Press Pass The Ultimate Match-Play Showdown

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 21, 2007, 5:00 pm
Press PassEach week, Golf Channel experts and analysts offer their thoughts and opinions on hot topics in the world of golf with the Press Pass. You can also give your take on our questions. Just click on the link and e-mail your responses to all four questions to us. We'll publish select answers each Friday in our Press Pass: Readers' Forum.
 
Hot Topic
Aside from Jack Nicklaus vs. Tiger Woods in their primes, what would be your ultimate match-play showdown of all time?
 
Brian Hewitt Brian Hewitt - Columnist, GolfChannel.com:
Let's start with Bobby Jones against Walter Hagen. Hogan vs. Nelson wouldn't be bad either. More recently: Give me Phil vs. Tiger.
 
Kraig Kann Kraig Kann - Host, Golf Channel:
Mickelson vs Palmer. And not Ryan Palmer. Two stars from different eras with that go-for-it style. Amidst a slew of birdies -- and maybe 'others' -- they might try to one-up each other in an autograph contest.
 
Mercer Baggs Mercer Baggs - Senior Producer, GolfChannel.com:
Since this is purely fictitional, I'd love to see Tiger Woods 2000 vs. Tiger Woods 2007. Tiger, as well as coach Hank Haney, say that he is the best he's ever been. I've never seen anyone, at any time, more dominant than Tiger was in 2000.
 
Hot Topic
Phil Mickelson had another eventful finish last Sunday. What is your most memorable Mickelson moment?
 
Hewitt:
Has to be Phil hitting that full swing flop shot over Dave Pelz' head with Pelz standing approximately 15 feet away. On the course, it would be Phil's winning putt on the 72nd hole to win his first Masters.
 
Kann:
His win at the TPC Scottsdale in a playoff with Justin Leonard in '96. I was there covering it for the GOLF CHANNEL, following the raucous playoff, which coincided with the Cowboys-Steelers Super Bowl. Fans were a bit over the top for Phil, who won. That win in front of a huge hometown crowd was big for his career.
 
Baggs:
His response to losing the 2006 U.S. Open. Watching him handle that situation was very impressive. He was the only runner-up to attend the trophy ceremony and then, after acknowledging the crowd and applauding their support, he answered each and every painful question posed to him by us media types. It was one of his best moments at a terribly difficult time.
 
Hot Topic
Mark OMeara and Nick Price have already debuted on the Champions Tour this year, while Bernhard Langer, Seve Ballesteros, Jeff Sluman and John Cook are all eligible to join in 06. Who among them will have the best career as a senior?
 
Hewitt:
Langer is the best of a very strong bunch. Personally, I'll be rooting for Sevie to recapture some of the old magic. But that's a long longshot.
 
Kann:
Sluman edges Langer in this one. Jeff has his one major and hasn't gotten enough credit for being a very, very good player. Look out; he'll prove it as soon as his birthday rolls around.
 
Baggs:
Langer is probably at the head of this class, but I hope Price plays well. You won't find a classier player than Price and he has been miserable over the last few years on the PGA TOUR. Hopefully, his game will be rejuvenated with his enthusiasm and he'll not only win a few tournaments each year, but a couple of majors along the way.
 
Hot Topic
Paula Creamer wears pink on Sunday. Tiger Woods wears red. What color should Mickelson adorn during the final round?
 
Hewitt:
This is kind of a silly question. So here's kind of a silly answer: Phil can wear whatever color he wants as long as he doesn't step on my blue suede shoes.
 
Kann:
Black from head to toe. Goodness knows he's seen enough dark days. Good intimidation wardrobe ... plus, fashion guru Marty Hackel says its slimming.
 
Baggs:
Animal print. Perhaps something with tiger stripes.
 
Click here to e-mail us your take on all of the above four questions. We'll publish select reader responses on Friday.
 
Related Links:
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  • @bubbawatson on Instagram

    Bubba gets inked by Brooks, meets Tebow

    By Grill Room TeamJune 18, 2018, 5:40 pm

    Bubba Watson missed the cut at Shinnecock Hills following rounds of 77-74, but that didn't stop him from enjoying his weekend.

    Watson played alongside Jason Day and eventual champion Brooks Koepka in Rounds 1 and 2, and somehow this body ink slipped by us on Thursday.

    Got autographed by defending @usopengolf Champ @bkoepka!! #NeverShoweringAgain

    A post shared by Bubba Watson (@bubbawatson) on

    And while we're sure Bubba would have rather been in contention over the weekend, we're also sure that taking your son to meet the second most famous minor-league baseball player who ever lived was a lot more fun than getting your teeth kicked in by Shinnecock Hills over the weekend, as just about everyone not named Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood did.

    Already in Hartford, Watson will be going for his third Travelers Championship trophy this week, following wins in 2010 and 2015.

    Getty Images

    Phil rubs fan's Donald Duck hat seven times, signs it

    By Nick MentaJune 18, 2018, 3:09 pm

    There is a case to be made that what Phil Mickelson did on Saturday made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

    There is also a case to be made that the USGA's setup of Shinnecock Hills made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

    Whatever you think about what Mickelson did on Saturday - and how he attempted to justify it after the fact without even a hint of remorse - watch this video.

    The next time you hear someone say, "If anybody else had putted a moving ball on purpose and not apologized for it, it would get a different reaction," you can point to this video and say, "Yeah, here's why."

    Here's what happened once a still-strident Mickelson was done rubbing Donald Duck hats on Sunday, per Ryan Lavner:

    If you’re wondering whether Mickelson would be defiant or contrite on Sunday, we don’t know the answer. He declined to stop and speak with the media, deciding instead to sign autographs for more than a half hour and then offering a few short answers before ducking into player hospitality.

    “The real question is, ‘What am I going to do next?’” he said. “I don’t know.”

    The 2024 Ryder Cup at Bethpage is going to be a three-ring circus, and Mickelson, a likely choice to captain the U.S. team, will be the ringmaster.

    Separately, shoutout to 2017 Latin Am champ Toto Gana, who does a terrific Donald Duck (skip to end).

    Getty Images

    Ryder Cup race: Mickelson out, Simpson in

    By Will GrayJune 18, 2018, 2:34 pm

    There's a new man at the top of the U.S. Ryder Cup race following the U.S. Open, and there's also a familiar name now on the outside looking in.

    Brooks Koepka's successful title defense vaulted him to the top of the American points race, up four spots and ensuring he'll be on the team Jim Furyk takes to Paris in September. Dustin Johnson's third-place finish moved him past Patrick Reed at No. 2, while Webb Simpson entered the top eight after a a tie for 10th.

    While Bryson DeChambeau remained at No. 9, Phil Mickelson dropped two spots to No. 10. Tony Finau, who finished alone in fifth, went from 16th to 13th, while Tiger Woods fell two spots to No. 37.

    Here's a look at the latest U.S. standings, with the top eight after the PGA Championship qualifying automatically:

    1. Brooks Koepka

    2. Dustin Johnson

    3. Patrick Reed

    4. Justin Thomas

    5. Jordan Spieth

    6. Rickie Fowler

    7. Bubba Watson

    8. Webb Simpson

    ---

    9. Bryson DeChambeau

    10. Phil Mickelson

    11. Matt Kuchar

    12. Brian Harman

    On the European side, England's Tommy Fleetwood took a big stride toward securing his first Ryder Cup appearance with a runner-up finish that included a Sunday 63 while countryman Matthew Fitzpatrick snuck into a qualifying spot after tying for 12th.

    Here's a look at the updated Euro standings, with the top four from both points lists joining four picks from captain Thomas Bjorn at Le Golf National:

    European Points

    1. Tyrrell Hatton

    2. Justin Rose

    3. Tommy Fleetwood

    4. Francesco Molinari

    ---

    5. Thorbjorn Olesen

    6. Ross Fisher

    World Points

    1. Jon Rahm

    2. Rory McIlroy

    3. Alex Noren

    4. Matthew Fitzpatrick

    ---

    5. Ian Poulter

    6. Rafael Cabrera-Bello

    @jenamsims on Instagram

    Koepka autographs local kids' 'Go Brooks' sign after win

    By Grill Room TeamJune 18, 2018, 2:30 pm

    Brooks Koepka is a two-time U.S. Open winner, but that doesn't mean he's now too big to go sign a couple pieces of cardboard in somebody's front yard in the middle of the night.

    Koepka's girlfriend, Jena Sims, posted two pictures to her Instagram story on Sunday of "Go Brooks" signs she says were put up by some local kids in the area where Koepka was staying for the week.

    The first is dated prior to Koepka's final-round tee time.



    The second is from Sunday night.



    And here, separately, for no reason in particular (other than the fact that she posted it) is a video of Sims running over a parking cone at last year's U.S. Open at Erin Hills.

    Speaking of kids, just feels those two are gonna make it.