Notes Lefty looks for answers Toms example

By Associated PressFebruary 17, 2009, 5:00 pm
Northern Trust OpenFifteen of his 34 victories have come during the West Coast swing, but the fact Phil Mickelson has failed to break 70 this year does not mean its time for him to panic just yet.
 
Even so, Mickelson only has two tournaments left ' the Northern Trust Open and the Accenture Match Play Championship ' to avoid leaving the West Coast without a single top 10 for the first time in his 17 years on the PGA Tour.
 
Its been more challenging this year, for whatever reason, Mickelson said after he made a daring birdie on the 18th hole at Pebble Beach to make the cut on the number. He wound up tied for 55th when the final round was rained out.
 
Mickelson struggled with his driver at the FBR Open and missed the cut. He didnt hole enough putts at Torrey Pines and tied for 42nd in the Buick Invitational. And whatever progress he was making at Pebble Beach was halted with one bad swing.
 
Lefty birdied his first three holes and was 3 under for the tournament until he hooked a 5-iron with a left-to-right wind. The ball hit a cart path and went out of bounds, leading to triple bogey. It was his second OB in as many days' on the other one, he salvaged a bogey on a par 5 at Poppy Hills.
 
Im making dumb mistakes, a couple of squirrelly shots, I havent putted the best, Mickelson said.
 
Lefty has won on the West Coast seven of the last nine years, and he has had at least two top 10s on the West Coast during that stretch. The two years he won the Masters (2004, 2006), he had at least four top 10s in California and Arizona.
 
Mickelson is coming up on the two-year anniversary of when he began working with Butch Harmon, and while he lost the summer of 07 due to a wrist injury, there remains speculation that his two-coach system isnt best for his game.
 
Dave Pelz works with his short game and supplies more statistics than most golfers can digest. The long game belongs to Harmon, who is built more toward feel.
 
Mickelson has been around too long to worry over a ragged start, although he is starting to grind. In the hour before Sundays round at Pebble Beach was suspended because of rain, Mickelson was a lone figure on the range as he went through five buckets of balls.
 

 
TOMS' EXAMPLE: Over the last decade, there has been talk that some players on the bubble to qualify for a World Golf Championship would skip a tournament to improve their ranking.
 
David Toms faced such a dilemma last week.
 
He was at No. 66 in the world ranking, knowing that Pebble Beach was the final tournament before the 64-man field would be set for the Accenture Match Play Championship. If he sat out ' Toms had not played Pebble since 2002 ' his divisor would drop to 41 tournaments and his average points would be slightly higher.
 
I know if I play this tournament and I play well, Ill get in, Toms said before the tournament. Thats the way I looked at it. I was up in the mountains and I said, If I finish 65th and I didnt get in Id probably have that feeling that I didnt give it my best shot.
 
Heres how it played out:
 
With the gradual reduction in points each week, Toms would have moved to No. 62 in the world had he not played Pebble. Because he missed the cut, his divisor went to 42 tournaments and he received no points, losing all hope of finishing in the top 64.
 
And if he had stayed home from Pebble?
 
Three players moved into the top 64 ' Dustin Johnson, who won Pebble, and Anders Hansen and Charl Schwartzel, who went 1-2 in South Africa ' so Toms would have wound up at No. 65.
 
Ultimately, he set a good example of players on the bubble. Its better to play than to leave matters to someone else. Toms had a pair of top 5s this year in three starts this year, and would have needed to finish 28th at Pebble Beach.
 

 
FACT CHECK: Robert Garrigus either didnt do the math or has been listening to one too many tales about how the world ranking is biased against Americans.
 
I dont know if you guys knew, but Kenny Perry won in Phoenix and lost two spots in the world ranking, which is ridiculous, Garrigus said last week. I think that there needs to be some kind of change to that because if you get the top players in the smaller events, your world ranking points are better.
 
He then noted that Rory McIlroy won Dubai and went from No. 68 to No. 15.
 
In fact, Perry went from No. 15 to No. 9 with his victory in the FBR Open. McIlroy went from No. 39 to No. 16.
 
Garrigus probably doesnt realize that the FBR Open actually offered more world ranking points than Dubai.
 

 
MIA: Anthony Kim grew up in Los Angeles and spent his last few years of high school in the Palm Springs area. But the West Coast swing will end without Kim at either of the PGA Tour stops in his hometowns.
 
He missed the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic with a shoulder injury, leaving Mark Calcavecchia to quip, Has he heard of Advil?
 
More peculiar is how Kim could miss the Northern Trust Open at Riviera. Instead, he is playing on the European Tour for the second straight week, this time at the Johnnie Walker Classic in Perth, Australia.
 
Kim has played only twice on the PGA Tour this year, tying for second in Kapalua and missing the cut in Phoenix.
 

 
DIVOTS: Art Spander, a longtime columnist in the Bay Area, will receive the 2009 PGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism. Spander first covered the Masters in 1967, and he has written from 120 major championships. He will be honored April 8 in Augusta, Ga., at the Golf Writers Association of Americas annual awards dinner. The Northern Trust Open has seven of the top 15 players in the world. There were 12 of the top 15 at Riviera last year, a number that trailed only the four majors, three World Golf Championships and The Players Championship. Renowned saxophonist Kenny G will sponsor the pro-am at the Honda Classic. As part of the deal, he also will perform on the 18th green before the winner gets his trophy.
 

 
STAT OF THE WEEK: Europe has more players (20) than the United States (17) in the Accenture Match Play Championship for the first time since it began in 1999. In the first year, there were 40 Americans and 11 Europeans.
 

 
FINAL WORD: When I was 15 years of age and I made it onto the Irish boys golf team, I thought I was famous. My picture was in the paper. Gradually, it has crept up. ' Three-time major winner Padraig Harrington.
 

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    Watch: Na punctuates caddie tiff with hole-out

    Microphones captured a fascinating and testy exchange between Kevin Na and his caddie, Kenny Harms, on Na's final hole, No. 9.

    Na was in the right rough, 185 yards from the green, which was guarded by water. He vacillated between a hybrid and an iron, but with either club he would have to hit "a 40-yard cut," as Harms termed it.

    "Over the green's dead," Harms warned.

    "It's not gonna go over the green, Kenny," Na replied.

    Na finally settled on an iron and said to Harms, "As long as you're OK with this club."

    "I'm not," harms replied. "I'm not OK with either one of them."

    "I'm going with this," Na ended the discussion.

    He missed the green with his approach shot, but avoided the water. After taking a free drop away from some TV cables, he had 92 feet 3 inches to the cup and of course, holed the pitch shot for a birdie-3, a 62 and a one-shot lead at the end of the first round.

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    Na (62) leads Hoffman by one at Colonial

    By Nick MentaMay 24, 2018, 10:38 pm

    Kevin Na leads the Fort Worth Invitational by one over Charley Hoffman following a first-round 8-under 62. Here's where things stand through 18 holes at Colonial.

    Leaderboard: Na (-8), Hoffman (-7), Emiliano Grillo (-6), Jhonattan Vegas (-6), Andrew Putnam (-6), Beau Hossler (-6)

    What it means: The veteran Na is in search of just his second PGA Tour victory in 367 events played. The 34-year-old's lone victory came at the 2011 Shriners to go along with nine runner-ups, the most recent of which was a tie for second at this year's Genesis Open. Na missed three straight cuts in April but has rallied back with a weekend stay at The Players and a T-6 at last week's Byron Nelson. Ranked 75th in the world, he is not currently qualified for the U.S. Open or the Open Championship. 

    Round of the day: Na turned in a clean card Thursday with six birdies and an eagle at the par-5 first, his 10th hole of the day. He closed with a chip-in birdie at No. 9 following a friendly disagreement with his caddie (more on that below). 

    Best of the rest: Hoffman was likewise bogey-free, drawing seven circles. The four-time Tour winner and typically steady performer has yet to register a top-10 finish this season.

    Biggest disappointment: Not that a round of 1 under is tragically disappointing, but Jordan Spieth has a pretty solid history of going low at this event and contending for the title. He's seven back through Round 1.

    Shot of the day: Satoshi Kodaira recorded the second albatross in tournament history when he holed a 3-iron from 234 yards at the first.

    Honorable mention: Na got into a pretty good back-and-forth with his caddie about whether to lay up or try to clear the water from the right rough at No. 9. Na went for it, avoided hazard, and holed this chip for birdie. 

    Quote of the day: "I told you." - Na, after his chip-in

    Golf Channel's NCAA Golf Coverage Continues Mon-Wed., May 28-30 With the NCAA Men's Golf Championships

    By Golf Channel Public RelationsMay 24, 2018, 10:24 pm

    Two National Championships to be Decided Over a Three-Day Span – Individual (Mon., May 28) and Team (Wed., May 30)

     Eight of the Top-10 Ranked Programs in the Country Set to Compete; Reigning NCAA Men’s National Champions Oklahoma and Current Top-Ranked Oklahoma State Paired Together Starting Friday

     Buick and Stifel Co-Presenting Sponsors of Golf Channel’s Coverage of the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships

    ORLANDO, Fla., May 24, 2018 – Coming on the heels of Wednesday’s dramatic championship match where Arizona defeated Alabama in a playoff to claim their third women’s golf team national championship, Golf Channel returns to Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla. next week for the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf National Championships. Taking place Monday-Wednesday, May 28-30, Golf Channel’s coverage will feature nearly 30 hours of live tournament and on-site wraparound news coverage, showcasing the top men’s college golf programs in the country.

    NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage: Coverage begins on Monday, May 28 to crown the individual national champion and to track the teams attempting to qualify for the eight-team match play championship. Golf Channel’s coverage on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 29-30 will include all three rounds of the team match play, ultimately crowning a team national champion.

    In addition, Golf Central will surround live tournament action with pre-and post-event news coverage produced on-site at Karsten Creek Golf Club, as well as daily news updates on Morning Drive and online via Golf Channel Digital. News and tournament coverage also will be live streamed on Golf Channel Digital. College Central, Golf Channel’s online home for college golf, will provide comprehensive editorial coverage throughout the championships.

    Golf Channel NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage (all times ET)

    Monday, May   28

    Individual   National Championship

    4-8 p.m.   (Live)

    Tuesday, May   29

    Quarterfinals,   Team Match Play

    11   a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)

    Tuesday,   May 29

    Semifinals,   Team Match Play

    4-8 p.m.   (Live)

    Wednesday, May   30

    Team Match   Play National Championship

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    Stifel and Buick Sign on as Co-Presenting Sponsors for Golf Channel’s NCAA Golf Championships Tournament Coverage: New for 2018, Stifel Financial Corp. and Buick have signed on as co-presenting sponsors for Golf Channel’s tournament coverage of the 2018 NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships. In addition, Stifel has extended its partnership with the Fred Haskins Commission, Golf Channel and Golfweek as presenting sponsor of the Fred Haskins Award, given annually to nation’s outstanding male collegiate golfer.Golf Channel will announce the Fred Haskins Award presented by Stifel following the conclusion of the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships, on a live edition of Golf Central, Wednesday, June 6 at 6 p.m. ET. The show will include profiles on the top candidates for the award and a live interview with the winner, who also will receive an exemption to compete in the 2018 Greenbrier Classic on the PGA TOUR. The Haskins Award honors the nation’s most outstanding male Division I collegiate golfer as selected by his peers, coaches and the golf media.

    Semifinal Teams in Match Play to Receive Invitations to Compete in East Lake Cup: The East Lake Cup, taking place in late October at historic East Lake Golf Club, will feature the top-performing teams from the 2018 NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships. Invitations for the field have been extended to Arizona, Alabama, Southern California and Stanford – semifinalists in the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships, and also will be extended to the semifinalists in the Men’s Championships. Modeled after the NCAA Golf Championships, the format for the East Lake Cup consists of an opening round of stroke play to crown an individual male and female champion and determine seeding for the following two days of match play competition. Golf Channel will air live coverage of the East Lake Cup Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 29-31.

    College Central – Golf Channel Digital Coverage: Golf Channel will provide comprehensive coverage via College Central,Golf Channel Digital’s home for college golf. Led by Jay Coffin, and Ryan Lavner, College Central will be the source for all things college golf, including tournament results and scores, features and columns, video highlights and breaking news.

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    Country singer Owen shoots 86 in Web.com debut

    By Will GrayMay 24, 2018, 7:51 pm

    Country music star Jake Owen struggled in his Web.com Tour debut, shooting a 14-over 86 in the opening round of the Nashville Golf Open.

    Owen, who played as a 1 handicap earlier this year while teaming with Jordan Spieth at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, put three balls out of bounds over his first nine holes, including two en route to a quadruple-bogey 9 on the par-5 18th hole. After making the turn in 46, Owen came home in 40 without making a single birdie.

    Owen is playing as an amateur on an unrestricted sponsor exemption, the same type used by NBA superstar Steph Curry on the Web.com Tour last year and by former NFL quarterback Tony Romo this year on the PGA Tour. Curry missed the cut after rounds of 74-74 at the Ellie Mae Classic, while Romo shot 77-82 at the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship.


    Full-field scores from the Nashville Golf Open


    Owen tallied nine pars, six bogeys, two doubles and a quad in his opener and was the only player from the morning wave who failed to break 80. The closest player to him in the standings was two-time major champ Angel Cabrera, who opened with a 79.

    While Owen struggled against a field full of professionals, he took the setback in stride and even took to Twitter in the middle of his round to fire back at some of his online critics: