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Retiring Miyazato 'felt so much love from everyone'

By Randall MellSeptember 17, 2017, 8:37 pm

Ai Miyazato didn’t feel sad when it was all over.

After holing out for par Sunday at the Evian Championship in her final round before retiring, she beamed with a smile that wouldn’t go away.

She hugged her longtime caddie, Mick Seaborn, who has been with her through the success and the struggles, and then she walked off the green to fall into the embrace of one admirer after another.

Hall of Famer Gary Player wrapped his arms around her first after she left the 18th green. He also handed her flowers.

Paula Creamer and Yani Tseng were among the legion of friends waiting to greet her.

“Honestly, I'm so happy right now,” Miyazato said. “After the 18th, after I made the putt, I felt so much love from everyone.”

Miyazato said seeing Player there added to the special nature of her farewell.


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Full-field scores from the Evian Championship


“That was the first time I met him,” Miyazato said. “That means a lot to me. That was a great surprise, and it was an honor to meet him in person. It was a great moment, and I'll never forget it.”

Miyazato, 32, made her farewell more special making the cut, extending her appearance until Sunday. The former world No. 1, a superstar back in her Japanese homeland, isn’t sure what the next chapter of her life will hold, but she said she will relish her memories and the people she met along the way.

Miyazato joined the American-based LPGA in ’06. She won the first of her nine LPGA titles at Evian in ’09. While she ascended to world No. 1 a year later, there would be some struggles after. Ultimately, she said rekindling the ambition that drove her to the top of the game was a challenge she no longer relished. It’s why she decided to retire. 

“Looking back now, I had a great time, and I'm glad I came to the U.S. and challenged all the things,” Miyazato said. “I feel so proud of myself. I got through so many things. Of course, I had so much up and downs, too. I have a great team, my agent and my caddie, Mick, they are always there for me and supported me. I couldn't go through all the things just by myself. I think I was so lucky to have my team.”

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Phil tries to negotiate a shot a side for Tiger match

By Ryan LavnerSeptember 25, 2018, 2:58 pm

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – Phil Mickelson is probably thankful his long-awaited showdown with Tiger Woods isn’t next week.

He’s not sure it’d be a fair fight.

Last week at the Tour Championship, Woods won his first event in five years while Mickelson finished last in the 30-man field, a whopping 24 strokes behind.

The quality of Woods’ play of late (and Mickelson’s recent struggles) prompted Lefty to begin early negotiations Tuesday at the Ryder Cup.

“I’m trying to negotiate a shot a side,” Mickelson said, chuckling. “It didn’t go over well, but I’m still working on it. I’ve got some negotiating to do, given how well he played last week.”

Right now, Woods is significantly favored (-220) in the match at Shadow Creek.

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Phil on pairing with Tiger: 'I think we'd both welcome it'

By Ryan LavnerSeptember 25, 2018, 2:46 pm

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – Fourteen years later, Phil Mickelson said that he’d be open to teaming again with Tiger Woods at the Ryder Cup.

“I think we would both welcome it,” Mickelson said Tuesday. “I think we would both welcome it.”

Asked whether he thinks it’ll actually happen, Mickelson smiled. “I do have an idea of what Captain (Jim) Furyk is thinking, yeah.”

It’d be a remarkable pairing – again – for America’s two most popular players.

Captain Hal Sutton infamously put the pair together in 2004 at Oakland Hills, when they were Nos. 1 and 2 in the world and nowhere near as friendly as they are now. They failed spectacularly, going 0-2 en route to a blowout loss by the Americans.


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Earlier this year, during an interview on Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive,” Furyk shot down any prospect of a Tiger-Phil pairing. “I hope they’re both watching, because they just fell off the couch laughing,” he said. “I wouldn’t guess that would be a good idea as a captain, I’m just saying.”

The two stars’ relationship has improved dramatically over the past few years, beginning with the decision to put both on the Ryder Cup task force. During that time together, Mickelson said, “we realized that we both have a lot more in common than we thought, and I think we both have really come to appreciate working together to achieve things.”

They’ve worked together so well, and so often now, that Woods and Mickelson will now play in a pay-per-view, 18-hole match during Thanksgiving weekend in Las Vegas.

Though Furyk said that the practice-round groups Tuesday were focused more on putting players who hadn’t seen Le Golf National with at least one who has, there were some obvious partnerships who went out together.

Woods was grouped with Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed. Rounding out the foursome? Mickelson.

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Tiger Tracker: 42nd Ryder Cup

By Tiger TrackerSeptember 25, 2018, 1:15 pm

Fresh off his 80th PGA Tour victory at the Tour Championship, Tiger Woods is competing in his first Ryder Cup since 2012. We're tracking him.


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Euros wearing yellow ribbons to honor slain golfer

By Will GraySeptember 25, 2018, 12:51 pm

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – European Ryder Cup team members will wear yellow ribbons this week to honor Celia Barquin Arozamena, who was murdered last week while playing golf.

Arozamena went to school at Iowa State, but she was a native of Spain and won the European Amateur Championship in July. She was attacked and killed Sept. 17 while playing a round by herself at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames, Iowa.

European captain Thomas Bjorn wore one of the ribbons while addressing media Tuesday at Le Golf National, and he explained that the decision to honor Arozamena came out of a discussion between Ryder Cup Europe and her mother.


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“The golfing family extends beyond what we are trying to do this week,” Bjorn said. “It’s nothing about us, but it’s just more about that the golfing family gets touched by these things all over the world. It’s terrible when things like this happen.”

Arozamena considered Ryder Cup stalwart and fellow Spaniard Sergio Garcia one of her idols growing up, and the two met when she was a child. Garcia sent condolences out via social media last week, saying he was “heartbroken” over her death.

“Such a great prospect for the game of golf she was, but also a wonderful person,” Bjorn said. “When you speak to Sergio and [Spaniard] Jon [Rahm] about it, they couldn’t talk highly enough about her. We felt like that was appropriate for the week.”