Rejuvenated Mickelson is remedy for American golf

By Randall MellOctober 11, 2009, 6:57 am

SAN FRANCISCO – Sean O’Hair couldn’t help himself.

His match wasn’t over late Saturday afternoon at Harding Park, but O’Hair wrapped teammate Phil Mickelson tight in a hug on the 14th green.

This is where Mickelson rolled in a 40-foot birdie putt to halve the hole and keep the Americans in a tight Presidents Cup fourball match with Vijay Singh and Tim Clark. The Americans would go on to halve the match after being 2 down on the back nine. It was a satisfying finish for the Mickelson-O’Hair team after their 5-up rout of Retief Goosen and Camilo Villegas in morning foursomes.

The 1½ points Mickelson and O’Hair teamed to win helped the United States take a 12½-9 ½ lead going into Sunday singles.

Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson has a lot to like about his play at the Presidents Cup. (Getty Images)

Two weeks after winning the Tour Championship, Mickelson is showing off more than a rejuvenated game. He’s showing strange healing powers.

Call him Dr. Phil.

That’s been his important role this week. He’s been good for what ails American golf. Captain Fred Couples keeps sending Mickelson partners with afflictions and Mickelson keeps curing them.

Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker are proving juggernauts as partners this week, too, running their record together to 4-0. They’re the best combination the San Francisco Bay area’s seen since Joe Montana and Jerry Rice teamed up to win all those Super Bowls for the 49ers. Mickelson, though, has been just as impressive running his record to 3-0-1, particularly considering the struggling partners Couples keeps sending his way.

It started on Day 1, when Mickelson was paired with Anthony Kim, who sprayed it all over the place through their first 12 holes together in foursomes. Kim kept leaving Mickelson in tough spots and Mickelson kept finding escape routs until Kim caught fire at the end.

On Day 2, Mickelson was paired with Leonard, who was licking his wounds after missing a 3-foot putt at the end of the first day, a miss that gave a late jolt to the Internationals.

Day 3 found O’Hair limping into Mickelson’s presence, but they didn’t take long to mesh in foursomes. They were 5-under through 15 holes in their foursomes dominance of Goosen and Villegas.

“We just really worked well together,” Mickelson said.

O’Hair started the week as Michael Jordan’s special project. It couldn’t have been flattering, though, with Jordan more than intimating that O’Hair lacked confidence.

“He’s such a great player, and he presents doubt to himself,” Jordan said.

Jordan managed to take some money off O’Hair in a practice round, but he apparently didn’t give O'Hair much confidence in return. O’Hair didn’t just lose his first two matches of this Presidents Cup. He didn’t lead after a single hole with his first two partners in foursomes and fourball.

Mickelson did what Jordan couldn’t.

“Phil is just hitting it very long, very straight and he’s putting well,” O’Hair said. “It takes a lot of pressure off his playing partner. I felt like I could hit it anywhere, and I would be fine.”

With his wife, Amy, fighting breast cancer, Mickelson struggled much of the summer on the course. But he’s been on fire since teaming up three weeks ago with putting guru Dave Stockton, the two-time PGA Championship winner. Mickelson won the Tour Championship with a sizzling flat-stick the week after their short-game sessions.

It’s funny how a hot putter suddenly makes Mickelson such a good partner in these international team events. He arrived at Harding Park with a pedastrian 21-27-15 record in Presidents and Ryder cups.

If Mickelson can turn around his fortunes in international team competition, what about the majors?

Stockton is excited about the possibility of Mickelson adding to his three majors, of winning his first major since the 2006 Masters.

“I’m really pumped about next year,” Stockton said while watching Mickelson play Friday.

It isn’t just the possibilities Stockton sees in Mickelson’s putting stroke. It’s the whole package.

“Butch Harmon has Phil hitting it so great,” Stockton said. “When we worked together, Phil talked about how good he’s hitting it.”

And how Mickelson’s been frustrated not being able to take advantage of the chances Harmon has helped create.

Mickelson’s teammates see something special coming together.

“Phil is swinging it awesome right now,” Leonard said. “His short game is as good as ever. He’s got a lot of confidence in it. Any time he feels like he can make putts out here, he’s dangerous.”

SAN FRANCISCO –Sean O’Hair couldn’t help himself.

 

Their match wasn’t over late Saturday afternoon at Harding Park, but O’Hair wrapped teammate Phil Mickelson tight in a hug on the 14th green.

 

This is where Mickelson rolled in a 40-foot birdie putt to halve the hole and keep the Americans in a tight Presidents Cup fourball match with Vijay Singh and Tim Clark. The Americans would go on to halve the match after being 2 down on the back nine. It was a satisfying finish for the Mickelson-O’Hair team after their 5-up rout of Retief Goosen and Camilo Villegas in morning foursomes.

 

The 1½ points Mickelson and O’Hair teamed to win helped the United States take a 12½-9 ½ lead going into Sunday singles.

 

Two weeks after winning the Tour Championship, Mickelson is showing off more than a rejuvenated game.

 

He’s showing strange healing powers.

 

Call him Dr. Phil.

 

That’s been his important role this week.

 

He’s been good for what ails American golf.

 

Captain Fred Couples keeps sending Mickelson partners with afflictions and Mickelson keeps healing them.

 

Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker are proving juggernauts as partners this week, running their record together to 4-0. They’re the best combination the San Francisco Bay area’s seen since Joe Montana and Jerry Rice teamed up to win all those Super Bowls for the 49ers. Mickelson, though, has been just as impressive running his record to 3-0-1 given the struggling partners Couples keeps sending his way.

 

It started on Day 1, when Mickelson was paired with Anthony Kim, who sprayed it all over the place through their first 12 holes together in foursomes. Kim kept leaving Mickelson in tough spots and Mickelson kept finding escape routs until Kim caught fire at the end.

 

On Day 2, Mickelson was paired with Leonard, who was licking his wounds after missing a 3-foot putt at the end of the first day, a miss that gave a late jolt to the Internationals.

 

Day 3 found O’Hair limping into Mickelson’s presence, but they didn’t take long to mesh in foursomes. They were 5-under through 15 holes in their foursomes rout of Goosen and Villegas.

 

“We just really worked well together,” Mickelson said.

 

O’Hair started the week as Michael Jordan’s special project. It couldn’t have been flattering, though, with Jordan more than intimating that O’Hair lacked confidence.

 

“He’s such a great player, and he presents doubt to himself,” Jordan said.

 

Jordan managed to take some money off O’Hair in a practice round, but he apparently didn’t give O'Hair much confidence in return. O’Hair didn’t just lose his first two matches of this Presidents Cup. He didn’t lead after a single hole with his first two partners in foursomes and fourball.

 

Mickelson did what Jordan couldn’t.

 

“Phil is just hitting it very long, very straight and he’s putting well,” O’Hair said. “It takes a lot of pressure off his playing partner. I felt like I could hit it anywhere, and I would be fine.”

 

Mickelson struggled much of the summer with his wife, Amy, fighting breast cancer, but he’s been on fire since teaming up three weeks ago with putting guru Dave Stockton, the two-time PGA Championship winner. Mickelson won the Tour Championship with a hot putter the week after their short-game sessions.

 

It’s funny how a hot putter suddenly makes Mickelson such a good partner in these international team events. He hasn’t been very good in them in the past. He arrived at Harding Park a combined 21-27-15 in Presidents and Ryder cups.


If Mickelson can turn around his fortunes in international team competition, what about the majors?

 

Stockton’s excited about the possibility of Mickelson adding to his three majors, of winning his first major since the 2006 Masters.

 

“I’m really pumped about next year,” Stockton said while watching Mickelson play Friday.

 

It isn’t just the possibilities Stockton sees in Mickelson’s putting stroke. It’s the whole package.

 

“Butch Harmon has Phil hitting it so great,” Stockton said. “When we worked together, Phil talked about how good he’s hitting it.”

 

And how Mickelson’s been frustrated not being able to take advantage of the chances Harmon has helped create.

 

Mickelson’s teammates see something special coming together.

 

“Phil is swinging it awesome right now,” Leonard said. “His short game is as good as ever. He’s got a lot of confidence in it. Any time he feels like he can make putts out here, he’s dangerous.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getty Images

Rose's Saturday 64 matches Carnoustie Open record

By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 1:03 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Justin Rose needed to sink a 14-foot putt on the final hole Friday just to make the cut on the number at The Open.

Freewheeling when he came to the course Saturday, Rose tied the lowest score ever recorded in an Open at Carnoustie.

Entering the weekend nine shots off the lead, the world No. 3 carded a bogey-free, 7-under 64 to at least make things interesting. It won’t be known for several hours how many shots Rose will be behind, but his back-nine 30 gives him an opportunity, if the wind blows 25 mph Sunday as forecast, to challenge the leaders.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


After all, Paul Lawrie was 10 shots back entering the final round here in 1999.

“I think the birdie on 18 last night freed me up, and I’m just very happy to be out on this golf course and not down the road somewhere else this morning,” said Rose, who is at 4-under 209. “So that might have been part of the shift in mindset today. I had nothing to lose from that point of view.”

Rose’s 64 matched Steve Stricker and Richard Green’s record score at Carnoustie (2007).

It also was Rose’s career-low round in a major.

Getty Images

Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 21, 2018, 12:45 pm

Tiger Woods, in search of his 15th career major championship title, started the weekend six off the lead at Carnoustie. We're tracking him in Round 3 of The Open.


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Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 12:20 pm

NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

Saturday, Day 3 (Times ET)

4:30-7AM (Watch): Sunny skies and birdies were on the menu early in Round 3, as Justin Rose made his way around Carnoustie in 64 strokes. Click here or on the image below to watch.


Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)

8:20AM-3PM (Watch): As the skies cleared on Friday afternoon, defending champion Jordan Spieth made a run to try and regain the claret jug. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

1:30-8:20AM (Watch): On a rainy Friday morning at Carnoustie, Rory McIlroy shot 69 to reach 4 under, while Zach Johnson fired a 67 for the early lead. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Brooks Koepka, Ian Poulter and Cameron Smith.


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 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 marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.

Getty Images

How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 8:30 am

You want to watch the 147th Open? Here’s how you can do it.

Golf Channel and NBC Sports will be televising 182 hours of overall programming from the men's third major of the year at Carnoustie

In addition to the traditional coverage, the two networks will showcase three live alternate feeds: marquee groups, featured holes (our new 3-hole channel) and spotlight action. You can also watch replays of full-day coverage, Thursday-Sunday, in the Golf Channel app, NBC Sports apps, and on GolfChannel.com.  

Here’s the weekly TV schedule, with live stream links in parentheses. You can view all the action on the Golf Channel mobile, as well. Alternate coverage is noted in italics:

(All times Eastern; GC=Golf Channel; NBC=NBC Sports; GC.com=GolfChannel.com or check the GLE app)

Monday, July 16

GC: 7-9AM: Morning Drive (stream.golfchannel.com)

GC: 9-11AM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)

GC: 7-9PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Tuesday, July 17

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Wednesday, July 18

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Thursday, July 19

GC: Midnight-1:30AM: Midnight Drive (stream.golfchannel.com)

GC: Day 1: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 1: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 1: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 1: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Friday, July 20

GC: Day 2: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 2: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 2: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 2: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Saturday, July 21

GC: Day 3: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

NBC: Rd. 3: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 3: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 3: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 3: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 3-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Sunday, July 22

GC: Day 4: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

NBC: Rd. 4: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-2:30PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 4: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-2:30PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 4: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-2PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 4: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-2PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 2:30-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)