Woods or Mickelson at Quail Hollow

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 26, 2010, 9:24 pm

In their first appearances since the Masters Tournament, who will fare better this week at the Quail Hollow Championship: world No. 1 Tiger Woods or world No. 2 Phil Mickelson? Senior writers Rex Hoggard and Randall Mell offer their takes.


Phil Mickelson vs. Tiger Woods. It is golf’s ultimate water-cooler debate – “tastes great vs. less filling.” Picking between the game’s alpha and omega on what is essentially neutral ground is akin to ordering filet mignon. Be it well down or rare, the meal promises to be enjoyable.

At Quail Hollow Club – as close to Grand Slam ground as one gets without the hardware – neither player has separated himself from the other.

In four starts Woods has a victory (2007) and not a card outside the top 11, a .250 batting average that is close to his Tour norm; while Mickelson is winless in Charlotte in six starts but has three top-5 finishes including last year’s T-5.

Nor has either player separated himself this season. Lefty’s Masters “W” was his first top-5 card of the year and Woods’ T-4 at Augusta National was solid considering the circumstances but something short of definitive.

The only advantage goes to Woods, whose fourth-place finish last year included one of his best putting weeks of the season (T-11 in total putts), compared to Mickelson’s pedestrian tie for 22nd in total putts which included a four-putt at the 17th hole in Round 2.

Woods gets the call, but not by much.


You pick against Tiger Woods at your own peril.

Nobody’s been a better bet over the years with Woods winning nearly once every three times he tees it up on the PGA Tour. Phil Mickelson wins about once every 10 times.

This week’s Quail Hollow Championship will mark the 173rd time Woods and Mickelson have played a PGA Tour event together as pros. Woods immediately gained the upper hand the first time they teed it up together as pros. He won the Las Vegas Invitational in 1996 while Mickelson tied for eighth. Over the years, Woods has won 52 times when they were playing the same PGA Tour event, Mickelson 13.

Quail Hollow leans to Woods’ favor, too, where he’s won once in their four starts there together. Mickelson’s looking for his first win at Quail Hollow. Mickelson has finished better than Woods there just once.

If you were posting odds this week, though, Woods wouldn’t be your overwhelming favorite. Mickelson has won the last three times these two have played the same event. Lefty seems due at Quail Hollow. He is the best player who has never won there. He has finished tied for third, tied for fifth twice and tied for seventh in his six starts at the venue.

Still, Woods makes you pay when you bet against him.
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Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Tiger TrackerMarch 17, 2018, 3:00 pm

Tiger Woods teed off at 12:15PM ET alongside Justin Rose for Round 3 of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. We're tracking him at Bay Hill.

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Fowler among 5 to skip WGC-Match Play

By Ryan LavnerMarch 17, 2018, 2:24 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Five of the top 64 players in the world will skip next week’s WGC-Dell Match Play.

Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka and Adam Scott all will miss the second WGC event of the year, held next week at Austin Country Club.

As a result, the last man into the field is world No. 69 Luke List. Kevin Na, Charles Howell III, Joost Luiten and Keegan Bradley also got into the field.

Julian Suri and Bill Haas are the first two alternates, if anyone else withdraws from the round-robin-style match-play event.

This is the second year in a row that Rose, Fowler, Stenson and Scott will not play in Austin. Koepka reached the quarterfinals each of the past two years, but he is still recovering from a wrist injury.

The final seeding for the event will be determined after this week’s tournaments. The bracket show is at 7:30 p.m. Monday, live on Golf Channel.

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Korda happy to finally be free of jaw pain

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 2:43 am

PHOENIX – Jessica Korda isn’t as surprised as everyone else that she is playing so well, so quickly, upon her return from a complex and painful offseason surgery.

She is inspired finally getting to play without recurring headaches.

“I’d been in pain for three years,” she said after posting a 4-under-par 68 Friday to move two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

Korda had her upper jaw broken in three places and her low jaw broken in two places in December in a procedure that fixed the alignment of her jaw.

Korda, 25, said the headaches caused by her overbite even affected her personality.

“Affects your moods,” Korda said. “I think I was pretty snappy back then as well.”

She was pretty pleased Friday to give herself a weekend chance at her sixth LPGA title, her second in her last three starts. She won the Honda LPGA Thailand three weeks ago in her first start after returning from surgery.

“I'm much happier now,” Korda said. “Much calmer.”

Even if she still can’t eat the things she would really like to eat. She’s still recuperating. She said the lower part of her face remains numb, and it’s painful to chew crunchy things.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“Chips are totally out of question,” Korda said.

She can eat most things she likes, but she has to cut them into tiny pieces. She can’t wait to be able to eat a steak.

“They broke my palate, so I can't feel anything, even heat,” Korda said. “So that's a bit difficult, because I can't feel any heat on my lip or palate. I don't know how hot things are going in until they hit my throat.”

Korda has 27 screws in her skull holding the realignment together. She needed her family to feed her, bathe her and dress her while she recovered. The procedure changed the way she looks.

While Korda’s ordeal and all that went into her recovery has helped fans relate to her, she said it’s the desire to move on that motivates her.

“Because I was so drugged up, I don't remember a lot of it,” Korda said. “I try to forget a lot of it. I don't think of it like I went through a lot. I just think of it as I'm pain-free. So, yeah, people are like, `Oh, you're so brave, you overcame this and that.’ For me, I'm just going forward.”

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Finally adapted to short putter, Martin near lead

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:54 am

PHOENIX – Mo Martin loved her long putter.

In fact, she named her “Mona.”

For 10 years, Martin didn’t putt with anything else. She grew up with long putters, from the time she started playing when she was 5.

While Martin won the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2014, about nine months after giving up Mona for a short putter, she said it’s taken until today to feel totally comfortable with one.

And that has her excited about this year.

Well, that and having a healthy back again.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“I've had a feeling that this year was going to be a good one,” Martin said. “My game is in a special place.”

Martin was beaming after a 6-under-par 66 Friday moved her two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

“Just a beautiful day,” Martin said. “I was able to play my game, make my putts.”

Martin hit all 14 fairways in the second round, hit 15 greens in regulation and took just 27 putts. After struggling with nagging back pain last year, she’s pain free again.

She’s happy to “just to get back to a place now where my ball striking is where it has been the last few years.”

Martin, by the way, says Mona remains preserved in a special place, “a shrine” in her home.