Phil Mickelson. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways… 

Without Phil Mickelson … The press center would be full of grumpy old men.

Without Phil Mickelson … Arizona State would have less Spark-y.

Without Phil Mickelson … We would all still think white men can’t jump.

Without Phil Mickelson … Augusta’s 13th would pine (straw) for attention.

Without Phil Mickelson … We'd have to find some right-hander to call Lefty.

Without Phil Mickelson … We’d think that Five Guys was an entourage.

Without Phil Mickelson … We'd think that Bones was an HBO series.

Without Phil Mickelson … We'd think facing off against Tiger on a Sunday at Pebble Beach was hard.

Without Phil Mickelson … 'I am such an idiot' would simply be something you say to your wife.

Without Phil Mickelson … We’d never truly get our Phil.

In all seriousness, 40 PGA Tour wins, four major championships and an endless supply of memorable moments, Phil Mickelson is deserving of his induction into the Hall of Fame. Here’s hoping his 40s bring another 40 victories and much more.

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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.