Mickelson Marching to a Record

By Sports NetworkFebruary 12, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AmPEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Phil Mickelson posted a second straight round of 67 on Saturday to extend his lead to seven strokes through three rounds of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am with a new 54-hole tournament record of 20-under-par 196.
'It's been a lot of fun so far. I love these golf courses, I love playing them the way I've played them,' said Mickelson. 'I certainly love being in the position I'm in.'
Greg Owen, who tied for fourth at the 2004 Q-School, eagled the par-5 18th at Poppy Hills to take second place at 13-under-par 203. Jose Maria Olazabal, Tim Clark, Kevin Sutherland, Andrew Magee and Paul Goydos tied for third at 11-under-par 205.
Mickelson tackled Pebble Beach Golf Links on Saturday, one of three courses in rotation over the first three rounds along with Spyglass Hill and Poppy Hills, and will get another shot at Pebble in the final round where he will look to win in back-to-back weeks on the PGA Tour for the first time in his career.
'I want to go out tomorrow and play a good solid round,' said Mickelson, who won the FBR Open last week. 'I've been playing well, I don't want to look at it any different.'
Mickelson was on a record-setting pace since he set the new course mark at Spyglass Hill with a 62 in the opening round. He established a new 36-hole tournament record on Friday and got right back to business in round three with a birdie at the par-4 fourth.
He drained an 18-footer for a birdie at the par-3 seventh and knocked his second shot within 12 feet of the hole at the par-4 eighth. Mickelson converted the birdie try to reach 18 under around the turn, but gave that shot back with a bogey at the par-4 10th after a poor bunker shot.
Mickelson was unflappable, however, and dropped his approach inside 6 feet for a birdie at the par-4 13th. He then played his second shot to 14 feet at the par-4 16th and sank the uphill birdie putt to move to minus-19.
At the par-5 18th, Mickelson ran his second shot down the fairway and lofted his third within 5 feet of the cup. The reigning Masters champion ran home the short birdie putt to secure a comfortable advantage with one round to play.
'I know the guys right behind me are coming after me,' he said. 'Right now I don't want to leave myself open. I want to win this thing tomorrow.'
Owen had an uneventful front nine with eight consecutive pars until his first birdie of the day at the par-5 ninth. The Englishman continued to play steady golf on the inward half with a birdie at the par-5 12th and another at the par-3 15th to join a group at 11 under.
The 32-year-old then hit a 4-iron within 12 feet of the hole at the 18th for the closing eagle to move into second place alone.
'You just have to go out and try to make birdie every hole,' said Owen. 'Phil is obviously going to need to slip up a little bit for me to catch him, but it's golf, anything can happen.'
Mike Weir, Darren Clarke, Jeff Sluman and Arron Oberholser share eighth place at 10-under-par 206.
Billy Andrade followed at 9-under-par 207 after a remarkable round of 63 at Pebble Beach. He was joined by Robert Gamez, Graeme McDowell and Richard S. Johnson in a tie for 12th.
The 36-hole cut fell at 4-under-par 212 with 64 players qualifying for the final round.
World No. 1 Vijay Singh capped off a disappointing week with a 73 on Saturday to finish at 3-over-par 219 for his first missed cut since last year's Buick Invitational.
Related Links:
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.