Collegian Mickelson Wins 91 Tucson

By George WhiteFebruary 25, 2003, 5:00 pm
Tom Purtzer was 39 years old in January of 1991, a professional with nearly 16 years experience. Bob Tway already had won a major, that five years earlier when he won the 86 PGA. The Tucson tournament was 46 years old, having been around since 1945.
And in 1991, a collegian at Arizona State University in the greater Phoenix area was the toast of Tucson. A 20-year-old named Phil Mickelson defeated Purtzer, defeated Tway, defeated the whole field to win the Northern Telecom Tucson Open. In doing so, he overcame a triple bogey four holes from the finish, he overcome a three-shot deficit as he stood on the 16th tee, and he became only the fourth amateur in PGA Tour history to win a tour event.
The events didnt surprise Purtzer, who was the man who lost the most in this event. Had he been able to preserve his three-stroke margin in the fading minutes of the 91 Northern Telecom, he would have been the winner. Mickelson defeated Purtzer and Tway to win by the margin of a single stroke.
I told my caddie that Mickelson would win a pro tournament before he turned pro, said Purtzer. Youd have to go back to Nicklaus to find an amateur like Phil. Guys like Phil and Nicklaus and Tom Watson dont come down the pike too often.
Mickelson held the lead when the final round began, but lost his two-stroke bulge on the front side Sunday. Playing in the final grouping alongside Corey Pavin, he grabbed the lead back with birdies at StarPass on the ninth and 10th holes to go ahead of Tway.
Thats where Mickelson was when he got to the 15th tee. It was a par-5 hole of only 506 yards and he was anticipating a birdie. Instead, when he walked off the green, he marked an eight down on his card and was seemingly beaten.
Heres the anatomy of an eight: Mickelson yanked his tee shot deep into the desert and had to leave the ball to the rattlesnakes. He took his drop and one-stroke penalty and struck a 3-iron, again hooking the ball out of bounds.
Now hitting five, he loaded up a 9-iron, but it drifted into a greenside bunker. He finally got it on the green in six, then two-putted for the snowman.
A three-stroke deficit might as well be 10 strokes when you are only three holes from the finish line ' particularly to a young man who still had English class to worry about tomorrow. But not Mickelson, who proved to be not your normal college student.
Ive never seen someone come back from something like that, said Pavin.
Mickelson did, though, much to Purtzers chagrin. He birdied the next hole, the 16th, shaking off the effects of 15. And the men in front of him conveniently begin folding.
Pavin himself had a brush with the desert and fell by the wayside. David Peoples took a couple of penalty strokes and was finished. Tway bogeyed the 17th. And Purtzer, playing a hole ahead of Mickelson, was about to have trouble at No. 18.
He had only a 9-iron into the green, but plugged the ball into a front bunker. Then he compounded the folly by leaving his third shot still in the bunker. Finally he got the ball out in his fourth shot, but two-putted from 12 feet for a double bogey. From being ahead by three strokes when he began the hole, he left it tied with Tway and Mickelson ' who by then had birdied the 16th.
So the field had parted in front of Mickelson, and the college junior stood on the tee of the 18th tied for the lead with Purtzer and Tway. Facing a 454-yard hole, Mickelson nailed a perfect drive of almost an even 300 yards.
Facing just 149 yards to the pin, he arched a perfect 9-iron that stopped only eight feet away. Now came the putt
I stood behind the putt and I knew the break, said Mickelson, knowing very well the green that he had played on several times in college events. It was just a matter of rolling it in.
There was never any doubt that it was good from the moment it left the putterface. Mickelson, who has gone on to win 20 more times, had to forfeit the $180,000 first prize since he was still an amateur. But he has had more than enough paychecks to make up for the one he lost ' more than $22 million as this year began.
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Woods: New putter should help on slower greens

By Ryan LavnerJuly 17, 2018, 11:35 am

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods’ ice-cold putting showed at least a few signs of heating up earlier this month at The National, where he switched putters and ranked seventh in the field on the greens.

The mallet-style putter is still in the bag as Woods prepares for The Open, and he’s hoping the heavier model with grooves will prove valuable at Carnoustie.

Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“To be honest with you, I’ve struggled on slower greens throughout my entire career,” Woods said Tuesday. “So for me, it’s going to help on these greens, for sure.”

To combat the slower greens, Woods usually applied a strip of lead tape to his putter. But this heavier model of putter doesn’t need the extra weight, and the grooves on the putter face allow the ball to get rolling faster and hotter.

“You don’t necessarily have to do that with the grooves,” he said of the lead tape. “When I putted with the Nike putter, I didn’t have to put lead tape on the putter to get a little more weight to it. I could just leave it just the way it was. This is the same type.”  

For all of the talk about his putting woes this season, Woods still ranks 56th in strokes gained: putting. More crucial this week: He’s 102nd in approach putt performance, which quantifies how well a player lag putts.

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Woods: Open best chance for long-term major success

By Ryan LavnerJuly 17, 2018, 11:26 am

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods is more than a decade removed from his last major title, but he said Tuesday that The Open is the major that gives him the best chance for long-term success.

“I would say yes, because of the fact that you don’t have to be long to play on a links-style golf course,” Woods said during his pre-tournament news conference. “It certainly can be done.”

Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Woods pointed to the late-career success for both Greg Norman (2008) and Tom Watson (2009), both of whom challenged for the claret jug deep into their 50s.

“Distance becomes a moot point on a links-style golf course,” he said.

That’s certainly not the case, however, at the Masters, where bombers long have thrived, or the U.S. Open, which places a premium on long and straight driving.

“You get to places like Augusta National, which is just a big ballpark, and the golf course outgrows you, unfortunately,” he said. “But links-style courses, you can roll the ball. I hit a 3-iron that went down there 330. Even if I get a little bit older, I can still chase some wood or long club down there and hit the ball the same distance.”

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"Vantage Point with Mike Tirico" set to debut Tuesday, July 17 at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJuly 17, 2018, 10:15 am

Special Hour Complementing the Network’s Week-Long Golf Central Live From The Open News Coverage; Premiere Scheduled to Include Interview with 2014 Open Runner-Up Rickie Fowler On-Site from Carnoustie

Features Include Tirico and Curtis Strange Re-watching ’99 Open at Carnoustie & Jim “Bones” Mackay Facilitating Exclusive Conversation with Caddies Michael Greller, John Wood Recounting Final Round Pairing at 2017 Open

To help set the table ahead of The 147TH Open at Carnoustie, Golf Channel will premiere Vantage Point with Mike Tirico on Tuesday, July 17 at 9 p.m. ET. An extension of the network’s week-long Golf Central Live From The Open comprehensive news coverage, Vantage Point will revisit landmark moments in The Open’s history, uncover personal stories relevant to the fabric of the week and feature a roundtable discussion with past “Champion Golfers of the Year” on golf’s original championship.

“It’s a thrill to be going back to The Open again this year, which is a fitting setting to launch this new opportunity,” said Tirico, NBC Sports host who this week will celebrate his 22nd consecutive year covering The Open. “I love being a part of the Golf Channel team during golf’s biggest weeks, and anticipate contributing to our commitment to great storytelling with Vantage Point.”

Kicking off the premiere of Vantage Point will be Tirico’s exclusive interview with 2014 Open runner-up and 2015 PLAYERS champion Rickie Fowler on-site from Carnoustie. One of Fowler’s favorite events, he has missed just one cut in eight previous appearances at The Open. Other highlights within the show include:

  • Jim “Bones” Mackay facilitating an exclusive conversation between caddies Michael Greller (Jordan Spieth) and John Wood (Matt Kuchar) recounting the final round pairing at The Open last July.
  • Tirico hosting a roundtable discussion with past “Champion Golfers of the Year”: David Duval, Tom Lehman and Justin Leonard.
  • A recollection of one of the most unforgettable collapses in major championship golf, when Jean van de Velde surrendered a three-shot lead on the 72nd hole in 1999 at The Open. Tirico and Curtis Strange – both on the live tournament broadcast that year for ABC/ESPN – recently re-watched the telecast together for the first time since calling it live.


“This is harder to watch than I thought it was going to be. I’ve never seen anything like

that in my life. I don’t think we’ll ever see anything like that again.” – Curtis Strange


“I think I got caught up in the whole deal and felt human for the guy.” – Mike Tirico


Vantage Point with Mike Tirico will complement the network’s Golf Central Live From The Open, which will feature nearly 60 hours of comprehensive news coverage from Carnoustie. In total, NBC Sports will dedicate more than 350 hours to showcasing the third men’s major championship of the year, including nearly 50 live hours of the network’s Emmy-nominated tournament coverage – annually the most live hours of coverage from any golf event – spanning from Thursday’s opening tee shot to Sunday’s final putt.

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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 17, 2018, 8:40 am

You want to watch the 147th Open? Here’s how you can do it.

Golf Channel and NBC Sports will be televising 182 hours of overall programming from the men's third major of the year at Carnoustie

In addition to the traditional coverage, the two networks will showcase three live alternate feeds: marquee groups, featured holes (our new 3-hole channel) and spotlight action. You can also watch replays of full-day coverage, Thursday-Sunday, in the Golf Channel app, NBC Sports apps, and on  

Here’s the weekly TV schedule, with live stream links in parentheses. You can view all the action on the Golf Channel mobile, as well. Alternate coverage is noted in italics:

(All times Eastern; GC=Golf Channel; NBC=NBC Sports; or check the GLE app)

Monday, July 16

GC: 7-9AM: Morning Drive (

GC: 9-11AM: Live From The Open (

GC: 7-9PM: Live From The Open (

Tuesday, July 17

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

Wednesday, July 18

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

Thursday, July 19

GC: Midnight-1:30AM: Midnight Drive (

GC: Day 1: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 1: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

Friday, July 20

GC: Day 2: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 2: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

Saturday, July 21

GC: Day 3: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

NBC: Rd. 3: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 3-4PM (

Sunday, July 22

GC: Day 4: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

NBC: Rd. 4: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-2PM ( Day 4: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-2PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 2:30-4PM (