A Memo for Leftys Locker

By Kraig KannApril 11, 2004, 4:00 pm
Hey Phil,
Here we go again. Weve strapped ourselves in. Weve taken our motion sickness pills. And weve been warned by our doubters.
Heres the thing. Everything seems to be going your way. Remember that when you put on your shoes. Remember that when you walk toward the practice range. Remember that when Bones gives you the driver on the first tee. Remember it when he hands over the putter at first green.
Remember the ball at 13 the other day? It should have gone into the creek, right? Guess what ' it didnt! Its going your way. It stayed up and you made birdie. Its going your way.
Remember Butch Harmon actually going on record earlier this year about you being the guy to win this years Masters? Its been going your way for a while now!
You want a statistic to chew on? Tiger Woods has posted four of his last seven rounds at Augusta National with numbers of 75 or higher. Youve now played 45 rounds at the Masters and have a total of three rounds of 75 or worse. Things are going your way.
In your Saturday post-round news conference you were reminded that Woods isnt exactly riding your major-less bumper. You know what, that doesnt suck, you said amidst a huge dose of laughter. Great answer. Way to be real. Way to admit your feelings. Tigers nine shots back. In 1956 Jack Burke came from eight back which is the largest deficit overcome on Sunday. Things are going your way.
Back to the golf.
I lost count of the number of par putts you made in round three. Man, did that blade putter look good out there. You know what, your stroke and result looks as good as Weirs did last year or any of the years Tiger won. You know what, things are going your way.
How about the 18th on Saturday? Great tee shot, bit of a pull on the approach. You know what, you took the safe play. The Texas Wedge from off the green was safe. It took double bogey out of the equation. You know what, you made par! Things are going your way.
Augusta is a special place, with a history over the years that has been so kind to some (Palmer, Nicklaus) and so cruel to others (Norman.) Palmer and Nicklaus played this week. Norman wasnt in the field. Things are going your way.
Palmer, in fact, didnt jet home after missing the cut in his farewell Masters as a competitor. He stuck around with family and friends to keep the good kharma going. He cant walk a foot without finding a welcome hand this week and hes still there! You know what, things are going your way.
Each of the last 13 winners on Sunday at Augusta have come from either first or second position on the leaderboard. For the first time in a major heading into Sunday, youre first. Things are going your way.
And finally, Phil, today is Easter Sunday. Its a day when religion finds its way to the top of our minds, helping to put all things in their proper perspective. You know all about Golf gods, right? They just might find their way into this thing. Need I say more?
Go get em, Lefty. Just go get em. It just feels tooright. Oops.
Oh yeah, youre actually right-handed! I forgot. Man, things really are going your way! Ill watch you at the green jacket ceremony!
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    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

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    Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

    When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

    Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

    "I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

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    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

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    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

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    LPGA lists April date for new LA event

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

    The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

    When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

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    The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.