Quotes of the Week

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 27, 2013, 6:24 pm

'I happen to be in that zone that has been targeted both federally and by the state and, you know, it doesn't work for me right now. So I'm going to have to make some changes. If you add up all the federal and you look at the disability and the unemployment and the Social Security and the state, my tax rate's 62, 63 percent. So I've got to make some decisions on what I'm going to do.'Phil Mickelson, following his final round at the Humana Challenge, reacting to Proposition 30, passed by the state of California last November, which significantly impacts those who have a taxable annual income of more than $1 million.


'You know, I’ve made some dumb, dumb mistakes, and, obviously, talking about this stuff was one of them. I made a big mistake talking about this stuff publicly, and I shouldn’t have done that.' – Mickelson, again, during his Farmers Insurance Open news conference, apologizing for going public with his tax complaints that caused a public relations mess heading into the week.


'Our objective always has been to try our best to follow the rules as promulgated by the USGA and the R&A. We believe in the notion that one body of rules is important, and that's always our intent. We just reserve the option not to, if we have overriding reasons not to do so.' – PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, leaving the door open for possible bifurcation in response to the anchoring ban that the USGA and R&A intend to implement.


'(Finchem’s comments) are pretty interesting and powerful words from somebody of his stature. Maybe we are at a point where we need to consider what impact bifurcation would have and if that's an answer or a potential answer to this situation.' – PGA of America President Ted Bishop, speaking from the 60th PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla., on Finchem's recent comments that he wouldn't rule out bifurcation as a solution to the impending anchored putting ban.


'There were a lot of questions, but it was surprising that most of the players who use anchored putters didn’t say anything.' – Anonymous observer from the year's first players' meeting in which the impending anchor ban was openly discussed. While most players declined to discuss specifics with the media, two participants in the meeting said Tim Clark stepped up strongest in defense of anchored putting.


''So No. 8, Tom snipes it to the left off the tee, and I'm right there. He hits it again, left of the green - pin was back left. I'm up there ... He basically yelled at me saying, 'I moved you out of here once,' and basically moved me out of there twice. I just wanted to see, you know? Tom Watson. He sniped one, and sniped another one, and I happened to be right there on both of those shots. And Bruce let me know about it.''Tiger Woods, describing a scene from his elementary school days when he had a run-in with Tom Watson and his caddie, the late Bruce Edwards, at Riviera in 1985.


'I have no doubt we can get it worked out. With his touch he will have more problems with the driver. That’s the one it will take him a little bit longer to get.' – Rory McIlroy's putting coach Dave Stockton Sr., on the world No. 1's recent switch to Nike equipment. After struggling with his new putter during the first round in Abu Dhabi, McIlroy switched back to his old one on Day 2, but still missed the cut.


'It’s a process and we understand it’s the early days. He’s fully confident. It’s an issue of comfort, and I think in time it will all play out really well.' – Nike Golf president Cindy Davis, discussing McIlroy's sluggish start to the 2013 season on 'Morning Drive.'


'At the LPGA, we celebrate great players from all over the world on a weekly basis, but this is the first time we’ll pit country versus country for global bragging rights.' – LPGA commissioner Michael Whan, on the announcement of the International Crown, a biennial, global match-play competition commencing in 2014. The event will feature eight countries, consisting of four players each, competing over four days.


'I've tried to have a positive outlook, as bad as I've played and as much as I struggled. My girls are at an age now that they understand. The last time I played really well, they were pretty young. So I'd like to show them what their dad can do.' – Mike Weir, who made the cut this week at Torrey Pines for the first time since the 2011 AT&T National, a drought that lasted 18 events.

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Berger more than ready to rebound at Travelers

By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:54 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Daniel Berger hopes that this year he gets to be on the other end of a viral moment at the Travelers Championship.

Berger was a hard-luck runner-up last year at TPC River Highlands, a spectator as Jordan Spieth holed a bunker shot to defeat him in a playoff. It was the second straight year that the 25-year-old came up just short outside Hartford, as he carried a three-shot lead into the 2016 event before fading to a tie for fifth.

While he wasn’t lacking any motivation after last year’s close call, Berger got another dose last week at the U.S. Open when he joined Tony Finau as a surprise participant in the final group Sunday, only to shoot a 73 and drift to a T-6 finish.


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“It was one of the best experiences of my professional golf career so far. I feel like I’m going to be in such a better place next time I’m in that position, having felt those emotions and kind of gone through it,” Berger said. “There was a lot of reflection after that because I felt like I played good enough to get it done Sunday. I didn’t make as many putts as I wanted to, but I hit a lot of really good putts. And that’s really all you can do.”

Berger missed the cut earlier this month to end his quest for three straight titles in Memphis, but his otherwise consistent season has now included six top-20 finishes since January. After working his way into contention last week and still with a score to settle at TPC River Highlands, he’s eager to get back to work against another star-studded field.

“I think all these experiences you just learn from,” Berger said. “I think last week, having learned from that, I think that’s even going to make me a little better this week. So I’m excited to get going.”

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Rory tired of the near-misses, determined to close

By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:46 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Rory McIlroy has returned to the Travelers Championship with an eye on bumping up his winning percentage.

McIlroy stormed from the back of the pack to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, but that remains his lone worldwide win since the 2016 Tour Championship. It speaks to McIlroy’s considerable ability and lofty expectations that, even with a number of other high finishes this season, he is left unsatisfied.

“I feel like I’ve had five realistic chances to win this year, and I’ve been able to close out one of them. That’s a bit disappointing, I guess,” McIlroy said. “But at least I’ve given myself five chances to win golf tournaments, which is much more than I did last year.”


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The most memorable of McIlroy’s near-misses is likely the Masters, when he played alongside Patrick Reed in Sunday’s final group but struggled en route to a T-5 finish. But more frustrating in the Ulsterman’s eyes were his runner-up at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, when he led by two shots with eight holes to go, and a second-place showing behind Francesco Molinari at the BMW PGA Championship in May.

“There’s been some good golf in there,” he said. “I feel like I let Dubai and Wentworth get away a little bit.”

He’ll have a chance to rectify that trend this week at TPC River Highlands, where he finished T-17 last year in his tournament debut and liked the course and the tournament enough to keep it on his schedule. It comes on the heels of a missed cut at the U.S. Open, when he was 10 over through 11 holes and never got on track. McIlroy views that result as more of an aberration during a season in which he has had plenty of chances to contend on the weekend.

“I didn’t necessarily play that badly last week. I feel like if I play similarly this week, I might have a good chance to win,” McIlroy said. “I think when you play in conditions like that, it magnifies parts of your game that maybe don’t stack up quite as good as the rest of your game, and it magnified a couple of things for me that I worked on over the weekend.”

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Sunday run at Shinnecock gave Reed even more confidence

By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:08 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – While many big names are just coming around to the notion that the Travelers Championship is worth adding to the schedule, Patrick Reed has been making TPC River Highlands one of his favorite haunts for years.

Reed will make his seventh straight appearance outside Hartford, where he tied for fifth last year and was T-11 the year before that. He is eager to get back to the grind after a stressful week at the U.S. Open, both because of his past success here and because it will offer him a chance to build on a near-miss at Shinnecock Hills.

Reed started the final round three shots off the lead, but he quickly stormed toward the top of the leaderboard and became one of Brooks Koepka’s chief threats after birdies on five of his first seven holes. Reed couldn’t maintain the momentum in the middle of the round, carding three subsequent bogeys, and ultimately tied for fourth.


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It was a bittersweet result, but Reed is focusing on the positives after taking a couple days to reflect.

“If you would have told me that I had a chance to win coming down Sunday, I would have been pleased,” Reed said. “I felt like I just made too many careless mistakes towards the end, and because of that, you’re not going to win at any major making careless mistakes, especially on Sunday.”

Reed broke through for his first major title at the Masters, and he has now finished fourth or better in three straight majors dating back to a runner-up at the PGA last summer. With another chance to add to that record next month in Scotland, he hopes to carry the energy from last week’s close call into this week’s event on a course where he feels right at home.

“It just gives me confidence, more than anything,” Reed said. “Of course I would have loved to have closed it out and win, but it was a great week all in all, and there’s a lot of stuff I can take from it moving forward. That’s how I’m looking at it.”

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Koepka back to work, looking to add to trophy collection

By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 8:53 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Days after ensuring the U.S. Open trophy remained in his possession for another year, Brooks Koepka went back to work.

Koepka flew home to Florida after successfully defending his title at Shinnecock Hills, celebrating the victory Monday night with Dustin Johnson, Paulina Gretzky, swing coach Claude Harmon III and a handful of close friends. But he didn’t fully unwind because of a decision to honor his commitment to the Travelers Championship, becoming the first player to tee it up the week after a U.S. Open win since Justin Rose in 2013.

Koepka withdrew from the Travelers pro-am, but he flew north to Connecticut on Wednesday and arrived to TPC River Highlands around 3 p.m., quickly heading to the driving range to get in a light practice session.

“It still hasn’t sunk in, to be honest with you,” Koepka said. “I’m still focused on this week. It was just like, ‘All right, if I can get through this week, then I’m going to be hanging with my buddies next week.’ I know then maybe it’ll sink in, and I’ll get to reflect on it a little bit more.”


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Koepka’s plans next week with friends in Boston meant this week’s event outside Hartford made logistical sense. But he was also motivated to play this week because, plainly, he hasn’t had that many playing opportunities this year after missing nearly four months with a wrist injury.

“I’ve had so many months at home being on the couch. I don’t need to spend any more time on the couch,” Koepka said. “As far as skipping, it never crossed my mind.”

Koepka’s legacy was undoubtedly bolstered by his win at Shinnecock, as he became the first player in nearly 30 years to successfully defend a U.S. Open title. But he has only one other PGA Tour win to his credit, that being the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open, and his goal for the rest of the season is to make 2018 his first year with multiple trophies on the mantle.

“If you’re out here for more than probably 15 events, it gives you a little better chance to win a couple times. Being on the sidelines isn’t fun,” Koepka said. “Keep doing what we’re doing and just try to win multiple times every year. I feel like I have the talent. I just never did it for whatever reason. Always felt like we ran into a buzzsaw. So just keep plugging away.”