Mickelson makes media rounds following Open win

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 26, 2013, 2:41 pm

In the wake of his come-from-behind win Sunday at Muirfield, Phil Mickelson took time Friday to discuss with various media outlets some of the keys to his British Open victory while also shedding light on the emotional toll of his runner-up finish at last month's U.S. Open. Here's what the five-time major winner and 'Champion golfer of the year' had to say about his most recent triumph:


NBC's 'Today'

On what this win means: 'This is the biggest accomplishment of my career because this is the one tournament that’s always given me problems, and the one tournament that required shots that I didn’t grow up playing.'

On his notably aggressive style: 'I’m trying to go out and win tournaments, and if I fail, I fail; if I succeed, that’s great. But I’m not afraid of failure, it’s part of life.'

On his close call at Merion: 'My worst, hardest loss of my career was the U.S. Open just a month ago. For days, I didn’t get out of bed; I was tired. It was a trip that we had to Montana that kind of got me out of my funk and I realized that I’m playing great golf, and I can’t let one loss affect the rest of my year.'

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ESPN's 'Mike & Mike'

On his approach entering the final round: 'I felt like even par was going to win the tournament ... my goal on the front nine was to get it to even par.'

On his view of the final few holes: 'When I started the back nine, I knew I was right there in the hunt ... That's all I wanted was a nine-hole shootout, a nine-hole opportunity to win the claret jug.'

On where Sunday's final round stands for him all-time: 'Every shot I hit was perfectly struck. I putted the eyes out of it; I didn't miss any putt that was makeable. I made everything ... It is undoubtedly the best round I have ever played.'


NBC Sports' 'Dan Patrick Show'

On Merion's impact last week at Muirfield: 'Just a month ago was the biggest emotional low, toughest loss of my career in the U.S. Open. I think that adds to why this is my best accomplishment in my career because I had to put that aside and get back to playing golf at the highest level and win the most challenging event of my career.'

On his decision to take driver out of the bag: 'I drove the ball very well on that golf course and gave myself a chance to play the course aggressively, and I really think a lot of it was because of the conservative approach off the tee and not having that temptation to stand up and just hit a bomb downwind.'

On playing the final hole: 'When I played the 18th hole, I knew if I made par I was going to win the British Open. I knew that was a done deal. In fact, I thought if I bogeyed it I still might, but I knew 2 under would win it for sure, and when I made the (birdie) putt I knew it was over.'


Golf Channel's 'Golf Central'

On where his latest stands among his career: 'To be able to hold the claret jug, to me, is the greatest accomplishment I could have ever achieved in the game of golf.'

On carrying the momentum to the PGA Championship: 'I've been playing some of the best golf of my career not just the week of the British Open, but the week before and the months leading up to it. If I can continue that play, the goal is just to get into contention and see if I can give myself a chance on the weekend at the PGA to add to it.'

On his preparation plans for Oak Hill: 'I'll go to Oak Hill early ... Monday and probably Tuesday or Wednesday before the Akron tournament so that I know what I want to do, how I can attack Oak Hill and what my club setup is going to be, how I can optimize the clubs in my bag to give me the best chance to shoot low scores.'

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S.Y. Kim leads Kang, A. Jutanugarn in Shanghai

By Associated PressOctober 19, 2018, 10:24 am

SHANGHAI  -- Sei Young Kim led the LPGA Shanghai by one stroke at the halfway point after shooting a 5-under-par 67 in the second round on Friday.

Kim made six birdies, including four straight from the sixth hole, to move to a 10-under 134 total. Her only setback was a bogey on the par-4 15th.

Kim struggled in the first half of the year, but is finishing it strong. She won her seventh career title in July at the Thornberry Creek Classic, was tied for fourth at the Women's British Open, and last month was runner-up at the Evian Championship.

''I made huge big par putts on 10, 11, 12,'' Kim said on Friday. ''I'm very happy with today's play.''

Danielle Kang (68) and overnight leader Ariya Jutanugarn (69) were one shot back.


Buick LPGA Shanghai: Articles, photos and videos


''I like attention. I like being in the final group. I like having crowds,'' Kang said. ''It's fun. You work hard to be in the final groups and work hard to be in the hunt and be the leader and chasing the leaders. That's why we play.''

She led into the last round at the Hana Bank Championship last week and finished tied for third.

Brittany Altomare had six birdies in a bogey-free round of 66, and was tied for fourth with Bronte Law (68) and Brittany Lincicome (68).

Angel Lin eagled the par-5 17th and finished with the day's lowest score of 65, which also included six birdies and a lone bogey.

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'Caveman golf' puts Koepka one back at CJ Cup

By Associated PressOctober 19, 2018, 10:12 am

JEJU ISLAND, South Korea – Brooks Koepka, recently named the PGA Tour Player of the Year, gave himself the perfect opportunity to become the No. 1 player in the world when he shot a 7-under par 65 to move to within one shot of the lead in the CJ Cup on Friday.

At the Nine Bridges course, the three-time major champion made an eagle on his closing hole to finish on 8-under par 136 after two rounds, just one stroke behind Scott Piercy, who was bogey-free in matching Koepka's 65.

With the wind subsiding and the course playing much easier than on the opening day when the scoring average was 73.26, 44 players – more than half the field of 78 – had under-par rounds.

Overnight leader Chez Reavie added a 70 to his opening-round 68 to sit in third place at 138, three behind Piercy. Sweden's Alex Noren was the other player in with a 65, which moved him into a tie for fourth place alongside Ian Poulter (69), four out of the lead.

The best round of the day was a 64 by Brian Harman, who was tied for sixth and five behind Piercy.


Full-field scores from the CJ Cup

CJ Cup: Articles, photos and videos


The 28-year-old Koepka will move to the top of the world rankings when they are announced on Monday if he wins the tournament.

Thomas, playing alongside Koepka, matched Koepka's eagle on the last, but that was only for a 70 and he is tied for 22nd place at 1 under.

Koepka's only bogey was on the par-5 ninth hole, where he hit a wayward tee shot. But he was otherwise pleased with the state of his ''caveman golf.''

''I feel like my game is in a good spot. I feel like the way I played today, if I can carry that momentum into Saturday and Sunday, it will be fun,'' Koepka, winner of the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship, said.

''My game is pretty simple. I guess you can call it like caveman golf – you see the ball, hit the ball and go find it again. You're not going to see any emotion just because I'm so focused, but I'm enjoying it.''

Piercy, who has fallen to No. 252 in the world ranking despite winning the Zurich Classic earlier this year with Billy Horschel – there are no world ranking points for a team event – was rarely out of position in a round in which he found 13 of 14 fairways off the tee and reached 16 greens in regulation.

''Obviously, the wind was down a little bit and from a little bit different direction, so 10 miles an hour wind versus 20s is quite a big difference,'' said Piercy, who is looking for his first individual PGA Tour win since the Barbasol Championship in July 2015.

''It was a good day. Hit a couple close and then my putter showed up and made some putts of some pretty good length.''

Australia's Marc Leishman, winner last week at the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur, shot a 71 and was seven behind. Paul Casey's 73 included a hole-in-one on the par-3 seventh hole and the Englishman is nine behind Piercy.

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Koepka primed for CJ Cup win and world No. 1

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 6:00 am

Brooks Koepka wants a 2-for-1 at the CJ Cup. If he can collect his second non-major PGA Tour victory he can become world No. 1 for the first time in his career.

He’s in great position to accomplish his goal.

Koepka eagled the par-5 18th en route to a 7-under 65 in the second round at Nine Bridges in Juju Island, South Korea. At 8 under par, he is one back of 36-hole leader Scott Piercy (65).

"Obviously the wind didn't blow. It was a different golf course than it was yesterday, you were able to take advantage of these par 5s," said Koepka, who opened in 71 on Day 1. "Felt like it was a lot more gettable. I putted so well, great ball-striking day, great putting day and very pleased with it."

Koepka, currently ranked third in the world, began the day three shots off the lead, but rapidly ascended the leaderboard. He birdied four of his first eight holes before finding trouble at the ninth. Koepka hooked his tee shot out of bounds, but the ninth is a par 5 and he was able to salvage bogey.


Full-field scores from the CJ Cup

CJ Cup: Articles, photos and videos

Current Official World Golf Ranking


That was his only dropped shot of the day.

The reigning Tour Player of the Year birdied the 12th and 14th holes in his bid to keep pace with Piercy. Koepka was two back as he played his final hole, where he knocked his second shot to 10 feet. He deftly converted the eagle effort to tie Piercy and earn a spot in Saturday’s final twosome. Piercy later pulled a shot ahead with a birdie at the ninth, his final hole of the day.

Koepka has officially won four PGA Tour events, but three of those are majors (2017, ’18 U.S. Open; 2018 PGA). His lone non-major win was the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

"Just keep doing what I'm doing," Koepka said of his plan for the final two rounds. "I'm hitting it well and making putts. I felt like I probably could have shot about 7, 8 under on the front side there, missed a couple. You know, doing everything right and that's what you've got to do and hopefully this wind stays away."

He can still reach world No. 1 with a solo second place, assuming Justin Thomas, currently world No. 4, doesn’t win this week.

That will take a mighty weekend effort by the defending champ.

Thomas also eagled the 18th hole to go from 1 over to 1 under. He shot 2-under 70 in the second round and is seven shots off the lead.

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'Go in'? Yes, JT wants an ace at the par-4 14th

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 5:11 am

Justin Thomas didn’t hesitate after hitting his tee shot on the 353-yard, par-4 14th in Round 2 of the CJ Cup.

“Go in,” he immediately said.

“Please go in,” he added.



Thomas’ tee shot was on a great line, but it landed just short of the green. Surprisingly, it took three more shots for his ball to "go in." After birdies on Nos. 12 and 13, Thomas parred the 14th.