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Phil on lost Torrey redesign bid: 'It makes no sense'

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SAN DIEGO – Phil Mickelson will start his final tour of Torrey Pines’ North Course at 9:30 a.m. local time Friday. It figures to be a bittersweet round.

Mickelson, the hometown favorite who is playing in his 27th Farmers Insurance Open, lost out on his bid to redesign the North Course last fall. The California Fair Political Practices Commission ruled that any individual or company that worked on preliminary designs couldn’t participate. Mickelson’s company had worked for three years on a vision, hoping to bring the canyon more into the design, eliminating acres of unnecessary grass and making the course more playable for pros and amateurs.

The North Course is used for the first two rounds of the tournament.

“It’s certainly disappointing for me,” Mickelson said Wednesday after his pro-am round on the North Course, “but I understand the politics of it all.”

Here he caught himself. 

“Actually, I don’t understand the politics of it all,” he continued. “It makes no sense. I think it’s terrible business practices, but it’s what we live with here. I’m not bitter about it. I just kind of learned to accept that as being one of the sacrifices of living in California.” 

Instead, it was 16-time PGA Tour winner Tom Weiskopf who is set to begin the redesign next week. He said Tuesday that he has not spoken to Mickelson about the project, but added, “I was quite surprised that Phil wasn’t chosen, to tell you the truth. It made all the sense in the world. I don’t know why he wasn’t.” 

“It’s certainly disappointing that I won’t be able to be a part of it,” Mickelson said. “But I think that Weiskopf has a great history as an architect, and I think that he’ll do a great job.”