Lefty Already Preparing for US Open

By Associated PressApril 18, 2006, 4:00 pm
USGASAN DIEGO -- Pardon Phil Mickelson for gazing two months down the road.
Lefty already has the U.S. Open on his mind.
Eight days after winning his second Masters, Mickelson re-emerged from family time to start focusing on the rest of the 2006 season. Having won the PGA last August, he's halfway toward the Mickelson Slam, as well as being the only golfer with the chance to win the Grand Slam this year.
'I had a great week, but this morning, I had my first workout trying to get ready for the Open,' Mickelson said Monday at a news conference at La Jolla Country Club, where he showed off his newest green jacket. 'The preparation for the U.S. Open starts.'
It's not that he's blowing off the non-majors. It's just that his perspective has changed after winning three of the last nine majors, following that dreadful 0-for-42 streak to start his career.
Mickelson will follow a two-off, three-on schedule through the U.S. Open. He'll skip Houston this week, then play in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, the Wachovia Championship and the Byron Nelson. He'll take the following two weeks off, then play in the Memorial and the Barclays Classic before the Open at Winged Foot June 15-18.
Mickelson said he spent the last week resting, even though winning his second green jacket was relatively stress-free compared to the first, and going to Disneyland with his family.
'I've loved every minute of it, but now I want to start looking ahead and see if I can break through and win my first U.S. Open, because I've been so close so many times and haven't done it, with three seconds,' he said. 'I'd love to win that tournament very much.'
Mickelson said he's settled into a routine in preparing for majors.
'I'll go to the course a couple of weeks prior and map out my strategy, how I want to play it, as well as the shots I'll be using, and try to practice those,' he said. 'So when I do enter the tournament, although it's a stressful week because it's a major and we want to win it so bad, I feel as though I'm much more prepared than in the past, when there was that element of uncertainty.
'I just have a lot more confidence that I'll be able to play well. Now, I don't always do it, but I certainly have more confidence that I'm able to.'
His wife, Amy, attests to the change.
'I don't think people realize how hard he works and prepares for this,' she said.
'I think the old Phil would rely on those amazing moments to kind of vault him along in the tournament, eagles and chip-ins, skip the ball across the water, whatever, bend it around the tree. That's the way he used to play majors a lot. It's good enough to get you in contention, but the way he manages his game now, he puts so much into preparing. It's very different. He's finally found what works for him.'
Mickelson said he might continue to carry two drivers in his bag for the next few tournaments, like he did in winning the BellSouth Classic and the Masters in consecutive starts. But he definitely won't do it at the U.S. Open.
Having heard that Augusta National was going to be tweaked again, Mickelson said he and Callaway began working nine months ago on a driver that was an inch longer and allowed him to hit a power draw to pick up 20-25 yards.
At the U.S. Open, though, the worries will be narrow fairways and brutal roughs.
'Especially now with the U.S. Open, there's just no intention for me to use that driver there,' Mickelson said. 'I anticipate more 3-woods off tees than drivers, so there's really no need for distance. As long as Winged Foot is, we've got to get in the fairway there.'
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Watch: Gary Player tires people out with sit-ups

By Grill Room TeamJune 24, 2018, 11:33 pm

Well all know Gary Player is a fitness nut, and at 82 years young he is still in phenomenal shape.

That's why it was incredible to see two mere mortals like us try to keep up with him in a sit-up competition at the BMW International Open.

Watch the video below.

The guy in blue makes the smart decision and bows out about halfway through. But give the other guy an "A" for effort, he stuck with Player for about 60 sit-ups, and then the nine-time major champion just starts taunting him.

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Japan teen Hataoka rolls to NW Ark. win

By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 11:07 pm

ROGERS, Ark. - Japanese teenager Nasa Hataoka ran away with the NW Arkansas Championship on Sunday for her first LPGA title

The 19-year-old Hataoka won by six strokes, closing with an 8-under 63 at Pinnacle Country Club for a tournament-record 21-under 192 total. She broke the mark of 18 under set last year by So Yeon Ryu.

Hataoka won twice late last year on the Japan LPGA and has finished in the top 10 in five of her last six U.S. LPGA starts, including a playof loss last month in the Kingsmill Championship.

Hataoka began the round tied with Minjee Lee for the lead.

Austin Ernst shot a 65 to finish second.

Lee and third-ranked Lexi Thompson topped the group at 13 under.

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Tour investigating DeChambeau's use of compass

By Will GrayJune 24, 2018, 10:09 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Bryson DeChambeau’s reliance on science to craft his play on the course is well known, but he took things to a new level this week at the Travelers Championship when television cameras caught him wielding a compass while looking at his yardage book during the third round.

According to DeChambeau, it’s old news. He’s been using a compass regularly to aid in his preparation for nearly two years, dating back to the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in October 2016.

“I’m figuring out the true pin locations,” DeChambeau said. “The pin locations are just a little bit off every once in a while, and so I’m making sure they’re in the exact right spot. And that’s it.”

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But social media took notice this weekend, as did PGA Tour officials. DeChambeau explained that he was approached on the range Saturday and informed that the Tour plans to launch an investigation into whether or not the device is allowable in competition, with a decision expected in the next week.

It’s not the first time the 24-year-old has gone head-to-head with Tour brass, having also had a brief run with side-saddled putting earlier in his career.

“They said, ‘Hey, we just want to let you know that we’re investigating the device and seeing if it’s allowable,’” DeChambeau said. “I understand. It wouldn’t be the first time this has happened.”

DeChambeau won earlier this month at the Memorial Tournament, and the Tour’s ruling would not have any retroactive impact on his results earlier this year. Playing alongside tournament winner Bubba Watson in the final round at TPC River Highlands, DeChambeau shot a final-round 68 to finish in a tie for ninth.

“It’s a compass. It’s been used for a long, long time. Sailors use it,” DeChambeau said. “It’s just funny that people take notice when I start putting and playing well.”

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Bubba fires 63 to win his third Travelers title

By Nick MentaJune 24, 2018, 9:52 pm

Bubba Watson fired a final-round 63 to storm from six back and steal the Travelers Championship. Here’s how Bubba came from behind once again at TPC River Highlands.

Leaderboard: Bubba Watson (-17), Stewart Cink (-14), Beau Hossler (-14), J.B. Holmes (-14), Paul Casey (-14)

What it means: This is Watson’s 12th PGA Tour win, his third of the season, and his third Travelers title. Watson picked up his first Tour victory at this event in 2010 – when he also came from six back – and won again in 2015 in a playoff victory over – guess who – Casey. Thinking he might need a round of 60 to scare the leader, Watson made eight birdies, the last of which came on the 72nd hole, giving him the outright lead by one. A short while later, Casey would bogey the 16th and 17th to end the drama and allow Bubba to breathe easy. With the win, Watson becomes the only Tour player to win three times this season. He moves to third in the FedExCup points race, behind two-time winners Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson.

Round of the day: Cink’s round was a stroke better, but Bubba earns this title for winning the title. The left-hander made the turn in 2-under 33 and then ripped off five birdies on his back nine to take the clubhouse lead, which he wouldn’t relinquish.

Best of the rest: Cink looked as though he was going to record the second sub-60 round at the Travelers in the last three years. The 2009 champion golfer of the year played his first 10 holes in 7 under par on the par-70 layout. Cink added three more birdies but also added two bogeys to settle for 8-under 62, tying the round of the week. The 45-year-old has finished T-4 and T-2 in his last two starts.

Biggest disappointment: Casey (2-over 72) began the day up four and couldn’t close. Even par on his round through 15 holes, he missed a 4-footer for par on 16 and found the water off the tee at 17, ending his chances. The Englishman, who ended a nine-year Tour winless drought earlier this season at the Valspar, is now 1 for 4 with a 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour.

Shot of the day: Watson’s wedge from 77 yards at the 72nd hole, setting up his eighth and final birdie of the day.

Quote of the day: “That’s the best shot you ever hit.” – caddie Ted Scott to Bubba Watson on his approach at 18