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Mickelson shrugs off 5th Players MC in 6 years

By Will GrayMay 11, 2018, 7:38 pm

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – As it turns out, Phil Mickelson’s opening comments upon first returning to TPC Sawgrass this week proved prescient.

“I look at this course, I just can’t believe I’ve actually won here,” Mickelson said Tuesday.

Indeed Mickelson has had a spot in the champions’ locker room for more than a decade following his Players Championship victory in 2007. But his play this week was far more emblematic of his recent struggles here, as Mickelson shot rounds of 79-73 to beat only a handful of players among the 144-man field.

It’s the fifth missed cut in the last six years at this event for Mickelson, who now has gone eight years since his last top-20 finish here and remains vexed by the Stadium Course.

“I don’t know. I like it, it’s a very fair test. If you play well, there’s a lot of birdies out here,” Mickelson said after the second round. “But if you play poorly, the penalty for a mistake is much higher than any golf course that we play. I think it’s a fun challenge, I just haven’t played well. I don’t really know why.”

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Mickelson’s chances of making the weekend were doomed by a disastrous five-hole stretch to close out his opening round, where he played Nos. 14-18 in 7 over. With little chance of redeeming things Friday, he failed to break par once again despite racking up six birdies during a tumultuous round.

Mickelson cited energy issues following his opener that traced back to a taxing week at the Wells Fargo Championship, and he’ll likely make his next start in three weeks at the Memorial Tournament. After a disappointing showing in a star-studded group, Mickelson took solace in his overall play this season that includes six top-6 finishes highlighted by a win in Mexico.

“I knew energy was going to be an issue. I was concerned last week coming into this week, and unfortunately I was right,” Mickelson said. “But I have had a great year, and I’m not going to worry about two rounds on a place that has given me problems in the past.”

Mickelson garnered plenty of attention thanks to his marquee grouping with Tiger Woods, and while the performance of both players didn’t match the pre-tournament hype, Mickelson wouldn’t mind crossing paths with Woods once again at another event.

“I’m not opposed to it. I enjoy the challenge,” Mickelson said. “But I’d like it to be, I’d prefer it to be on the weekend. I hope we get there Saturday or Sunday.”

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McCarron closes with only bogey, shares lead

By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 8:49 pm

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Scott McCarron, seeking a second senior major title to go with his 2017 Senior Players Championship, made his only bogey of the third round on the final hole to slip into a tie for the lead Saturday with Tim Petrovic in the Senior PGA Championship.

They were at 13 under par after Petrovic, seeking his first major, shot 65. McCarron has shared the lead through three rounds.

England's Paul Broadhurst, the 2016 British Senior Open winner, matched the best third-round score in tournament history with a 64. He was at 11 under.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, coming off his first major championship last week at the Regions Tradition, shot 65 and was 9 under.

Tom Byrum, who made a hole-in-one in shooting a 67, was in a group at 8 under.

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Watch: Rose one-arms approach, makes birdie

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 26, 2018, 7:25 pm

Justin Rose appears to have taken a course in Hideki Matsuyama-ing.

Already 3 under on his round through five thanks to a birdie-birdie-birdie start, Rose played this approach from 143 yards at the par-4 sixth.

That one-armed approach set up a 6-foot birdie putt he rolled in to move to 4 under on his round and 14 under for the week, five clear of the field.

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McIlroy battles back into tie for BMW PGA lead

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 26, 2018, 4:09 pm

Rory McIlroy got off to a rocky start on Saturday in the third round of the BMW PGA Championship, including hitting a spectator and making a double bogey. But after that incident on the sixth hole, he didn't drop another shot, birdieing the final hole to shoot a 1-under 71 and tie for the lead.

McIlroy had gone into Moving Day with a three-shot lead, but Francesco Molinari had the round of the day, a 6-under 66. "It was nice keep a clean scorecard," said Molinari, who hasn't made a bogey since the 10th hole on Friday.

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McIlroy and Molinari will be paired in Sunday's final round. They are tied at 13 under par, four shots clear of Ross Fisher, Branden Grace, Sam Horsfield and Alexander Noren.

The Wentworth course ends with back-to-back par-5s, and McIlroy birdied both of them. He got a break on the 18th hole as his drive hit a spectator and bounced into light rough.

"It was a struggle out there today," McIlroy said. "I think when you're working on a few things in your swing and the wind is up and you're stuck between trying to play different shots, but also try to play - you know, make good swings at it, I just hit some loose tee balls on the first few holes. But I'm proud of myself. I stayed patient. I actually - I'm feeling a bit better about myself after today than I was even walking off the course yesterday."

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Watch: McIlroy hits spectator on hand

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 26, 2018, 2:58 pm

We never cease to wonder at how close fans crowd in to the intended line of some shots, and just how skilled Tour players are in not hitting someone.

But every once in a while, golf ball and spectator intersect, with painful results. It happened to Rory McIlroy during the third round of the BMW PGA Championship, after he had hit a wayward drive on the sixth hole. Attempting to hack out his second shot from under a bush, McIlroy struck a female spectator on her right hand. There was no official word on her condition, but she was clearly - and understandably - in pain.

McIlroy went on to make double bogey but was able to put the incident behind him, as he promptly birdied the next hole.