Mickelson gets visit from wife Amy

By Doug FergusonOctober 12, 2009, 6:22 am
Presidents Cup

SAN FRANCISCO – This was the 15th time Phil Mickelson has played in the Presidents Cup or the Ryder Cup, and the first time he came alone. His wife, Amy, is recovering from breast cancer and stayed home in San Diego.

Or so he thought.

Mickelson had no idea that when he returned to his hotel room Saturday night, his wife was hiding in the bathroom.

“It was an incredible surprise,” Mickelson said. “I didn’t think she was coming up, and she actually hid in the bathroom when I walked in the room. I didn’t know she was there, and she scared me pretty good. It was an awesome surprise, though.”

It was a treat for the rest of the team, too.

They had worn pink ribbons in their hat during the week to commemorate breast cancer awareness. Players and wives alike were surprised to find Mickelson and his wife at the team dinner Saturday night.

“It was pretty neat,” Mickelson said. “It was pretty emotional. Just everyone seeing each other was pretty cool.”

Amy Mickelson, who faces more tests over the next few weeks in Houston, did not make it out to Harding Park.

Mickelson said she can only leave the room for a few hours at a time because of her medicine that takes energy out of her.

“Couple good hours each day,” he said.

His wife stayed behind in the hotel during the Sunday singles, when her husband won the final match on the course against Retief Goosen. She was waiting back in the team room for the celebration.

“She looked great,” U.S. captain Fred Couples said. “All the wives were excited.”


JORDAN RULES: Michael Jordan helped the U.S. team win the Presidents Cup. Then some players went home with his jersey.

Captain Fred Couples handed out four limited-edition No. 23 jerseys to show his appreciation for a team that easily defeated the International team for the sixth time in eight tries.

One went to Tiger Woods, another to Steve Stricker, and still another to Anthony Kim, as a way to motivate the young player.

And one was given to Amy Mickelson, who is being treated for breast cancer.

Jordan was an unofficial assistant captain on the U.S. team, and he bonded with players from the moment they all arrived in San Francisco. He was a constant presence in a golf cart on the course, and an even bigger presence in the team room and at team gatherings.

Couples said the smartest thing he did after being named captain was bring Jordan aboard because he was a winner. And when asked if he had any advice to Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin, he had just one thing to say.

“Maybe sign up Michael Jordan.”

Jordan wasn’t on stage for the opening ceremonies so he wouldn’t overshadow the event, but he was in the closing ceremonies. And he came to the team’s media interview afterward, where he talked about the importance of teamwork.

“Obviously I don’t play in team sports anymore, but I’m glad to see that this sport has adapted to a whole team concept,” Jordan said. “Contrary to what people may say, there is team sports here in professional golf at the right time and at the right moments and the right events. So I’m very proud to be a part of it.”


PAIRING PANIC: Fred Couples was never obsessed with having the perfect pairing for the U.S. team, confident that his players were so good they could win no matter who they played with or against.

When he did make them, he said he found it a lot easier than what he thought. For Thursday’s opening foursomes, he said he and assistant captain Jay Haas spent just a few minutes figuring out who would play where.

Then came the pairings for Sunday’s singles matches, and suddenly the easygoing Couples was feeling uneasy. He thought International captain Greg Norman would try to front-load his pairings in an effort to win some early points since his team was down going into the final matches, and had trouble adjusting when that didn’t happen.

“A little bit last night Jay and I were talking, we didn’t want the pairings like they were. We were trying to go the complete opposite,” Couples said. “And I woke up at about 3:30 and for three hours all I did was think, `How are we going to do this and how are we going to do that?’ That’s the only night of the whole week where I worried about anything. I don’t know why. Just the other pairings were so easy.”

Turned out Couples could have rested easy. The first four matches ended in U.S. victory for an insurmountable lead. The Americans won the singles session, 7-5.


THE CONCESSION: For a final touch at this Presidents Cup, Vijay Singh was all square in his match with U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover as they played the 18th. Glover blasted out of a bunker to 7 feet, while Singh had an eagle putt from about 35 feet.

After the Fijian missed, he conceded Glover’s birdie putt to halve the match.

“We had already lost on the 13th hole,” Singh said, alluding to Tiger Woods’ cup-clinching putt. “It was kind of demoralizing. But Lucas played well. He would have made it, anyway.”

Glover said after watching Woods win his match – that gave the Americans more than then 17 1/2 points they needed to win – he and Singh were “pretty much ready to go in then.”

“It was great. It was a good gesture,” Glover said. “I’m not sure he knew what the score was, because he came up afterward and said, ‘I didn’t know that was for a halve. I thought I was 1 up.”’

Glover laughed as he said it, adding it was a fitting way to end the match.

“It was pretty cool of Vijay, even if he jokes around and says he didn’t know what the score was,” Glover said.


BACK IN 2011?: Fred Couples and Greg Norman said they wouldn’t mind returning as captains when the Presidents Cup is held in Australia two years from now.

It’s a natural for Norman, one of the greatest players from Down Under.

“If I was asked to be captain in 2011, yeah, I would absolutely accept it,” Norman said. “I think it would be a joy to go to my home country and a golf club that I’m a member at to go and try and finally win the cup back after 10 years.”

The only International victory came in 1998 at Royal Melbourne.

“Would I do it again? Hell, yeah, I would do it again,” Couples said. “Would I be picked again? I have no idea, but I certainly wouldn’t turn it down. It was … way better than any golf tournament, ever. It was that much fun.”

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Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

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Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

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Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”