Els Mickelson Bridesmaids Again

By Brian HewittJuly 19, 2004, 4:00 pm
I am thinking about Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson as the fallout continues to rain down from Todd Hamiltons brave victory over Els in a playoff at the 133rd Open Championship Sunday at Royal Troon.
 
I am thinking about how comparisons of Els second place finishes in major championships to those of Greg Norman are unfair on two counts. Els never ceded one to anybody the way Norman did to Nick Faldo in the final round of the 1996 Masters.
 
And Els never had one snatched away from him the way Norman did at the 1986 Masters by Larry Mize. Yes, Mickelson made that winning putt on the 72 hole of this years Masters to beat Els by a shot. But nobody was terribly surprised that the ball found the bottom of the hole.
 
Els has now finished one shot short in two of this years three majors. In the other one, the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, Els played in the final group Sunday but shot 80.
 
Els will be back. Hearing or reading that will be of little consolation for him right now. But Els has too much game not to remain a consistent major championship story line. One of the dreamiest scenarios would have had him making his 10-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole at Troon to birdie the final three holes and win by one.
 
We move on to next months PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin. Mickelson will arrive there having finished first, second and third in this years majors, respectively.
 
On Friday and Saturday at Royal Troon Mickelson missed a total of 14 greens. He got up and down to save par on all 14 occasions.
 
It was one of the more remarkable stats in a week full of them. I have watched the relationship between Mickelson and short game guru Dave Pelz blossom in the last couple of years.
 
Both share the common passion of examining things down to the most minute detail. Mickelsons father was a pilot, Pelz used to be an engineer.
 
Mickelson and Pelz are perfect for each other. And their modus operandi for getting Mickelsons short game ready for major championships these days is something you will likely see other players adapting in the near future.
 
Mickelson, by the way, is now No. 1 on the money list and the runaway favorite to capture Player of the Year honors.
 
He is also your early favorite for the PGA Championship.
 
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Related Links:
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    Schauffele just fine being the underdog

    By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 8:06 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following a breakthough season during which he won twice and collected the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award, Xander Schauffele concedes his sophomore campaign has been less than stellar, but that could all change on Sunday at The Open.

    Schauffele followed a second-round 66 with a 67 on Saturday to take a share of the 9-under-par lead with Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner.

    Although he hasn’t won in 2018, he did finish runner-up at The Players and tied for sixth at the U.S. Open, two of the year’s toughest tests.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “Growing up, I always hit it well and played well in tough conditions,” Schauffele said. “I wasn't the guy to shoot 61. I was the guy to shoot like 70 when it was playing really hard.”

    Sunday’s pairing could make things even more challenging when he’ll head out in the day’s final tee time with Spieth, the defending champion. But being the underdog in a pairing, like he was on Saturday alongside Rory McIlroy, is not a problem.

    “All the guys I've talked to said, 'Live it up while you can, fly under the radar,'” he said. “Today I played in front of what you call Rory's crowd and guys were just yelling all the time, even while he's trying to putt, and he had to step off a few times. No one was yelling at me while I was putting. So I kind of enjoy just hanging back and relaxing.”

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    Open odds: Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger, Rory 14/1

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 7:54 pm

    Only 18 holes remain in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, and the man tied atop the leaderboard is the same man who captured the claret jug last year at Royal Birkdale.

    So it’s little surprise that Jordan Spieth is the odds-on favorite (7/4) to win his fourth major entering Sunday’s final round.

    Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, both tied with Spieth at 9 under par, are next in line at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, both four shots behind the leaders, are listed at 14/1.

    Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at golfodds.com.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Jordan Spieth: 7/4

    Xander Schauffele: 5/1

    Kevin Kisner: 11/2

    Tiger Woods: 14/1

    Francesco Molinari: 14/1

    Rory McIlroy: 14/1

    Kevin Chappell: 20/1

    Tommy Fleetwood: 20/1

    Alex Noren: 25/1

    Zach Johnson: 30/1

    Justin Rose: 30/1

    Matt Kuchar: 40/1

    Webb Simpson: 50/1

    Adam Scott: 80/1

    Tony Finau: 80/1

    Charley Hoffman: 100/1

    Austin Cook: 100/1

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    Wandering photographer costs McIlroy on 16

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 7:44 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy bogeyed two of his last four holes Saturday to fall four shots off the lead at The Open.

    One of those mistakes might not have entirely been his fault.

    McIlroy missed a short putt on the par-3 16th after a photographer was “in a world all his own,” wandering around near the green, taking photos of the crowd and not paying attention to the action on the green.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “It’s fine,” McIlroy said after a third-round 70 put him at 5-under 208, four shots off the lead. “It’s one of those things that happens. There’s a lot of people out there, and it is what it is. It’s probably my fault, but I just didn’t regroup well after it happened.”

    McIlroy also bogeyed the home hole, after driving into a fairway bunker, sending his second shot right of the green and failing to get up and down.

    “I putted well,” he said. “I holed out when I needed to. I just need to make the birdies and try to limit the damage tomorrow.”

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    Kisner not expecting awkward night with Spieth

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 7:33 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It might get awkward in that star-studded rental house Saturday night.

    Two of the three Open co-leaders, Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner, are sharing a house this week near Carnoustie. Though it’ll be late by the time they both get back to the house Saturday night, they’ll have plenty of time to kill Sunday morning, with their tee times not until nearly 3 p.m. local time.

    “Everybody is probably going to get treatment and eating and trying to find a bed,” Kisner said. “I’m sure there’ll be some conversations. There always are. Everybody has a few horror stories or good laughs over something that happened out there. That will probably be the end of it.”

    One thing they’re almost certain to discuss is the weather.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    After three days of mostly benign conditions, Sunday’s forecast calls for warm temperatures and wind gusts up to 25 mph.

    “When you watch any TV, that’s all they talk about – how Sunday’s coming,” Kisner said. “It’s going to be a true test, and we’ll get to see really who’s hitting it the best and playing the best.”

    Zach Johnson is also in the house – along with Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas, Jimmy Walker and Jason Dufner – and he rode to the course Saturday with Kisner, with whom he played in the final group, at 4 p.m. It’s unclear whether the co-leaders Sunday will have a similar arrangement.

    This is the third year that Spieth and Co. have shared a house at The Open, though Kisner is a new addition to the group.

    “It’s the end of the week,” Kisner said. “Everybody’s got a lot of stuff going on. Everybody’s going their separate ways tomorrow. Tomorrow morning we’ll all sit around and laugh on the couch and talk about why that guy’s making so many birdies.”