Mickelsons 59 Masters Grand Slam

By Sports NetworkNovember 24, 2004, 5:00 pm
PGA of AmericaPOIPU BEACH, Hawaii - Phil Mickelson tallied an eagle and 11 birdies on Wednesday to win the PGA Grand Slam of Golf with a round of 13-under-par 59.
 
'It was certainly unexpected. I mean, I didn't hit it great today and somehow I shot 59,' Mickelson said. 'So go figure.'
 
Mickelson finished the event at 17-under-par 127, five strokes clear of PGA champion Vijay Singh. Retief Goosen, who won his second U.S. Open title in June, took third place at 11-under-par 133 while British Open winner Todd Hamilton finished fourth at 1-over-par 145.
 
'It was incredible,' said Singh. 'After about the 12th, 15th hole, we were just watching him.'
 
The memorable round began with a par on the opening hole at Poipu Bay Golf Course, but Mickelson picked up his first birdie of the day at the par-5 second to start an impressive run. He then rolled in a long birdie putt at the par-3 third.
 
Mickelson missed the fairway off the tee on the par-4 fourth on a day where his drives were quite erratic. Everything else in his game was working, however, and he hit his second shot to seven feet for his third straight birdie.
 
'Today I didn't really feel that sharp off the tee. It was when I got on the surface, when I got on the green, boy, I was just able to see the line and get the ball to go in,' said Mickelson. 'It's a good feeling.'
 
The 34-year-old landed his approach inside 6 feet for a birdie at the par-4 fifth and played his second shot to 14 feet at the par-5 sixth. Mickelson continued his putting display and ran the ball in the middle of the hole for an eagle.
 
Mickelson, who was three back to start the day, hit his second shot to 8 feet at the seventh and converted the birdie try to take sole possession of first. He brushed off another missed fairway at the par-4 ninth and knocked his approach inside 14 feet for another birdie to go out in 28, a Grand Slam record.
 
The barrage carried over onto the back nine and Mickelson hit his second shot to 6 feet at the par-4 10th. He missed the birdie putt, but countered at the par-4 12th when he almost holed out from the fairway for an eagle.
 
Mickelson sank the short birdie putt coming back and hit another drive in the rough at the following hole. He left his second shot outside of 30 feet, but calmly ran home the birdie try to move to 14 under.
 
At the par-5 14th, Mickelson missed the green with his second shot, but played his third within 8 feet of the hole. Once on the green it was business as usual and Mickelson drilled the putt for his third straight birdie.
 
The reigning Masters champion drained a 22-foot putt for a birdie at the par-4 16th, but missed the green at the par-3 17th. Mickelson got up and down for par to head to the par-5 18th needing a birdie to shoot 59.
 
'I knew that 18 was a birdie hole, but I had to hit the fairway to really have a good shot at it,' he said.
 
Mickelson, who eagled the 18th in Round 1, hit a perfect drive and knocked his second shot 10 feet short of the hole. The left-hander had a chance to shoot 58, but two-putted for birdie to complete the historic round.
 
'I don't have any aspirations of really ever going out and shooting 59. It just seems to happen,' said Mickelson, who joined a prestigious group that features Annika Sorenstam, David Duval, Chip Beck and Al Geiberger. 'What I really want to do is prepare myself for next year, and know that 59 isn't the goal, it's to start winning tournaments. When you start playing well, things like this happen.'
 
Singh saw his chance at winning the event vanish on the front nine as Mickelson made his way into the record books. Singh collected four birdies over his first nine holes to make the turn at 10 under before finding trouble with a bogey at the 11th.
 
The top-ranked player in the world missed the green en route to a bogey at the 11th, but recovered with a short birdie putt at the 11th. Singh then bogeyed the 13th, but again countered with a birdie at the very next hole. He added a pair of birdies down the stretch for a round of 66.
 
Goosen held the lead after the opening round and hit a 4-iron to 12 feet for an eagle at the par-5 second. The South African added a birdie at the fourth, but cooled down from that point on with a lone birdie at the 13th on his way to a 68.
 
Hamilton struggled to a round of 75 to finish well off the pace.
 
'I actually felt like I was in everyone's way today. I've been struggling with my golf for a while,' said Hamilton. 'But these guys all played well, and Phil's round was spectacular. I don't think I've ever seen a guy hole so many putts.'
 
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    Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

    New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

    The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

    "Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

    It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

    Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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    Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

    SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

    Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

    Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.



    The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

    ''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

    Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

    ''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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    13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”



    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

    Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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    McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

    It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

    Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

    Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    “I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

    Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

    “Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

    This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.