In any language, Mickelson is entertaining

By Rex HoggardMarch 3, 2017, 11:37 pm

MEXICO CITY – Prompted by a local media type to test his Spanish this week, Phil Mickelson played along: “Un poquito,” he said, before adding. “I'm very limited on my Spanish, so let's not overdo it, OK?”

It’s only taken Lefty two days for the local masses to make their own translation of the mercurial southpaw – entretenido.

Mickelson has been his quintessentially entertaining self, combining four birdies with a bogey on Day 2 for a 7-under total and a share of second place. But there was much more to the 46-year-old’s line than that. There always is, and it started long before Mickelson even teed off.

Lefty’s longtime caddie, Jim “Bones” Mackay, arrived at Club de Golf Chapultepec suffering from a stomach virus, which has been a common theme this week.

Midway through Mickelson’s warm-up, Mackay retreated to the clubhouse and Lefty’s brother, Tim, was put on call to possibly caddie.

“[Mickelson] has only had three caddies: his father-in-law [Gary McBride], Bones and me, and I’m retired,” Lefty’s manager, Steve Loy, said.

The last time Mickelson played an official event without Bones at his side was at the 2012 Singapore Open, the two a Tour staple for more than two decades. It’s a legacy made all the more amazing considering Mackay was back on the bag to start the year at the CareerBuilder Challenge after having double knee surgery in the offseason.

The bond runs so deep, Mickelson even called Mackay’s doctor the day before the surgery. “Hey, man, I need your best tomorrow,” he said.

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Mackay tried to work through the symptoms, hoisting the bag as Mickelson teed off and making it all the way to the fourth green (No. 13) before he finally succumbed to the symptoms and was driven back to the clubhouse.

“Bones is irreplaceable. I mean he's one of the best in the business,” Mickelson said. “But he's hurting. It's a difficult course to walk because it is hilly. We've had phenomenal times.  But on the positive side, I had a lot of fun with my brother.”

The brothers Mickelson began their era together in perfectly Mickelson-esque style, bogey at their first hole together (No. 14), birdie at the next, with a couple of wayward tee shots (No. 18) and miracle recovery attempts (No. 2) along the way, exactly what we’ve come to love and lament about Lefty.

“It was fun. It was the first time we were able to do that and it was fun. Trust me, I don’t want Bones’ job, though,” Tim Mickelson said. “I have a whole new respect. Every hole seems uphill.”

Mickelson missed wildly to the left with his tee shot at the second hole, tried to flop his next over a row of towering trees, a gamble that he lost, and needed to scramble from an awkward lie in the rough for his par.

It was perfect Phil, undeterred by distraction or potentially disastrous play. Where the mundane holds little appeal for Lefty, overcoming increasingly long odds seems to bring out the best in him.

Mickelson didn’t know if Mackay would be back at his side for Round 3, setting up an interesting scenario for Tim Mickelson, who is the manager of Jon Rahm. The Spaniard is currently tied for 14th in Mexico and could find himself vying for the same title.

“Let’s think about that on Sunday, because you want them both in the last group on Sunday, and at that point I’d recuse myself from walking,” smiled the younger Mickelson.

At this stage in his career Lefty hasn’t tried to hide the notion that it’s the majors that truly matter to him, but his body language this week suggests otherwise.

Much like there is every time he turns onto Magnolia Lane, which has always been hallowed ground for Mickelson, or arrives at the U.S. Open, the only missing piece to an otherwise perfect resume, there has been an elevated ease to Lefty this week.

“What's so fun about this course and I think the reason I've really fallen for it so quickly is that you have alternate ways to play every hole,” he said with an exuberance normally reserved for stops of the Grand Slam variety.

“You can hit driver on every hole and with the altitude you can really try and overpower it. However, the trees are so thick and dense you don't have a recovery shot. You can play conservative with irons. It's really a fun, exciting course to watch guys play.”

Mickelson has won two World Golf Championships, both in 2009, and the second at this event, albeit on another golf course, in a different country and under another sponsor.

Historically, the WGCs haven’t exactly been atop Mickelson’s dance card. He missed the Match Play from 2012-15 for a variety of reasons, including his children’s spring break, and he’s played the WGC-HSBC Champions only four times. The point is, although they are lucrative stops against the world’s best, the events have enjoyed a place well behind the majors for Lefty.

But this week seems different. This week Mickelson’s demeanor can be summed up with a single word – emocionado.

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Open odds: Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger, Rory 14/1

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 7:54 pm

Only 18 holes remain in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, and the man tied atop the leaderboard is the same man who captured the claret jug last year at Royal Birkdale.

So it’s little surprise that Jordan Spieth is the odds-on favorite (7/4) to win his fourth major entering Sunday’s final round.

Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, both tied with Spieth at 9 under par, are next in line at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, both four shots behind the leaders, are listed at 14/1.

Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Jordan Spieth: 7/4

Xander Schauffele: 5/1

Kevin Kisner: 11/2

Tiger Woods: 14/1

Francesco Molinari: 14/1

Rory McIlroy: 14/1

Kevin Chappell: 20/1

Tommy Fleetwood: 20/1

Alex Noren: 25/1

Zach Johnson: 30/1

Justin Rose: 30/1

Matt Kuchar: 40/1

Webb Simpson: 50/1

Adam Scott: 80/1

Tony Finau: 80/1

Charley Hoffman: 100/1

Austin Cook: 100/1

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Wandering photographer costs McIlroy on 16

By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 7:44 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy bogeyed two of his last four holes Saturday to fall four shots off the lead at The Open.

One of those mistakes might not have entirely been his fault.

McIlroy missed a short putt on the par-3 16th after a photographer was “in a world all his own,” wandering around near the green, taking photos of the crowd and not paying attention to the action on the green.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“It’s fine,” McIlroy said after a third-round 70 put him at 5-under 208, four shots off the lead. “It’s one of those things that happens. There’s a lot of people out there, and it is what it is. It’s probably my fault, but I just didn’t regroup well after it happened.”

McIlroy also bogeyed the home hole, after driving into a fairway bunker, sending his second shot right of the green and failing to get up and down.

“I putted well,” he said. “I holed out when I needed to. I just need to make the birdies and try to limit the damage tomorrow.”

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Kisner not expecting awkward night with Spieth

By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 7:33 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It might get awkward in that star-studded rental house Saturday night.

Two of the three Open co-leaders, Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner, are sharing a house this week near Carnoustie. Though it’ll be late by the time they both get back to the house Saturday night, they’ll have plenty of time to kill Sunday morning, with their tee times not until nearly 3 p.m. local time.

“Everybody is probably going to get treatment and eating and trying to find a bed,” Kisner said. “I’m sure there’ll be some conversations. There always are. Everybody has a few horror stories or good laughs over something that happened out there. That will probably be the end of it.”

One thing they’re almost certain to discuss is the weather.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

After three days of mostly benign conditions, Sunday’s forecast calls for warm temperatures and wind gusts up to 25 mph.

“When you watch any TV, that’s all they talk about – how Sunday’s coming,” Kisner said. “It’s going to be a true test, and we’ll get to see really who’s hitting it the best and playing the best.”

Zach Johnson is also in the house – along with Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas, Jimmy Walker and Jason Dufner – and he rode to the course Saturday with Kisner, with whom he played in the final group, at 4 p.m. It’s unclear whether the co-leaders Sunday will have a similar arrangement.

This is the third year that Spieth and Co. have shared a house at The Open, though Kisner is a new addition to the group.

“It’s the end of the week,” Kisner said. “Everybody’s got a lot of stuff going on. Everybody’s going their separate ways tomorrow. Tomorrow morning we’ll all sit around and laugh on the couch and talk about why that guy’s making so many birdies.”

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Final-round tee times for the 147th Open Championship

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 7:26 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jordan Spieth begins his quest for a second consecutive claret jug and fourth major overall at 9:45 a.m. ET Sunday at Carnoustie, playing alongside Xander Schauffele. This marks the first time Schauffele has ever held a 54-hole lead in his career.

The Kevins – Kisner and Chappell – are in the penultimate group, 10 minutes earlier at 9:35 a.m. Kisner is tied with Spieth and Schauffele at 9 under par. Chappell is two shots back at 7 under.

But it’s the next group that has people interested the most. Tiger Woods is paired with Francesco Molinari at 9:25 a.m. Woods, in search of his 15th major championship and first in 10 years, shot a third-round 66 to vault into a tie for sixth place, four shots behind the lead. He began the day six shots behind. Molinari has two wins and two second-place finishes in his last four events.

Rory McIlroy was within striking distance of the lead but bogeyed two of the last three holes to drop into a sixth-place tie. He is paired with 2017 Open runner-up Matt Kuchar at 9:05 a.m.

3:00AM ET: Beau Hossler

3:10AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Rafa Cabrera Bello

3:20AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Si-Woo Kim

3:30AM ET: Luke List, Keegan Bradley

3:40AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

3:50AM ET: Tyrrell Hatton, Paul Dunne

4:00AM ET: Cameron Davis, Brooks Koepka

4:10AM ET: Brett Rumford, Kevin Na

4:20AM ET: Henrik Stenson, Paul Casey

4:30AM ET: Gavin Green, Ryan Fox

4:45AM ET: Shubhankar Sharma, Gary Woodland

4:55AM ET: Sam Locke (a), Masahiro Kawamura

5:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Rhys Enoch

5:15AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Jason Day

5:25AM ET: Adam Hadwin, Yuta Ikeda

5:35AM ET: Sung Kang, Brandon Stone

5:45AM ET: Thomas Pieters, Stewart Cink

5:55AM ET: Lee Westwood, Julian Suri

6:05AM ET: Tom Lewis, Marc Leishman

6:15AM ET: Ross Fisher, Jason Dufner

6:30AM ET: Rickie Fowler, Patrick Reed

6:40AM ET: Phil Mickelson, Eddie Pepperell

6:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Bernhard Langer

7:00AM ET: Michael Kim, Patrick Cantlay

7:10AM ET: Shaun Norris, Lucas Herbert

7:20AM ET: Sean Crocker, Louis Oosthuizen

7:30AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Satoshi Kodaira

7:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Danny Willett

7:50AM ET: Haotong Li, Kyle Stanley

8:00AM ET: Chris Wood, Byeong Hun An

8:15AM ET: Erik Van Rooyen, Yusaku Miyazato

8:25AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

8:35AM ET: Adam Scott, Charley Hoffman

8:45AM ET: Justin Rose, Austin Cook

8:55AM ET: Tommy Fleetwood, Zach Johnson

9:05AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Rory McIlroy

9:15AM ET: Webb Simpson, Alex Noren

9:25AM ET: Francesco Molinari, Tiger Woods

9:35AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Kevin Chappell

9:45AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Xander Schauffele