Cleaning up the park

By Randall MellOctober 9, 2009, 6:01 am

SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco’s United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 38 should make Phil Mickelson an honorary member.

Now Mickelson knows what it’s like to be a plumber on emergency call.

He would have been well-served tossing a club out of his bag before Thursday’s lead-off match to the Presidents Cup and inserting a plunger.

Time after time early in the foursomes match, Mickelson waded in to clean up somebody else’s mess.

Well, Anthony Kim’s mess.

Mickelson’s superior clean-up skills kept the Americans close in a very untidy alternate-shot match until Kim got hot on the back nine and the duo put away the scrappy International team of Mike Weir and Tim Clark 3 and 2.

Phil Mickelson Presidents Cup
Phil Mickelson plays Anthony Kim's tee shot on the 10th hole during the Thursday's foursomes at the Presidents Cup. (Getty Images)

“We didn’t play the best the first 10 holes, obviously,” Mickelson said. “We fought to keep in the match.”

And then close it out with four consecutive birdies.

Kim wasn’t the only player struggling early. This match was so bad on the front nine it was worthy of Comedy Central’s Top 10 Plays of the Day, if they had such a thing. The sixth hole was a comedy of errors.

With Kim due up on the tee, Mickelson took a shortcut away from the fifth green to watch from aside the sixth fairway.

We’ll let Mickelson pick it up from there.

“Next thing I know, the ball is hooking over my head and is falling straight down in front of me, about 180 yards off the tee,” Mickelson said.

Kim’s wild shot ricocheted off some trees before settling near the base of a tree.

When Mickelson wandered over to inspect the lie, he heard the crack of ball against a tree on the other side of the fairway. He turned to see Weir’s drive, which was even worse than Kim’s.

“Hit a tree and came back on the cart path 70 yards,” Mickelson said. “So they’re 165 yards off the tee.”

Mickelson turned to the gallery huddling around his ball and smirked.

“And this is from the best golf has to offer,” Mickelson cracked.

Folks roared . . . and then they ducked.

Almost as if on cue, another errant shot came whistling over Mickelson’s head from another direction.

Ernie Els, playing in the match behind Mickelson, hit a hook that slammed into a cart 20 yards behind Mickelson.

This is where Mickelson got to show how clever he can be. With almost no backswing trying to punch back into the sixth fairway, he decided to turn his stance and aim left. He hit a wicked hook up the wrong fairway, on purpose. He played up the fifth fairway to give Kim a shot at the sixth green.

“When it was all said and done, we had 5-footers for bogey,” Mickelson said. “We made ours, they missed theirs and we won the hole.”

Mickelson and Kim bogeyed the second, sixth, seventh and ninth holes but were still only 1 down making the turn. That’s because Weir and Clark couldn’t make a birdie all day. Both teams shot 39 on the front nine and looked as if they might have trouble breaking 80.

“I was a little heavy on the front nine, but Phil picked me up, and fortunately I got some opportunities on the back nine,” Kim said.

The second nine didn’t start with much promise. Kim sliced his tee shot into the trees at the 10th, his ball dropping behind the giant trunk of a Cypress. Mickelson’s approach shot was blocked, but you could see his mind at work. He looked down at the ball, up at the tree trunk, up at the canopy of branches hanging down like a ceiling atop him and formulated an escape route. He hit a giant hook from 180 yards around the tree, under the branches and onto the green, 30 feet from the pin. Kim missed the birdie putt, but it was a terrific halve.

Dave Stockton, the two-time major championship winner who is now Mickelson’s putting coach, nodded approvingly.

“Foursomes is so tough,” Stockton said. “It tests everything, temperament, everything.”

Mickelson didn’t seem to mind all the tough spots Kim left him. He seemed to relish showing off how creative he can be, but he didn’t have to be in the end. Kim caught fire.

“We felt like at 1 down, if we could get just one little spark to get the round going, that’s all we needed,” Mickelson said.

At the 13th hole, Kim hit a wedge shot to 3 feet to set up Mickelson with an easy birdie putt. At the 14th tee, Kim hit a 7-iron to 18 feet and Mickelson holed another birdie putt.

“I’m feeling really good about my putting,” Mickelson said.

Really, the round was classic Mickelson and Kim, big misses, big makes and big adventure.

Getty Images

Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.