Mickelson hoping for bad British Open weather

By Associated PressJuly 13, 2012, 7:49 pm

INVERNESS, Scotland – If the wind is howling and the rain's pouring during the British Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, expect Phil Mickelson to be wearing a broad grin on his face.

By his own admission, Mickelson has started to embrace the challenge of being a 'bad-weather player.' It makes the British Open the ideal tournament for the American.

Mickelson says 'I don't know where that happened along the way, whether it was last year or whether it was five, 10 years ago.' But he says he started 'to really enjoy the tough weather conditions and I hope that it's that way next week, too.'

The good news for Mickelson is that the long-range forecast is for Britain's terrible weather of late to continue into next week.

Phil breaks over-par rounds streak with 64

Mickelson tied for second behind Darren Clarke at Royal St. George's at the 2011 British Open, his best finish at the year's third major.

That tournament was beset by rain and gusting winds off the southwest coast, forcing players to don oven-style mitts between shots and huddle under flapping umbrellas at times.

The extreme conditions were too much for then-U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy, who slumped away from a soggy Sandwich bemoaning his luck at playing successive rounds in the worst of the weather and saying 'there's no point in changing your game for one week a year.'

That's exactly what Mickelson has done. Well, maybe two weeks a year if you count his regular appearances at the Scottish Open, the precursor to the British Open.

He is there again this week, displaying his repertoire of links-style shots. The wind wasn't hostile for a change but he was preparing for next week nonetheless.

Some of his low irons on the par 5s and long par 4s were driven no more than head-high. He also produced some neat bump-and-run approach shots across the undulating links fairways.

He shot an 8-under 64 in the second round to put him in contention for the weekend and was clearly in his element, despite his poor play in his last three tournaments – where he failed to break par or 70 in seven rounds.

'My mindset has really evolved a lot over the last decade or two,' Mickelson said. 'I've learned to get the ball on the ground quick and that's made playing in the bad weather so much easier because the ground then affects the ball, as opposed to the air.

'That makes it easier to not have the misses be so big. So I've really enjoyed learning a few shots off the tee.'

The last British Open at Royal Lytham was in 2001. It was won by David Duval and Mickelson tied for 30th.

'I thought it was a wonderful course,' the 16th-ranked Mickelson said. 'It was a tough driving course, there were a lot of irons off the tee and a lot of bunkers to avoid.'

A couple of years later, he and coach Dave Pelz started really tackling how best to deal with the conditions so often seen on links courses and so rarely seen on American-style parkland courses.

'We spent some time working on some low shots, working on a couple of different tee shots to get the ball on the ground and to get the ball in play,' he said. 'Consequently, I have not been having as big misses off the tee as I had earlier in my career where I was playing the ball through the air and letting the crosswinds take it.'

Mickelson demonstrated his intention to finally get his hands on the claret jug – and win the fifth major of his illustrious career – by cutting short a family vacation in Italy this week to play in the Scottish Open and attempt to shake off some rust.

If the weather turns sour in northern England next week, it may prove an inspired move.

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

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.

“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

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

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.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

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.

Masters victory

Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative

Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ

Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket

Man of the people

Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief

Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together

Ace at 17th at Sawgrass

Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018

Departure from TaylorMade

Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'

Victory at Valderrama

Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
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Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

Well, this is a one new one.

According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.