TOUR Mickelson Going Back to Scottsdale

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2007 FryNext up in the PGA TOURs increasingly compelling Fall Series is the Frys Electronics Open at Grayhawk Golf Clubs Raptor course in Scottsdale, Ariz.
 
Locals know all about Phils Grill, the high-end pub located inside Grayhawks clubhouse. Its a tribute to local boy Phil Mickelson. And, Mickelson, the second ranked player in the world, is planning on playing in the event.
 
So the beat goes on.
 
There were doubters who wrote golf interest off after Tiger Woods tour de force victory at the PGA Championship in Tulsa in August that included a 63 on Friday.
 
There were doubters insisting the FedExCup was a contrived commercial venture that would showcase nothing more than tired players and yawning fans.
 
But the doubters had no explanation for a compelling duel between Woods and Mickelson at the Deutsche Bank Championship and more state-of-the-art golf from Woods at the BMW Championship and the TOUR Championship.
 
By the time Woods had strolled off into the sunset with $10 million in FedExCup deferred money the television ratings had soared 18 percent over a similar period last year. Steve Stricker, meanwhile, had identified himself as the once-and-future good guy/good story in the professional game.
 
Next up was the Presidents Cup where the Americans showed they can play team golf when they put their minds to it. It was smashing. Woods, Mickelson, Stricker and David Toms all contributed mightily.
 
And it was also wet and wild. Woody Austin fell into a water hazard and recovered in time to make three birdies before his clothes were completely dry.
 
Austin single-handedly wetted our appetite for next years Ryder Cup in Kentucky.
 
Then, two weeks ago in Texas, Jesper Parnevik and Justin Leonard staged a stirring battle in the final round that culminated in a Leonard birdie on the third hole of a sudden death playoff. It was Leonards 11th TOUR victory and his third at the Valero Texas Open. That latter stat ties him with none other than Arnold Palmer in a tournament that used to be called, simply, the Texas Open.
 
Last week it was another stirring fight to the finish in Las Vegas.
 
Now the TOUR comes to Scottsdale for the second time this year. In early February Aaron Baddeley won the FBR Open just down the street at the TPC Scottsdale. Meanwhile, both Parnevik and Leonard will join Mickelson in the 132-man field. The winner will take away $900,000 of the hefty $5 million purse.
 
And the fight to see which players will finish the season in the top 125 on the money list'thus securing their playing privileges for 2008'will rage on. After Grayhawk the TOUR will move to Florida for the Fall Series final two events. After the Ginn sur Mer Classic at Tesoro and the Childrens Miracle Network Classic Presented by Wal-Mart the official TOUR will conclude for 2007.
 
If the second half of this season, to date, is any indication, it will not be prudent to take your eyes off of professional golf for 2007 just yet.
 
Grayhawks Raptor Course is a Tom Fazio design of more than 7,100 yards in length. Next years Frys Electronics Open is expected to move to the Institute Golf Course in Morgan Hill, Ca.
 
GOLF CHANNEL will have all four days of coverage, beginning Thursday at 4:00 p.m. ET.
 
Related Links:
  • Fall Series Coverage
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes
  • Full Coverage - Fry's Electronics Open