Notes Mickelson Singh Paired Together

By Associated PressApril 10, 2005, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Nobody said Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh had to play nice, just play together.
 
In a devilish twist, the two were paired for the final round of the Masters on Sunday, two days after a tiff over Mickelson's spikes. Mickelson said afterward the two had 'a great time,' but it sure didn't look like it.
 
They shook hands at the start and finish of their rounds, but that was about the extent of their interaction. They often stood on opposite sides of the tee box, not even looking at each other. They never walked together, usually separated by 20 or 30 yards. They didn't appear to say much, if anything.
 
Singles paired up on the local muni seem closer than these two.
 
'We had a great time,' the defending champion insisted. 'We laughed. We giggled. We had a fun day.'
 
Uh-huh.
 
'There was nothing like that,' Mickelson said when pressed. 'I don't know where you guys come up with that.'
 
Well, their confrontation in the champions locker room Friday might have something to do with it. Singh, the 2000 winner, complained to rules officials on the 12th green that Mickelson's metal spikes were too long.
 
Officials twice checked Mickelson's shoes, and no problems were found. But when the two were in the locker room during a rain delay, Mickelson heard Singh talking about it, and the two argued.
 
'It's not like you guys are saying it was. We had a conversation,' Mickelson said, getting testy. 'That's ridiculous to even bring it up.'
 
NOT SO EASY:
The only place Ernie Els was lurking Sunday was at the back of the pack.
 
A favorite when the Masters began, Els instead had one of his worst showings at Augusta National. He shot a 10-over 298 and finished 47th out of 50 golfers. He didn't break par in any of his rounds.
 
'It wasn't good, was it?' the Big Easy said. 'It just wasn't good. My game wasn't there and that's that. We'll move on.'
 
Though Els had the flu after The Players Championship, he refused to blame illness.
 
'I felt good,' he said. 'I felt my practice rounds were good.'
 
Then the tournament started. Every day seemed to bring a new problem with his game. One day it was putting. Another day it was driving. And yet another day it was his iron game.
 
'My game just wasn't there,' he said. 'One of those weeks.'
 
But Els doesn't usually have those kind of weeks. Not at the Masters. Though he's still looking for his first green jacket, the three-time major champion always seems to be in contention. He had finished out of the top 20 only once in the previous nine years and was sixth or better the last five years.
 
He was runner-up twice in that span, by a shot to Phil Mickelson last year after missing birdie putts on the final two holes and by three shots to Vijay Singh in 2000.
 
'I've got to work on my game, get my game in better shape,' Els said. 'And then I'll start looking at the U.S. Open.'
 
IMMELMAN'S ACE:
When Trevor Immelman's caddie tells him to change clubs, he's not about to argue.
 
The South African aced the par-3 16th hole Sunday after switching clubs at caddie Neil Wallace's suggestion. Immelman wanted to hit an 8-iron, but Wallace told him to go with a 7-iron.
 
The ball hit the right side of the green and rolled into the cup for a hole in one. Immelman screamed and jumped in the air when he saw the ball drop, then swung his right fist in a roundhouse punch.
 
'I'd like to look at the replay,' he said. 'Probably jumped 10 feet in the air.'
 
It was the second ace of his career, and he has Wallace to thank for the other one, too. When he made one at the Dutch Open in 2003, he switched clubs at Wallace's suggestion.
 
'That's why I pay him so much,' Immelman said, smiling.
 
The ace wasn't Immelman's only highlight. He finished in a tie for fifth at 4-under 284, his best showing in three trips to the Masters. It's also his best finish as a pro in the United States.
 
'It's a tremendous boost for my career,' he said. 'I proved to myself I can compete with the best players in the world, on one of the hardest courses in the world.'
 
BACK TO SCHOOL:
Luke List wants to get back to the Masters someday. For now, he's got school to finish.
 
Starting with a 9 a.m. class Monday.
 
'Women's Studies,' the Vanderbilt sophomore said after his final round Sunday. 'It's men and women in American society. It's a funny class. A couple of my buddies are taking it with me.'
 
If List has his way, he won't need the class - or any other - after he graduates. One of two amateurs to make the cut, List shot a 6-over 294 for the tournament, leaving him in a tie for 33rd.
 
Not a terrific score, but he finished ahead of former champion Fred Couples (295) and Ernie Els (298). And he had a couple of good days, shooting a 3-under 69 in the second round and closing with a 70.
 
'From the moment I got here, every round I played, every hole I played, the more I wanted to get back here,' said List, who plans to finish his last two years at Vanderbilt. 'I think I can be out here someday. This is something I want to do for a living.'
 
DIVOTS:
Thomas Bjorn had a dismal final round, shooting a 9-over 81 and finishing at 2-over. He dropped from third all the way down to a tie for 25th. ... Ryan Moore was the low amateur, shooting a 1-under 287. He finished tied for 13th, earning him another trip to the Masters next year. ... Retief Goosen's 5-under 67 was the low round Sunday.
 
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    Five-time Open champ Thomson passes at 88

    By Associated PressJune 20, 2018, 1:35 am

    MELBOURNE, Australia – Five-time Open Championship winner Peter Thomson has died, his family said Wednesday. He was 88.

    Thomson had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for more than four years and died at his Melbourne home surrounded by family members on Wednesday morning.

    Born on Aug, 23, 1929, Thomson was two months short of his 89th birthday.

    The first Australian to win The Open Championship, Thomson went on to secure the title five times between 1954 and 1965, a record equaled only by Tom Watson.

    On the American senior circuit he won nine times in 1985.

    Thomson also served as president of the Australian PGA for 32 years, designing and building courses in Australia and around the world, helping establish the Asian Tour and working behind the scenes for the Odyssey House drug rehabilitation organization where he was chairman for five years.

    He also wrote for newspapers and magazines for more than 60 years and was patron of the Australian Golf Writers Association.

    In 1979 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his service to golf and in 2001 became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his contributions as a player and administrator and for community service.

    Thomson is survived by his wife Mary, son Andrew and daughters Deirdre Baker, Pan Prendergast and Fiona Stanway, their spouses, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

    Funeral arrangements were to be announced over the next few days.

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    Gaston leaves USC to become head coach at Texas A&M

    By Ryan LavnerJune 19, 2018, 11:00 pm

    In a major shakeup in the women’s college golf world, USC coach Andrea Gaston has accepted an offer to become the new head coach at Texas A&M.

    Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Gaston, who informed her players of her decision Monday night, has been one of the most successful coaches over the past two decades, leading the Trojans to three NCAA titles and producing five NCAA individual champions during her 22-year reign. They have finished in the top 5 at nationals in an NCAA-record 13 consecutive seasons.

    This year was arguably Gaston’s most impressive coaching job. She returned last fall after undergoing treatment for uterine cancer, but a promising season was seemingly derailed after losing two stars to the pro ranks at the halfway point. Instead, she guided a team with four freshmen and a sophomore to the third seed in stroke play and a NCAA semifinals appearance. Of the four years that match play has been used in the women’s game, USC has advanced to the semifinals three times.  

    Texas A&M could use a coach with Gaston’s track record.

    Last month the Aggies fired coach Trelle McCombs after 11 seasons following a third consecutive NCAA regional exit. A&M had won conference titles as recently as 2010 (Big 10) and 2015 (SEC), but this year the team finished 13th at SECs.

    The head-coaching job at Southern Cal is one of the most sought-after in the country and will have no shortage of outside interest. If the Trojans look to promote internally, men’s assistant Justin Silverstein spent four years under Gaston and helped the team win the 2013 NCAA title.  

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    Spieth 'blacked out' after Travelers holeout

    By Will GrayJune 19, 2018, 9:44 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – It was perhaps the most-replayed shot (and celebration) of the year.

    Jordan Spieth’s bunker holeout to win the Travelers Championship last year in a playoff over Daniel Berger nearly broke the Internet, as fans relived that raucous chest bump between Spieth and caddie Michael Greller after Spieth threw his wedge and Greller threw his rake.

    Back in Connecticut to defend his title, Spieth admitted that he has watched replays of the scene dozens of times – even if, in the heat of the moment, he wasn’t exactly choreographing every move.


    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    “Just that celebration in general, I blacked out,” Spieth said. “It drops and you just react. For me, I’ve had a few instances where I’ve been able to celebrate or react on a 72nd, 73rd hole, 74th hole, whatever it may be, and it just shows how much it means to us.”

    Spieth and Greller’s celebration was so memorable that tournament officials later shipped the rake to Greller as a keepsake. It’s a memory that still draws a smile from the defending champ, whose split-second decision to go for a chest bump over another form of celebration provided an appropriate cap to a high-energy sequence of events.

    “There’s been a lot of pretty bad celebrations on the PGA Tour. There’s been a lot of missed high-fives,” Spieth said. “I’ve been part of plenty of them. Pretty hard to miss when I’m going into Michael for a chest bump.”

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    Pregnant Lewis playing final events before break

    By Randall MellJune 19, 2018, 9:27 pm

    Stacy Lewis will be looking to make the most of her last three starts of 2018 in her annual return to her collegiate roots this week.

    Lewis, due to give birth to her first child on Nov. 3, will tee it up in Friday’s start to the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Arkansas. She won the NCAA individual women’s national title in 2007 while playing at the University of Arkansas. She is planning to play the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship next week and then the Marathon Classic two weeks after that before taking the rest of the year off to get ready for her baby’s arrival.

    Lewis, 33, said she is beginning to feel the effects of being with child.

    “Things have definitely gotten harder, I would say, over the last week or so, the heat of the summer and all that,” Lewis said Tuesday. “I'm actually excited. I'm looking forward to the break and being able to decorate the baby's room and do all that kind of stuff and to be a mom - just super excited.”

    Lewis says she is managing her energy levels, but she is eager to compete.

    “Taking a few more naps and resting a little bit more,” she said. “Other than that, the game's been pretty good.”

    Lewis won the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in 2014, and she was credited with an unofficial title in ’07, while still a senior at Arkansas. That event was reduced to 18 holes because of multiple rain delays. Lewis is a popular alumni still actively involved with the university.