Notes Mickelsons new winning formula

By Associated PressApril 30, 2010, 4:08 am

Quail Hollow ChampionshipCHARLOTTE, N.C. – Maybe Masters champion Phil Mickelson has found a winning formula: get sick before a tournament.

In his first event since Augusta, Mickelson fired a 2-under 70 on Thursday to put himself in the mix after the first round at Quail Hollow Championship. Mickelson persevered despite being fatigued following an illness that forced him to withdraw from the pro-am a day earlier.

Mickelson was quick to point out he won at Doral last year and Torrey Pines in 2001 not long after being sick.

“The last two times I’ve fainted and woken up in a pool of vomit, I’ve won,” Mickelson said, smiling. “Laying there on the floor wondering where I am, a good omen came over me.”

Mickelson isn’t sure what caused this week’s 48-hour bug that left him dehydrated and needing IV fluids at the tournament medical center. He did acknowledge he started feeling tired walking up the 15th fairway, and he closed with consecutive bogeys that left him five shots behind leader Bo Van Pelt.

“I may have run out of a little bit of energy there toward the end, but I did hit some good shots and was able to shoot a decent round for the first round,” Mickelson said.

“I don’t quite have the energy yet, but I think this weekend I’ll feel great. It think it helps me pace myself.”

CLUB REUNION: Bo Van Pelt thanked his refurbished putter for not only his 7-under 65, but his returning sanity. Kenny Perry raved about finding his lost driver and his game after shooting 66.

The pair sit atop the leaderboard at Quail Hollow thanks to the familiarity of old clubs.

“I guess I’ve got a lot of good feelings with that putter,” Van Pelt said,

Van Pelt had ditched that reliable putter he had used for five years because it was getting rusty and dinged up. It touched off a dizzying stretch where he went through 10 putters of all shapes and sizes with little success.

“I was temporarily insane for about eight weeks,” Van Pelt said.

After missing the cut in Houston following 69 putts in two rounds, Van Pelt retrieved his old putter and had it fixed up and shortened.

He used it at Hilton Head two weeks ago and finished tied for third. On Thursday, he had just 26 putts after entering the week ranked 162nd in putting.

“It was good to have it back in my hands,” Van Pelt said.

Perry had the same feeling later in the day. He had taken off the shaft of the driver he won two tournaments with last year and put it in a drawer, only to forget where it was.

He recently found it, and used the driver and a belly putter to sit alone in second place.

“I was like, ‘Wow, where has this been?”’ Perry said. “It was a nice treasure I found.”

MORE CROWDED: The media tent has been expanded. The interview room is bigger, too.

But the media frenzy for Tigers Woods’ second tournament since his sex scandal seems to be missing from Quail Hollow Club.

Media director Lee Patterson said he gave out 353 media credentials, up from about 280 during a normal year. That did force officials to expand the media work area by 40 seats and move the interview room to an adjacent tent.

Most of the extra credentials went to national media outlets and television networks. Patterson said he denied credential requests to TV shows Inside Edition and Extra because they came after the request deadline. TMZ did not request a credential, Patterson said.

MAYFAIR’S WILD WEEK: Billy Mayfair likely took the most unusual route to get himself into contention.

Mayfair didn’t have an exemption into the field this week, so after finishing tied for 43rd at New Orleans, he was scheduled to fly to Charlotte Sunday night to play in the Monday qualifier.

Trouble is, he missed his flight Sunday. His wife, Tami, rebooked them on a 6 a.m. flight Monday through Atlanta. Mayfair awoke at 3 a.m. and arrived in Charlotte at noon for a 12:45 tee time.

“We hit a few balls, got rid of the airplane swing, hit a few putts, and off we went,” Mayfair said.

With his wife caddying, Mayfair shot 65 – including a birdie-birdie-birdie finish – to make the Quail Hollow field.

“I think I was still riding high from the week. I played pretty well in New Orleans,” Mayfair said. “Monday qualifier, you just fire at the pins and make as many birdies as you can, and you don’t worry about making bogeys.”

Mayfair followed that up with seven birdies on Thursday, shooting a 4-under 68 to sit three shots behind Van Pelt.

“I had a great day, drove it real well and had a lot of good iron shots,” Mayfair said. “I played very well.”

MAJOR FEEL: Geoff Ogilvy peered over and saw fans five and six deep jammed around the putting green shortly after he finished his round of 68 before noon.

“It feels like a major, doesn’t it,” Ogilvy said. “Look at the putting green Thursday lunchtime, that doesn’t happen every week. This is a really well-attended tournament by players and fans.”

With 11 of the 16 in the world rankings in the field, Quail Hollow has a top field. Ogilvy also thinks it has a course that could host a major. Quail Hollow officials haven’t hidden their desire to someday do that.

“It’s a course that feels a step above, challenge-wise, I guess,” Ogilvy said. “Even in good conditions with short rough, it’s still a really big challenge. So I think if we all turned up here and had a U.S. Open or PGA (Championship), it would feel like a normal U.S. Open or a PGA. It does feel like a major kind of place.”

DIVOTS: Parker McLachlin had a nightmare seventh hole, hitting four consecutive tee shots in the water to the right of the fairway before carding a 12 on the par-5. It matched Michael Campbell’s 12 on the sixth at Bay Hill for the worst score this season on the PGA Tour. McLachlin, who has missed four straight cuts, shot 88, worst score of the season on the Tour. … Defending champion Sean O’Hair shot 72. … Greg Kraft withdrew after nine holes because of vertigo.

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Watch: Rory finds trouble, and more trouble, and more ...

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 23, 2018, 4:33 pm

Rory McIlroy was in a must-win situation against Brian Harman in order to have a chance to advance to the one-and-done portion of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

And, as you can see, McIlroy did not get off to an ideal start on Friday.

McIlroy lost the third, fifth and ninth holes at Austin Country Club. Harman led, 3 up, at the turn.

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Watch: Stefani makes hole-in-one, has no clue

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 23, 2018, 3:18 pm

Shawn Stefani made a hole-in-one on the par-3 17th in the second round of the Corales Puntacana Resorts and Club Championship.

However, he never saw it go in.

Stefani knew he hit a great shot, and this isn't shown in the video below, but he just questioned everyone around him if they saw the ball go into the hole.

A Golf Channel cameraman finally gave him the news and Stefani responded with an enthusiastic thumbs up.

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Trio lead Kia Classic; Davies shoots 82

By Associated PressMarch 23, 2018, 3:01 am

CARLSBAD, Calif. - Laura Davies had a nightmare round days after contending for a title at age 54, and Caroline Hedwall, Jackie Stoelting and Hee Young Park topped the Kia Classic leaderboard.

Davies shot a 10-over 82 on Thursday at rainy Aviara Golf Club - four days after tying for second behind Inbee Park in the Founders Cup, and five days after shooting a 9-under 63 in the Phoenix event.

Fighting Achilles tendon and calf problems in her left leg, Davies opened double bogey-bogey-par-bogey. She bogeyed Nos. 9, 10 and 12, had another double on 15 and bogeyed 16. The 82 was the World Golf Hall of Famer's highest score on tour since also shooting 82 in the 2013 Marathon Classic. On Monday, she jumped 208 spots to No. 155 in the world.

Hedwall, Stoelting and Park shot 66 in the final event before the major ANA Inspiration next week at Mission Hills. Ariya Jutanugarn, also coming off a second-place tie in Phoenix, was a stroke back with 2015 champion Cristie Kerr, In-Kyung Kim and Nicole Broch Larsen.

Hedwall closed her bogey-free round with birdies on the par-5 eighth and par-4 ninth. The Swede played her final 10 holes in 6 under. Players were allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls in the fairways because of the damp conditions.

''I hit it really well and started making a couple putts in my back nine,'' Hedwall said. ''I'm really happy with how I'm playing and looking forward to the rest of the days.''

Stoelting finished with a birdie on the par-4 18th. She had seven birdies and a bogey.

''I hit a lot of fairways,'' Stoelting said. ''I don't necessarily hit if far, but keeping it in the fairway is super key this week. The rough is much thicker this year than last year.''

Full-field scores from the Kia Classic

Hee Young Park birdied the final three holes, finishing on No. 9.

''The greens are really soft,'' Park said. ''So, easier on the second shot.''

The 40-year-old Kerr had a bogey-free round.

''I like this golf course,'' Kerr said. ''I think it's a tough golf course and you can't fall asleep on any shot. I mean, it's just a really great course. The layout. The rough is high. You got to pay attention. I think that's maybe why I play a little better here than some other places.''

Jutanugarn closed with a 5-under 31 on the front nine.

''It's rain today and a little bit windy, but my irons help me a lot,'' Jutanugarn said. ''Just start to make some putts. ... It's pretty tough for me. I always feel like the course here is really hard because the greens really bumpy, and you're not going to hit far here.''

Lydia Ko and defending ANA champion So Yeon Ryu topped the group at 68.

Ko also played her final nine in 31. She missed the cut last week in the Founders Cup in Phoenix.

''I holed some really good putts on my back nine,'' Ko said. ''I didn't hit the ball fantastic, but just being able to hole some good birdie putts was key.''

She won the 2016 event at Aviara.

''This is a pretty tough golf course,'' Ko said. ''Putting is a huge key around this course where if you do miss a green, making those clutch par putts and then making those birdie opportunities that you get.''

Jennifer Song and Jeong Eun Lee also shot 68. Brooke Henderson had a 69, and Lexi Thompson a 70.

Inbee Park was at 71 with Singapore champion Michelle Wie and 2014 Kia winner Anna Nordqvist. Top-ranked Shanshan Feng had a 72, playing alongside Park. Defending champion Mirim Lee shot 74.

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With old clubs returned, Kim (and new clubs) starts strong at Kia

By Randall MellMarch 23, 2018, 1:53 am

Almost two months after her golf clubs went missing, the same clubs she used to win last year’s Ricoh Women’s British Open, In-Kyung Kim was happily reunited with them this week.

She fetched them and her golf bag two days ago at the Carlsbad, Calif., police department.

A man bought them as a used set from a sporting goods store in the area, with Kim’s LPGA I.D. still in the golf bag.

Notably, Kim celebrated with a return to the leaderboard Thursday in the first round of the Kia Classic.

Kim opened with a 5-under-par 67, though she didn’t use her newly rediscovered clubs. She stayed with the replacement set that she put together after her clubs went missing. Her Women’s British Open clubs never showed up after she got off a plane in Southern California upon her return home from the season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic.

“It was really difficult at first,” Kim said of getting used to her new set of clubs. “I really worked hard, like worked a lot, went to the factory like a dozen times.”

Full-field scores from the Kia Classic

Kim said she made several visits to the factory folks, trying to get the loft and lies of her new clubs just the way she wanted, close to the configuration that helped her win the Women’s British Open.

“They were like, `I.K., are you ever happy?’” Kim said.

Actually, only five of Kim’s “lost” clubs turned up with her golf bag at that sporting goods store. Still, Kim was happy to get three wedges, two hybrids and her golf bag back.

“It’s kind of good to have a conclusion,” Kim said.

Kim can thank a “What’s in the bag?” segment with Ladies European Tour TV analyst Alison Whitaker for leading to the retrieval of her clubs. Kim explained to Whitaker how her clubs went missing during the telecast of the HSBC Women’s World Championship three weeks ago.

A golf fan in the San Diego area saw Golf Channel’s telecast of that segment.

“One of his friends bought the tour bag,” Kim said. “The other friend knew about my story, and he was like, `No, dude, that's not for selling. It's stolen.’”

Kim was delighted to meet the men who returned her clubs when she picked them up at the Carlsbad Police Department.

“Just good for me,” Kim said.