Notes Tough Third Round Derails Lefty

By Sports NetworkAugust 7, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 The INTERNATIONALCASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- Phil Mickelson's run at a record third victory at the International was derailed by a tough third round Sunday.
Mickelson, who began the day in a tie for eighth place with 17 points, struggled with five bogeys and one birdie in the third round to drop out of serious contention.
The world's fourth-ranked player regrouped in the final round, earning nine points to finish in a tie for 10th with 23 points.
Mickelson's final round of seven birdies and five bogeys included a string of four straight birdies from holes 8 through 11. In the end, though, it might have been the 21 putts he missed from 10 feet or shorter that did him in.
Either way, he said he's feeling good going into next week's PGA Championship. Mickelson has been slumping since he won three tournaments, all before the Masters.
``This was a great way to get some rust off, and there was some rust out there this week,'' Mickelson said.
Retief Goosen and Jason Gore, who melted down together in the final round of the U.S. Open two months ago, each managed to pick up victories Sunday.
Goosen came from behind to win the International a few hours after Gore won a two-hole playoff with Roger Tambellini to grab the hardware at the Nationwide Tours Cox Classic in Omaha, Neb.
The win was Gore's third straight on the Nationwide Tour, which makes him exempt on the PGA Tour through 2006.
Playing in the final pairing Sunday at the U.S. Open, Goosen finished with an 81 and Gore shot 84. Things got so bad that, just to keep things interesting, they wagered $5 on who would shoot lower over the final three holes. Goosen won the bet.
``That's great,'' Goosen said when told about Gore's big win. ``He's such a nice guy and a powerful player as well. Obviously, that bad round hasn't affected his game. It shows you he's got a good mental attitude, and that's what you need in this game.''
Carl Pettersson's final round was as up-and-down as the fairways at Castle Pines.
The Swede, who began his fourth round on the 10th hole, recorded just one par on his front nine and a total of four pars over the 18 holes.
``It was good in this format, and thank God I had some birdies in there,'' he said.
The fourth-year tour player's round included six birdies, seven bogeys and one double-bogey. He wound up in a tie for 15th with 21 points.
Pettersson's round included a stretch of 10 straight holes without a par, from the par-4 13th through the par-3 fourth.
The International is still without a repeat champion in its 20-year history.
Rod Pampling was the latest defending champ to go down.
The Aussie finished tied for sixth with 24 points.
Pampling, who had 15 first-round points en route to the title a year ago, started this year's event slowly, recording just 15 points over the first three rounds.
He climbed up the leaderboard thanks to nine points in the final round. Retief Goosen became the event's 18th different champion. Only Mickelson and Davis Love III have won more than once here.
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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.