He/She: An ode to Phil on Left-Hander's Day

By Bailey MosierAugust 13, 2012, 2:50 pm

August 13 is International Left-Hander's Day, so the Golf Guy and Birdie Bailey decided to pay tribute to their favorite Lefty, Philip Alfred Mickelson (yes, we know he is naturally right-handed).

By THE GOLF GUY

I’ve thought long and hard about why I love Phil Mickelson.

He’s my favorite golfer of all time (sorry, No. 2 Greg Norman) and he also happens to be one of my top-5 athletes across all sport (Bjorn Borg, Dr. J, Martina Navratilova, Phil and Kobe Bryant).

But why do I love Lefty?

Why do I continue to put all my chips behind a guy that seemingly disappoints me more often than he lets me enjoy a celebratory finish?

Look, I’m the biggest bandwagon fan in the world. I can hop off and on the success train of a team or player faster than Charlie Rymer can go through a plate of cookies (sorry Charlie, Chamblee put me up to that one).

But with Phil, I have happily – and at times not-so-happily – NEVER left my seat on his bandwagon.

Could it be as simple as the aw-shucks smile he carries on the golf course?

Was it the agonizingly long wait he (we) had to endure to earn his first major?

His non-stop signing of autographs for fans?

His always entertaining news conferences?

The endless list of mindbogglingly great golf shots, flop shots ... and dumb shots?

All of it.

Some call him Roller-Coaster Phil. I’m thinking more like Banana Split Phil. Strawberry, vanilla and chocolate ice cream. A banana. Chocolate syrup. Whipped cream. Cherries. And, of course … plenty of nuts. Just like watching Phil, it can be oh-so-delicious and satisfying (2004 Masters). And just like watching Phil, it can sometimes leave you feeling a little sick to you stomach (U.S. Open 2006 Winged Foot).

Like Mickelson has hinted over the last week or so leading into his induction, here's hoping there's plenty more tasty treats to enjoy in his career.


By BIRDIE BAILEY

Oh, Phil Mickelson. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways… 

Without Phil Mickelson … The press center would be full of grumpy old men.

Without Phil Mickelson … Arizona State would have less Spark-y.

Without Phil Mickelson … We would all still think white men can’t jump.

Without Phil Mickelson … Augusta’s 13th would pine (straw) for attention.

Without Phil Mickelson … We'd have to find some right-hander to call Lefty.

Without Phil Mickelson … We’d think that Five Guys was an entourage.

Without Phil Mickelson … We'd think that Bones was an HBO series.

Without Phil Mickelson … We'd think facing off against Tiger on a Sunday at Pebble Beach was hard.

Without Phil Mickelson … 'I am such an idiot' would simply be something you say to your wife.

Without Phil Mickelson … We’d never truly get our Phil.

In all seriousness, 40 PGA Tour wins and four major championships, Phil has provided us with an endless supply of memorable moments. Happy International Left-Hander's Day, Lefty! Here’s hoping your 40s bring another 40 victories and much more.

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Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 8:55 pm

NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 146th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Royal Birkdale, broken down into daily segments:

Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.

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Knox relishes round with 'mythical figure' Woods

By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 8:48 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Russell Knox was expecting the worst and hoping for the best Thursday at The Open.

Playing with Tiger Woods tends to have that effect.

The native Scot received a treat earlier this week when he saw his name on the tee sheet alongside his boyhood idol, Woods.

“Felt good out there, but obviously my swing, it was just like I had too much tension,” Knox said after an opening 73. “I just wasn’t letting it go as normal. First round with Tiger, I expected to feel a little bit different. The way I felt was better than the way I swung.”

Knox said that he was nervous playing alongside Woods, a player he’d only encountered on the range. “He’s almost like a mythical figure,” he said.

But after a while, he settled into the rhythm of the round at Carnoustie.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“I thought it would be worse,” he said, “I feel like I should know what I’m doing. It’s cool playing with Tiger, but I’ve got to get over that. I’m here to win, not just enjoy my walk around the course.”

Knox probably had more interaction with Woods than he anticipated, if only because the third member of the group, Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, keeps to himself because of the language barrier.

“It’s kind of a blur,” Knox said. “It’s like, Oh, I’m chatting away with Tiger here like normal. I don’t even remember what I was saying.”

There have been countless stories from this year as the next generation of players – guys who grew up watching Woods dominate the sport – get paired with Woods for the first time.

It was no less special for Knox on Thursday.

“It’s nice for him to say things like that,” Woods said, “and we enjoyed playing with each other. Hopefully we’ll play a little bit better tomorrow.”

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Rain expected to shower Carnoustie Friday morning

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 8:43 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – By the end of the day Friday, we’ll be able to determine which side of The Open draw ended the first two rounds at Carnoustie with more favorable conditions. With rain expected for most of Friday morning, it seems those who played early/late may be more pleased.

According to Weather.com, there is a 75 percent chance of rain beginning at 2 a.m. local time Friday here in Scotland. That percentage vaults up to 95 percent by 7 a.m., with the first tee time scheduled for 6:35. At 11, the number drops to 55 percent. After 2 p.m., the percentage chances of rain are 25 percent and below for the remainder of the day.

Temperatures during the day are expected to be from the low 50s to the low 60s and winds will vary between 14-18 mph, again per Weather.com.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


This is The Open’s official weather report for the weekend:

Saturday: A dull start with some drizzle possible. Staying cloudy for much of the day but gradually becoming brighter with a chance of some sunny intervals during the afternoon and evening. Winds light and variable in direction but should predominantly settle in to a SSE 8-12mph during the afternoon. Max temp 20C (68F).

Sunday: Often cloudy but mainly dry. A better chance of some decent sunny spells compared to Saturday. Most likely the windiest day of the Championship; SW 12-18mph with gusts 20-25mph. Feeling warm, especially in any sunshine with a max temp of 23C (73F).

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Bandaged Woods 5 back after even-par 71

By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 8:38 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods arrived Thursday with therapeutic tape on the back of his neck.

Carnoustie’s back nine inflicted even more pain.

Playing in the most difficult conditions of the day, Woods’ progress was stalled by two late bogeys as he settled for an even-par 71 that left him five shots off the lead at The Open.

“I played better than what the score indicates,” he said. “It certainly could have been a little bit better.”

Woods created a stir when he showed up with black kinesiology tape on his neck. Afterward, he said that his neck has been bugging him “for a while” and that Thursday was merely the first time that the tape was visible.

“Everyone acts like this is the first time I’ve been bandaged up,” he said, smiling. “I’ve been doing this for years.”

Woods said that the discomfort didn’t really affect his swing, other than a few shots “here and there.” It didn’t seem to affect his score, either, as he went out in 2 under before a few stumbles on the back nine.

On the fast, baked-out turf, he played conservatively off the tee, using driver only once and 3-wood just twice. Apparently he didn’t need the added distance, not with his 6-iron traveling 240 yards. He tried to play to his spots, even if it routinely left him more than 200 yards for his approach.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


That’s the strategy he employed at Hoylake in 2006, where he hit driver just once and captured the third of his Open titles. Despite some of the similarities in firmness, Woods said that Carnoustie presents a different challenge off the tee.

“These fairways are very small,” he said. “They’re hard to hit right now. They’re so fast, and they’re so moundy.”

Finding the fairway wasn’t the chief problem for Woods on Day 1, however. He missed just four fairways but found only 11 greens.

More damaging to his score was his play on the par 5s. Despite having only an 8-iron in, he failed to birdie each of the two par 5s and then bogeyed Nos. 10, 13 and 15 to squander his early momentum.

Though the draw here won’t be a significant factor – or at least not like in recent years, with a wide range in scores from morning to afternoon – it’s clear that Woods (in game 47 of 52) encountered the most difficult of the conditions Thursday, with the wind gusting to 20 mph and the fairways running even faster after another sun-splashed afternoon.

Still, his opening 71 was one of the better scores in the late wave.

“He hit it good,” said playing partner Russell Knox. “He plotted his way around, which I expected him to do, and he was very conservative off the tee. It’s kind of fun to watch him do that, to be honest.”

Even more fun would be a major with Woods in contention.

He hasn’t broken par in the opening round of his last eight majors. Indeed, for Woods, these slow starts have been the real pain in the neck.