For Mickelson Its Family First

By George WhiteOctober 4, 2006, 4:00 pm
He must be the most reviled man in golf right now, this Phil Mickelson. If not for his poor record in this years Ryder Cup, then for his long-standing policy of shutting er down right after the PGA Championship. No, he wont play another tournament until next spring. If you hope to see him before the end of January, the last place youll want to look is a PGA Tour golf course.
 
The latest reminder that Mickelson is finished for the year ' absolutely, totally, irrevocably ' came last week when the PGA of America announced that Mickelson would pass up his spot in the four-man Grand Slam of Golf. Mickelsons victory in this years Masters guaranteed him that position next month in Hawaii. But Mickelson said no thanks to the easy money and the vacation in a tropical paradise, leaving the PGA scrambling to get Mike Weir.
 
Mickelson doesnt appear to care about the cash. After the recent Ryder Cup, he turned down the chance to play in the no-cut WGC-American Express a short hop away near London. He, of course, will be skipping another lucrative payday when the Tour Championship is played the first week of November. And dont expect him either at the Mercedes Championships, reserved for tour winners, come January.
 
Thats a guaranteed $320,000 he has/will pass up just for showing up, staying awake and finishing last. Oh well, $100,000 just isnt what it used to be, I guess.
 
On the other hand
 
There has to be something about this guy you can admire. I mean, he already has won in excess of $4 million this year, and probably has $10-15 million more in endorsement money. Career-wise, hes won $40 million and been awarded probably two or three times that in outside earnings. Come on, people - how much can one family spend? And at what point do you stop equating everything to money?
 
Mickelson has three children now, the oldest age 7, the youngest age 3. Mickelson chooses to work at his occupation eight months a year and devote the other four months totally to his family. Now, if you could make $20 million in one year, wouldnt you knock off after eight months and just enjoy doing what YOU want to do?
 
I havent talked to Phil recently ' in fact, no one has. Hes been incommunicado. But over the past couple of years he has given plenty of interviews detailing his down time ' which, admittedly, is considerable. He has candidly revealed his whereabouts the end of the year, what he does after he throws the clubs in the closet.
 
He takes his family skiing. He takes each child on a separate vacation. It's that one-on-one time that I really cherish that I kind of find out and I learn a lot about them, said Mickelson.
 

He and his wife take a special trip to celebrate their November anniversary. He does a few things for corporate clients, does some photo shoots and attends a few functions. And ' he spends time at home, doing what millions of men in America do. He relaxes. He has an income that allows for that luxury.
 
It would wonderful if he played in 30 tournaments a year instead of 20. It would be wonderful if he played all over the world instead of just the U.S. It would wonderful if he decided to play after the end of August, at least go to three or four places where they have never seen Phil Mickelson. But he doesnt choose to do so, and he is playing perfectly by the rules if he closes out his tournament schedule a couple of months early.
 
I think the big thing for me is that I need an end point, he once said. You know, I can go at it hard, with the idea that once you go to this point, you can take some time off. And what I like is that there's an end point now, as opposed to dragging on for 12 months and never having the point where you relax and say, OK, we're done for a while, let's take a break.
 
Mitigating it all is the fact that Mickelson and wife Amy give so much time and money to charity. Lets see, these are just the ones I could quickly find: he donated $250,000 of his own money ' not the tours ' to the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund, and plans to do so for the next four years; he gives $200,000 to needy children in the San Diego area (his home ' not only donates, but donates his time as well, shaking hands with 1,000 students); he donates $100 for each birdie and $500 for each eagle to Birdies for the Brave, which assumes the collegiate funding for the children of Special Operations personnel killed in training or combat missions (and he makes a contribution approximately every four holes he plays); he donates the same for a fund called Home for Our Troops, which creates accessible wheelchair spaces for injured troops; and regularly supports the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
 
So I am not overly critical of him for not playing in the fall. Hes gone to the starting gate 19 times this year, and while that is certainly not very much when it comes to PGA Tour players, that is far above the necessary 15. He plays extensively in California ' his home ' in the winter months, teeing it up in seven of eight weeks. I like the West Coast, he says. I grew up on the West Coast, I want to play those tournaments.
 
I think that you have to find as a player what works best for you in preparation, what works best for you in scheduling. I understand that I will and I have received criticism and will continue to receive criticism over my scheduling, over the way I prepare.
 
The fault, should anyone be blamed, is for the tour itself, not Mickelson. I firmly believe in having a rule that states every player must play each tournament say, once every five years. But it doesnt. And as of now, Mickelson is doing exactly what he is allowed to do, busy being a pro golfer, a pitchman for his sponsors ' and a devoted husband and father.
 

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More sun, dry conditions expected early at Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 18, 2018, 9:14 am

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – An atypically dry Scottish summer is expected to continue this week at The Open.

There’s a possibility of a few showers Thursday and Friday, but otherwise conditions are expected to remain dry with temperatures around 70 degrees and winds in the 15-20 mph range.

The forecast for the opening round at Carnoustie is sunshine with clouds developing later in the day. The high is expected to be around 70 degrees, with winds increasing throughout the day, maxing out at 18 mph.


Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


There’s a chance of rain overnight Thursday and into Friday morning, but it’s not expected to slow down the fiery conditions.

It’s been one of the driest summers in recent memory, leading to fairways that are baked out and fescue rough that is lighter and thinner than in previous years.

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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 18, 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 GolfChannel.com.  

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; GC.com=GolfChannel.com or check the GLE app)

Monday, July 16

GC: 7-9AM: Morning Drive (stream.golfchannel.com)

GC: 9-11AM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)

GC: 7-9PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Tuesday, July 17

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Wednesday, July 18

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Thursday, July 19

GC: Midnight-1:30AM: Midnight Drive (stream.golfchannel.com)

GC: Day 1: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 1: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 1: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 1: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Friday, July 20

GC: Day 2: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 2: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 2: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 2: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Saturday, July 21

GC: Day 3: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

NBC: Rd. 3: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 3: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 3: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 3: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 3-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Sunday, July 22

GC: Day 4: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

NBC: Rd. 4: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-2:30PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 4: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-2:30PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 4: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-2PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 4: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-2PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 2:30-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)

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The Open 101: A guide to the year's third major

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 18, 2018, 8:30 am

Take a look at some answers to frequently asked questions about The Open:

What's all this "The Open" stuff? I thought it was the British Open.

What you call it has historically depended on where you were. If you were in the U.S., you called it the British Open, just as Europeans refer to the PGA Championship as the U.S. PGA. Outside the U.S. it generally has been referred to as The Open Championship. The preferred name of the organizers is The Open.

How old is it?

It's the oldest golf championship, dating back to 1860.

Where is it played?

There is a rotation – or "rota" – of courses used. Currently there are 10: Royal Birkdale, Royal St. George's, Royal Liverpool and Royal Lytham and St. Annes, all in England; Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland and St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Royal Troon, Turnberry and Muirfield, all in Scotland. Muirfield was removed from the rota in 2016 when members voted against allowing female members, but when the vote was reversed in 2017 it was allowed back in.

Where will it be played this year?

At Carnoustie, which is located on the south-eastern shore of Scotland.

Who has won The Open on that course?

Going back to the first time Carnoustie hosted, in 1931, winners there have been Tommy Armour, Henry Cotton (1937), Ben Hogan (1953), Gary Player (1968), Tom Watson (1975), Paul Lawrie (1999), Padraig Harrington (2007).

Wasn't that the year Hogan nearly won the Slam?

Yep. He had won the Masters and U.S. Open that season, then traveled to Carnoustie and won that as well. It was the only time he ever played The Open. He was unable to play the PGA Championship that season because the dates conflicted with those of The Open.

Jean Van de Velde's name should be on that list, right?

This is true. He had a three-shot lead on the final hole in 1999 and made triple bogey. He lost in a playoff to Lawrie, which also included Justin Leonard.

Who has won this event the most?

Harry Vardon, who was from the Channel Island of Jersey, won a record six times between 1896 and 1914. Australian Peter Thomson, American Watson, Scot James Braid and Englishman J.H. Taylor each won five times.

What about the Morrises?

Tom Sr. won four times between 1861 and 1867. His son, Tom Jr., also won four times, between 1868 and 1872.

Have players from any particular country dominated?

In the early days, Scots won the first 29 Opens – not a shocker since they were all played at one of three Scottish courses, Prestwick, St. Andrews and Musselburgh. In the current era, going back to 1999 (we'll explain why that year in a minute), the scoreboard is United States, nine wins; South Africa, three wins; Ireland, two wins; Northern Ireland, two wins; and Sweden, one win. The only Scot to win in that period was Lawrie, who took advantage of one of the biggest collapses in golf history.

Who is this year's defending champion?

That would be American Jordan Spieth, who survived an adventerous final round to defeat Matt Kuchar by three strokes and earn the third leg of the career Grand Slam.

What is the trophy called?

The claret jug. It's official name is the Golf Champion Trophy, but you rarely hear that used. The claret jug replaced the original Challenge Belt in 1872. The winner of the claret jug gets to keep it for a year, then must return it (each winner gets a replica to keep).

Which Opens have been the most memorable?

Well, there was Palmer in 1961and '62; Van de Velde's collapse in 1999; Hogan's win in 1953; Tiger Woods' eight-shot domination of the 2000 Open at St. Andrews; Watson almost winning at age 59 in 2009; Doug Sanders missing what would have been a winning 3-foot putt at St. Andrews in 1970; Tony Jacklin becoming the first Briton to win the championship in 18 years; and, of course, the Duel in the Sun at Turnberry in 1977, in which Watson and Jack Nicklaus dueled head-to-head over the final 36 holes, Watson winning by shooting 65-65 to Nicklaus' 65-66.

When I watch this tournament on TV, I hear lots of unfamiliar terms, like "gorse" and "whin" and "burn." What do these terms mean?

Gorse is a prickly shrub, which sometimes is referred to as whin. Heather is also a shrub. What the scots call a burn, would also be considered a creek or stream.