Notes McIlroy Mickelson have nice chat round

By Associated PressAugust 6, 2010, 2:31 am

WGC-Bridgestone - 125wAKRON, Ohio – Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson, a future superstar and a current one, were paired in Thursday’s opening round of the Bridgestone Invitational.

It was a big hit with the fans, and especially with the two players.

After McIlroy completed a 2-under 68 and Mickelson finished off a 66, they were already looking forward to playing together again on Friday. 

“Every time I’ve played with Phil, I’ve enjoyed it,” said McIlroy, the 21-year-old phenom from Northern Ireland. “I think we enjoy each other’s company. We chatted pretty much the whole way around. It’s nice, especially when you’re out in a two-ball. It’s nice to have a playing partner that you can talk to and have a little bit of a chat.”

Mickelson felt the same way.

“I do enjoy playing with Rory,” he said. “He’s fun, he’s interesting, he’s a smart guy. So we always have intelligent conversation. He’s really got a great demeanor – always upbeat, great to be around, not to mention his talent. I do enjoy playing with him and we get to play together again tomorrow.”

The two discussed building projects, of all things. Both are in the process of constructing new practice facilities at their homes and were comparing notes throughout the round on different designs, grasses and greens.

Mickelson was 2 over throught his first six holes and 1 over though 10. But he birdied five of the last eight holes to pull into a tie for second, two shots back of Bubba Watson.

The highlight came at the par-4 6th. He hit 300 yard drive, but overcooked his 170-yard second shot, leaving himself with a difficult, short-sided flop shot from 50 feet.

“I needed to get that up and down to maintain some momentum,” Mickelson said later. “I was only 1-under par and I was trying to keep it just a couple under. And when that lob shot went in the hole, it gave me a nice boost.”

McIlroy raved about the shot.

“That was one of the best shots I’ve seen this year,” he said.

Mickelson grinned when he was told that.

“Well, it was a good one,” said the dramatic winner of the Masters. “There were some at Augusta that I kind of remember a little more fondly than Thursday here at Akron. But it was a good one.”


BEST MOVE: Tiger Woods had a dreadful day, shooting a 74, but after making a 7-foot birdie putt at the 17th hole he bowed and tipped his cap – in two directions.


TWO THUMBS UP: A change in tee times at the Bridgestone Invitational made a big difference. Instead of playing off both tees in groups of threes, the PGA Tour decided to send players off in twosomes.

“We just figured we would try it and thought it would work,” said Slugger White, vice president of rules and competition.

There were 10 groups of two that started on each nine, morning and afternoon, and among other things it kept more players on the course at the same time for the gallery.

“It fills the golf course which helps the spectators, so they’re not sitting around for an hour waiting on someone to come through,” White said. “And the pace has been good.”

Players much prefer twosomes over threesomes for the pace of the round.

White said the tour might try this at the World Golf Championship at Doral, where the field size (81 at Firestone) is about the same. The only holdup for Florida in March, however, is that it gets dark around 6:30 p.m. In Ohio in August, they can play until almost 9 p.m.

“If you like playing in 3 hours, 40 minutes, it was perfect,” Adam Scott said after his 66. “The field is small enough that we should be able to do it.”


BUBBA VS.: Bubba Watson took the last two weeks off, playing only five holes of golf. But he kept plenty busy.

He shot an episode of “Inside The PGA Tour,” giving viewers a look into his life. He also spent time playing with family and friends on a lake in North Carolina.

Oh, and he also filmed a segment of “Shaq Vs.” in which the NBA’s gentle giant tests himself against other athletes.

“He’s not very good at golf (but) Shaq actually impressed me,” said Watson, the first-round leader of the Bridgestone Invitational after shooting a 6-under 64. “Shaq is an athlete; he just happens to be 7-foot-2, 300 pounds of pure muscle. His feel on the greens wasn’t very good, but for the first five holes he’s ever played, he impressed me.”

Watson wouldn’t disclose the outcome of the alternate-shot match pitting Shaq and Anthony Kim against Watson and Charles Barkley.

He did reveal something that wasn’t really a secret.

“Charles Barkley is not very good at golf,” he cracked to loud laughter.


TRYING TO BE INVISIBLE: Firestone Country Club head pro David Champagne was a marker for Sweden’s Henrik Stenson.

“My goal was to stay out of his way,” Champagne said.

Stenson struggled to a 79; Champagne was three strokes better.


SHORTER DRIVER: Mickelson was playing with a reconfigured Callaway driver. At the urging of his coach, Butch Harmon, Mickelson had the shaft of his driver shortened to 44 inches and made heavier by 20 grams.

“I seemed to hit the ball a little bit straighter with it,” said Mickelson, who hit 8 of 14 fairways and averaged 310 yards on his measured drives.


DIVOTS: Watson’s 64 matched the lowest round ever by a playing making his debut at the Bridgestone (Ben Curtis in 2003). … No player has ever won the Bridgestone in his first appearance. … International players have won the year’s first two World Golf Championship events (Ian Poulter in the Match Play and Ernie Els in the CA Championship). … Anthony Kim, making his first appearance after a three-month layoff following left thumb surgery, shot a 77. … Woods’ 74 was his highest score ever in a competitive round at Firestone Country Club. The previous worst was a 72.

LeBron's son tries golf, and he might be good at everything

By Grill Room TeamOctober 15, 2018, 5:36 pm

LeBron James' son seems well on his way to a successful basketball career of his own. To wit:

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Finally got it down lol

A post shared by Bronny James (@bronnyjames.jr) on

But with just a little work, he could pass on trying to surpass his father and try to take on Tiger and Jack, instead.

Bronny posted this video to Instagram of him in sandals whacking balls off a mat atop a deck into a large body of water, which is the golfer's definition of living your best life.

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How far, maybe 400 #happygilmore

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If you listen closely, at the end of the clip, you can just barely hear someone scream out for a marine biologist.

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Sponsored: Callaway's 'Golf Lives: Home Course'

By Grill Room TeamOctober 15, 2018, 4:20 pm

In this original series, Callaway sets out to profile unique golf locations around the country based on their stories, communities and the characters that surround them. The golf cultures across the series are remarkably diverse, yet in all cases it's the course itself that unifies and ignites the passions of those who play.

“Golf Lives: Home Course” focuses on three distinct home courses across the country – one in D.C., one in Nebraska and one in Portland, Ore. All have very different golf cultures, but are connected by a deep love of the game.

Click here for a look at all three episodes in the series, as well as past Golf Lives films (check out the trailer below).



And here’s a breakdown of the three courses in focus: 

FILM 1

Langston Golf Course (Washington, D.C.)

Opened in June 1939, Langston is steeped in a rich history. Known for its triumphant role in the desegregation of public golf, the course has been integral to the growth of the game’s popularity among African Americans. With its celebratory feel, Langston shows us golf is not unifies individuals, but generations. 


FILM 2

Edgefield Golf Course (Portland, Ore.)

The air is fresh, the beers are cold and the vibes are electric at Edgefield. You'd be hard pressed to find a more laid back, approachable and enjoyable environment for a round. Overlooking stunning panoramic views of northeast Portland, two par-3 pub courses (12 holes and 20 holes) wind through vineyards, thickets of blackberry bushes and a vintage distillery bar. All are welcome at Edgefield, especially those who have never swung a club. 


FILM 3

Wild Horse Golf Club (Gothenburg, Neb.)

In 1997, the locals and farmers living in the tight-knit town of Gothenburg decided to build a golf course. A bank loan, a couple of tractors, and a whole lotta sweat-equity later, their prairieland masterpiece is now considered one of the best in the country. Wild Horse is the soul of the community, providing unforgettable memories for all who play it.

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Pepperell likely sews up Masters invite via OWGR

By Will GrayOctober 15, 2018, 2:13 pm

Eddie Pepperell received a trophy for his win Sunday at the British Masters, but another prize will be coming in the mail at the end of the year.

Pepperell held on to win by two shots at rainy Walton Heath, giving him his second win of the year to go along with a pair of runner-ups. The Englishman started the year ranked No. 133 in the world and was as low as 513th in May 2017. But with the win, Pepperell jumped 17 spots to a career-best 33rd in the latest world rankings.

It means that Pepperell, who finished T-6 at The Open while fighting a hangover in the final round, is in line to make his Masters debut next spring, as the top 50 in the world rankings at the end of the calendar year become exempt into the season's first major.


Updated Official World Golf Ranking


Another player now in the mix for that top-50 exemption is Emiliano Grillo, who went from 62nd to 49th with a T-2 finish at the PGA Tour's CIMB Classic. Grillo has played in two Masters but missed this year's event. Marc Leishman moved up eight spots to No. 16 with his win in Malaysia, while T-2s result moved Chesson Hadley from 75th to 60th and Bronson Burgoon from 162nd to 102nd.

There were no changes among the top 10 in the latest rankings, with Dustin Johnson still ahead of Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy. Francesco Molinari remains in sixth, with Bryson DeChambeau, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth rounding out the top 10.

Both Koepka and Thomas are in the field at this week's CJ Cup in South Korea, where they will have an opportunity to overtake Johnson for world No. 1.

With his next competitive start unknown, Tiger Woods stayed at No. 13 for another week.

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USGA, R&A unveil new limits on green books

By Rex HoggardOctober 15, 2018, 1:53 pm

Following a six-week feedback period, the USGA and R&A unveiled a new interpretation of the Rules of Golf and the use of green-reading materials on Monday.

The interpretation limits the size and scale of putting green books and any electronic or digital materials that a player may use to assist with green reading.

“We’re thankful for everyone’s willingness to provide feedback as we worked through the process of identifying a clear interpretation that protects the essential skill of reading a green, while still allowing for information that helps golfers enjoy the game,” said Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior managing director of governance.

Players will be allowed to continue to use green-reading books beginning in 2019, but the new interpretation will limit images of greens to a scale of 3/8 inch to 5 yards (1:480), and books can be no larger than 4 1/4 inches by 7 inches (pocket-sized). The interpretation also bans the use of magnification devices beyond normal prescription glasses.

The USGA and R&A will allow for hand-drawn notes in green books as long as those notes are written by the player or their caddie. The rule makers also dropped a proposal that would have limited the minimum slope to four percent in green-reading material.

“These latest modifications provide very practical changes that make the interpretation easier to understand and apply in the field,” Pagel said.