Phil's in position, and pressure's on

By Will GrayFebruary 14, 2016, 1:33 am

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Things are starting to look up for Phil Mickelson.

The stray misses that have dogged him for the better part of two years have recently been few and far between. That all-world short game that led to five majors – not to mention a few DVD opportunities – has been on full display this week at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

The swing is improving under a new coach, and the results have been piling up. Everything seems to be pointing in the right direction.

All of which means one thing: As Mickelson’s month-long, season-opening stretch culminates Sunday along the iconic coast of Pebble Beach, the pressure will be on him to produce a win.

Mickelson has grinded through some lean times – 937 days, to be exact – since he last lifted a PGA Tour trophy. That 2013 Open Championship win was supposed to be a harbinger of more great things to come, a victory that could propel Mickelson even further up golf’s all-time list.

It was win No. 42 of a career haul that, well, was expected to extend beyond 42 wins.

But here we sit, 937 days since he walked off with the claret jug, and the 43rd spot in Mickelson’s trophy case remains bare.

There was a close call last month in Palm Springs, and another solid result last week in Phoenix. But no opportunity has been as appetizing as the one that awaits Mickelson Sunday at Pebble, where he has won four times and leads by two shots after spinning a 6-under 66 on the host course.

“It really does feel good to finally get the scores out of it, to know that I’m playing well and to finally get the number that will get me back into contention,” Mickelson said. “It’s great that I’m leading, but it’s fun to be back in the thick of it.”

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Mickelson may crack an extra-wide smile once he takes a peek at the leaderboard and sees he’s not exactly facing a murderer’s row here on the Monterey Peninsula. He’ll play the final round alongside little-known Hiroshi Iwata, and the only PGA Tour win from his three closest competitors belongs to Freddie Jacobson in the 2011 Travelers Championship.

You probably have to go down to Jason Day to find a name that may give Mickelson reason to pause, but the Aussie is tied for eighth and six shots back.

“Phil’s playing really well, obviously,” said Jacobson, who at 13 under trails Mickelson by three. “I’m going to have to go low tomorrow if I want to have a chance to win, so that’s my goal. I’m going to have to have another good one like I did Thursday.”

Mickelson has had no issues scoring across three different layouts, but he hasn’t been firing on all cylinders, either. He has continued to tinker with his equipment all week – a new driver lasted only one round, while his new 3-wood was replaced after 36 holes.

And while Mickelson’s third-round 66 was bettered only by Jimmy Walker’s 63, it was a scrambling effort after Lefty found just nine of 18 greens in regulation.

“I didn’t strike it as well as I have been striking it this year or even the first couple rounds,” he said. “But I was able to get up and down, miss it in the right spot and salvage a lot of pars on some difficult holes today.”

Mickelson also alluded to a plan to consult overnight with new swing coach Andrew Getson, an effort to fine-tune things that seemingly indicates just how critical he views this particular opportunity.

“I’m going to have Andrew come in tonight and see if we a get a little, just get sharp tomorrow,” he said. “I really want tomorrow to be a good day.”

Mickelson has said all week – really for much of the last month – that his game is close. That the offseason work he put in alongside Getson has yielded immediate dividends, and that he is ready and eager to once again go toe-to-toe with the game’s best.

But chances like this don’t come along often, even for a hall of famer whose fingerprints are already all over this particular piece of hardware.

“To head into tomorrow’s round at Pebble Beach with an opportunity is what I’ve been waiting for,” he said.

Striving to contend is all well and good, and regardless of the outcome this week, Mickelson will exit this four-event stretch with plenty of positives.

But make no mistake – the time has arrived for Mickelson to seal the deal. Considering the state of his game, considering his past history here and considering the competition he’s facing, anything short of a win will be a disappointment.

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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.

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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.

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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  

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; or check the GLE app)

Monday, July 16

GC: 7-9AM: Morning Drive (

GC: 9-11AM: Live From The Open (

GC: 7-9PM: Live From The Open (

Tuesday, July 17

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

Wednesday, July 18

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

Thursday, July 19

GC: Midnight-1:30AM: Midnight Drive (

GC: Day 1: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 1: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

Friday, July 20

GC: Day 2: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 2: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

Saturday, July 21

GC: Day 3: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

NBC: Rd. 3: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 3-4PM (

Sunday, July 22

GC: Day 4: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

NBC: Rd. 4: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-2PM ( Day 4: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-2PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 2:30-4PM (