Woods-Mickelson Sequel Possible

By Randall MellApril 10, 2010, 5:24 am

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Back when most PGA Tour pros were quietly saying they would rather avoid a pairing with Tiger Woods in his return to golf, Phil Mickelson said he would relish it.

How about in another Sunday pairing at the Masters? How about in the final pairing this year?

The enticing possibility lurks.

Through two rounds of the Masters, Woods and Mickelson are tied for third just two shots off the lead.

Saturday is setup day to make the pairing happen.

Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson is seeking his third Masters title. (Getty Images)
Apologies to Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood, the two Englishman atop the leaderboard after Friday’s conclusion of play, but would you fellas mind getting out of the way? For the good of the game? For the kind of Sunday that would be good for the rehabilitation of professional golf?

There’s no more compelling match-up possible for a Sunday Masters’ finish than Woods vs. Mickelson.

So much is still possible with so many quality players within five shots of the lead, but memories of what Woods and Mickelson gave us here a year ago make you want more.

Woods vs. Mickelson was the undercard in their head-to-head match-up in last year’s final round at Augusta National, but what an undercard.

Tied for 10th, seven shots off the lead, they almost stole the show in their heavyweight tussle.

Who doesn’t want to see that here again?

But with a green jacket the prize?

Mickelson shot 67 in their duel last year, Woods 68.

With Woods struggling with family issues in the fallout from his marital infidelities, and with Mickelson enduring the pain of seeing his wife and mother recover from breast cancer, the dynamic of the match-up would be fascinatingly complex. So would the reaction of golf fans.

But purely as players, the dynamic’s fascinating enough.

Woods is the dominant player of this era, maybe any era, but Mickelson can still carve out a place as the toughest foe for Woods. There’s still time for him to be what Lee Trevino was to Jack Nicklaus. The proof is in the upper hand that Mickelson seems to be getting in their head-to-head match-ups.

Mickelson whipped Woods in the final round on his way to winning when they were last paired together at the HSBC Champions event in China last fall. The last six times they’ve been paired together in PGA Tour events, Woods has posted the lower score just once.

Mickelson looked poised to make a run at the No. 1 ranking in the world with his strong finish a year ago, but he couldn’t keep the momentum going. He’s winless on the year coming to the Masters for the first time since 2003. Exactly how much a toll his family challenges have taken on him is unclear.

Still, Mickelson seems to be putting his game together here this week.

On the back nine Friday, Mickelson drove the ball with authority. We can talk all we want about his putting woes, but there’s nothing that gets Mickelson more fired up about his game than when he’s driving the ball long and straight. He’s doing that so far this week.

Mickelson squandered chances to take command of the Masters on Friday. He missed a 10-foot birdie chance at the 11th hole, three-putted the 15th and missed an 8-foot birdie chance at the 16th, and yet he’s just two shots off the lead.

“There’s nothing like being in contention on the weekend at Augusta National,' Mickelson said after posting a 1-under-par 71. 'There’s no better feeling in the game. There’s nothing you dream of more. I’m within two shots, I’ve played very well and I feel like I’m right on the edge.”

Mickelson and Woods are among five players at 6-under 138. Mickelson took 31 putts Saturday, but he isn’t talking about what’s wrong with his putter anymore. He’s talking about what’s right with it.

“The good news is I’m making all the short ones because I’m rolling the ball well,” Mickelson said. “I’m giving myself a lot of putts a chance, and that’s what I care about.”

If the stars align, if Woods and Mickelson somehow find their way into the final Sunday pairing, all of golf will care.


Getty Images

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.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

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.