Mickelson makes like Houdini in Round 3

By Randall MellFebruary 19, 2012, 1:32 am

LOS ANGELES – First, he was channeling Seve.

Then he was channeling Arnie.

Mostly, though, it was pure Phil Mickelson orchestrating Saturday’s series of escape acts at the Northern Trust Open.

“This was a great round for me because I did not play well,” Mickelson said.

You might want to read that last sentence again. Mickelson actually said that. This is how magicians think. They always have you looking where they want you to look, baffling you with their misdirection.

And that’s the way Mickelson played Saturday, like a man with rabbits in his top hat and a mile of scarves up his sleeves.

Heck, Harry Houdini couldn’t have freed himself from some of the jams Mickelson kept working himself into at Riviera.

You could have strapped Mickelson in a straitjacket, wrapped him in chains and stuck him in a box, and he still would have found a way to make par at the eighth hole after slicing his drive somewhere toward the San Fernando Valley.

Mickelson posted his seventh consecutive round under par despite hitting tee shots off trees, behind staircases and bushes, and even into a man’s shorts.

That’s right, into a man’s shorts.

At the 15th hole, Mickelson pushed his tee shot into the crowd, where Mickelson was sure he must have hurt somebody. When he arrived at the shot, he spied a man on the ground.

“I thought I had taken him out,” Mickelson said. “It wouldn’t have been the first time.”

Mickelson chuckled when he saw his golf ball wedged in a hem at the bottom of the man’s shorts.

Of course, Mickelson made par from there.

With a 1-under-par 70, Mickelson scrambled to keep a share of the lead going into Sunday’s final round. He’s at 7 under with his new pal, Keegan Bradley, the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year who won twice last season, one of them the PGA Championship.

They’ll go off together with Bryce Molder, who shot 66 Saturday to move one off the lead.

They’ve got a lot of company squeezed in behind them. Talk about your L.A. traffic jams. This leaderboard is more crowded than the 405 at rush hour. There are 10 players within a shot of the lead.

“There are a lot of players right in it, within a couple shots of the lead,” Mickelson said. “It’s going to take a good round tomorrow, but I’m pleased I put myself in it.”

Mickelson called Saturday’s 70 a great round because “I did not play well, and I’m atop the leaderboard.”

The eighth hole pretty much summed up Mickelson’s day. He sliced his drive way left, through the stand of trees there and into a hospitality pavilion. His ball ended up behind a staircase and a bush. Even with relief from a man-made obstacle, Mickelson still had a difficult approach shot from 151 yards, through the trees.

When Mickelson took a whack with his 9-iron, Riviera went bonkers, fans whooping and hollering with Mickelson’s ball carving through an opening and winding up 14 feet from the hole.

“It was just a little 9-iron shot,” Mickelson said. “It wasn’t a big deal.”

That’s what magicians say when they make elephants appear out of nowhere.

Mickelson missed the birdie chance, but he kept scrapping despite too many wayward shots. He hit just seven fairways, just 10 greens in regulation.

Afterward, he immediately called his swing coach, Butch Harmon.

“I’ll get it turned around,” Mickelson said. “I’ve already talked to Butch. I’ve already got texts. I’ll go hit some balls and get it turned around for tomorrow. Today was a big day because if I didn’t fight hard and make pars from some of the places I was, I’d be trying to play catch-up.”

Instead, Mickelson will be trying to become the first player to win in back-to-back weeks since Tiger Woods did so three years ago.

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.