Mickelson, Bradley a complementary Ryder Cup pair

By Randall MellSeptember 29, 2012, 6:10 pm

MEDINAH, Ill. – This wasn’t your run-of-the-mill Ryder Cup rout.

Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley teamed Saturday morning to blow out yet another European Ryder Cup juggernaut.

They embarrassed a pair of former No. 1 players in the world in a record drubbing.

They defeated Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, 7 and 6, in foursomes at Medinah Country Club.

How good is that? No Ryder Cup tandem has won by a larger margin in an 18-hole match. The rout equaled the beating Americans Paul Azinger and Mark O’Meara gave Nick Faldo and David Gilford in 1991. It also equaled the beating Americans Hale Irwin and Tom Kite gave Ken Brown and Des Smyth in ’79.

The victory boosted the Mickelson-Bradley duo to 3-0 this week.

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Bradley, by the way, becomes the first American rookie to win his first three matches since Mickelson did it in ’95.

They did not get a chance to make it 4-0 as partners. U.S. captain Davis Love III stuck to his plan to rest all of his players at least a match and sat down Mickelson and Bradley for the Saturday afternoon fourballs.

How good is this dynamic duo? The veteran and the rookie have rolled over three of the best tandems in Europe’s dominant Ryder Cup run the last 10 years. They wrecked Sergio Garcia and Donald’s perfect record (4-0) in foursomes by winning, 4 and 3, on Friday. They also knocked off the Northern Irish combo of Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell in fourballs, 2 and 1.

Mickelson, 42, and Bradley, 26, may be from different generations in the game, but they think about the game in the same way.

“There are all kinds of golf brains, but these two have the same type,” said Jim “Bones” Mackay. “I have never seen alternate shot played like that.”

Mackay marveled at Mickelson’s clutch 7-iron to 3 feet that put away McIlroy-McDowell on Friday. He marveled even more at Mickelson’s shot at the 12th to beat Donald-Westwood. With the Americans in trouble after a pair of wayward shots through the trees, Mickelson recovered smartly, carving a wedge onto a ridge on the high, left side of the green. The gallery went nuts when the shot took the slope and trickled 40 feet downhill, nearly into the hole.

Mackay said Mickelson’s drawings in his yardage book are so detailed he knew exactly where to land the shot.

Bradley called Mickelson’s clinching shot at the 17th to close out Friday’s fourballs win the best shot he’s ever seen. He said Mickelson’s clinching shot at the 12th on Saturday was nearly as good.

“I told Phil when he got to the green that it was the second best shot I’ve ever seen,” Bradley said.

Mickelson and Bradley teamed to make six birdies in 12 holes on Saturday. That’s almost unheard of in foursomes (alternate shot). In a match behind them, McIlroy and McDowell didn’t make a birdie over their first 12 holes.

“To be able to share this experience with Keegan and to partake in his great play and his experience of the Ryder Cup has been really awesome,” Mickelson said. “We have had so much fun.”

Bradley continued to fuel Mickelson and the American galleries with high-octane emotion.

“That guy’s intense,” one spectator said with Bradley exhorting the crowd on the way to the ninth green.

Bradley’s probably a little too intense for Europe’s liking. After rolling in a 10-foot birdie to win the ninth hole, he let out a raucous “Wooo-hooo!” while pumping his fists at the crowd. At that point, the Americans were 5 up. Bradley reminds veteran Ryder Cup observers of the way Garcia so boldly and emotionally introduced himself to the event.

Few players attack the way Bradley does. He approaches his ball like a hockey player coming out of a penalty box.

The duo was irrepressible Saturday. Donald and Westwood watched them win the second hole playing out of the trees. They won that last hole the same way. Mickelson’s iron game was razor sharp all day.

No playing partners have had more fun this week than Mickelson and Bradley.

“It’s a little ying and yang,” said Steve “Pepsi” Hale, Bradley’s caddie. “Phil is so laid back and Keegan’s so intense. I think they bring out the best in each other and balance each other out.”

There’s a big brother and little brother phenomenon there.

“There is a real bond there,” Mackay said.

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

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Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.