Dynamic Duo

By Rex HoggardApril 29, 2010, 1:03 am
Quail Hollow ChampionshipCHARLOTTE, N.C. – Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods passed within 10 feet of each other just past noon on Wednesday here in the heart of southern hospitality without saying a word.

No need.

Not with the type of “War and Peace” body language alpha and omega had going on a cold, windy day at Quail Hollow. One was fresh from a third green jacket, the other a metaphorical triumph that has become easier to swallow with Magnolia Lane now a fortnight in the rearview.

“I wasn't very happy I lost,” Woods said. “But given a little time to reflect on it, it was an incredible week. I think it went as well as it could have possibly gone.”

Golf is at its best when Tiger and Phil are at their best, and by all accounts Nos. 1 and 2 have finished dancing around one another.

Since Tiger time began, Mickelson has been the hands down “best supporting actor.” But the show was always Tiger’s. Yet that reality, in a subtle way, has started to shift slightly and it began long before the fire hydrant.

In the last three events both have played (Tour Championship, WGC-HSBC Champions and Masters) Mickelson is 3-0. Lefty is 2.46 world ranking points behind Woods and victories this week and next week at TPC Sawgrass would propel Lefty into the top spot.

Mickelson has been closer, at least statistically. After his victory last year at the WGC-CA Championship he moved within a half point of Woods in the World Ranking. But even then one didn’t feel an impending tectonic shift atop the golf world.

Now, however, the vibe is different. The gulf that always existed between the two hasn’t closed, but there is a distinct feeling that it has narrowed.

It’s telling how each player spent the last two weeks.

Mickelson said he felt “isolated” as he spent time with his family and didn’t hide his confidence, “I have high expectations,” he said. And why wouldn’t he? His Masters three-peat was the perfect combination of performance and blind self-belief.

Asked if he’d watched any highlights of his victory Mickelson’s mind immediately went to his bold approach shot from the pine straw at the 13th hole on Sunday.

“I kind of looked back and saw some of the pictures, I was like . . . what was I doing? But it worked out,” Mickelson smiled.

While Woods still seemed to be searching for normalcy, both on and off the golf course. Even with the Augusta National storm in the books it’s clear it is not business as usual in Camp Tiger.

“There's paparazzi everywhere, at home, helicopters here and there, people driving by, paparazzi camping out in front of the gates. That hasn't changed,” Woods said.

But then it’s not as though karma has much interest in staying on script. Tiger vs. Phil Sunday showdowns are special because they are rare. As gifted as both players are the odds of them simultaneously answering the call are not in the game’s favor.

On Wednesday Woods looked “scratchy” in his pro-am round. He was experimenting with a new golf ball around the greens and an old one off the tee box that had an affinity for the trees right of fairways.

Hours later Mickelson walked off Quail Hollow after just six pro-am holes suffering from dehydration. In a statement released by tournament officials, Mickelson said he felt ill on Tuesday evening but expects to tee off for the first round on Thursday afternoon.

Simply put, neither top card looked Sunday ready. But from humble beginnings come great things.

Flash back to Wednesday at Augusta National. Woods was justifiably distracted by an uncomfortable return to the spotlight without a tune-up round outside the gates of Isleworth, while Mickelson had just a single top-10 finish in 2010 and appeared rightfully distracted by his wife’s ongoing health issues.

Both exceeded expectations, which has become the norm rather than the exception.

Quail Hollow is a major championship venue that both players enjoy. Ditto for TPC Sawgrass and Pebble Beach (U.S. Open), to say nothing of Muirfield Village (Memorial). The showdown may not be coming this week, but it is coming.

It was etched into both players’ body language even as the two headed silently in opposite directions on Wednesday afternoon. A collision of the game’s dynamic duo seemed imminent.

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


Masters victory


Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


Man of the people


Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


Departure from TaylorMade


Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


Victory at Valderrama


Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
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Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

Well, this is a one new one.

According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.