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Mickelson unwise to make tax complaints public

Phil Mickelson
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Phil’s hit some questionable shots through the years, but his Romney-esque riff on taxes was among his most impetuous. To his credit he realized it.  And though his complaint may have some merit, it’s a subject best kept private, especially when people are out of work or struggling to make a dollar.

Brandt Snedeker is already a genius with his putter.  If he continues to get more consistent Tee to Green, he could become a truly great player.  Going back to 2007, he’s never been inside the top 100 in greens in regulation.  Granted it’s early, but at the moment he’s 5th.  Above all, his mental makeup is outstanding.

• What’s mildly disconcerting about Rory’s Nike move is that for the first time he doesn’t feel authentic.  And how does abandoning their putter after one round inspire consumer confidence in the product?   Oh, right, the world will be smiling after we see the Rory/Tiger commercial again.  That said, given Rory’s propensity for silencing critics, the Middle East missed cut is just a blip on the radar.

• Jack turned 73 this week.  At the PNC Father-Son Challenge in December, he stood with Raymond Floyd on the range late Friday afternoon.  They were lamenting their loss of distance off the tee.  Jack said, “On that 400 yard par four on the back, number 15, I hit my drive about 200 yards.  200 yards, and it was downwind! I had 200 left to the green and had to hit five-wood.”  He paused. A slight smile broke across his face. He said, “I hit it five feet.”

• On the proposed anchored putter ban, someone will have to make a convincing argument to Carl Petterson that a club he’s used for nearly 15 years is suddenly going to be taken away.  It would be one thing if the ruling bodies declared 460cc driver heads off limits and everyone was affected.  But in allowing the putter for so long, there is a case to be made that it’s unfair to those who’ve relied on it.

• Bet Brian Gay’s happy to be paying almost $400 K in taxes in the last week.

• Abu Dhabi winner Jamie Donaldson’s a strong lad, built like a rugby player.   He’s this year’s Peter Hanson, the quiet and steady Euro riser.

• Four majors to catch Jack didn’t feel like a lot in the world Tiger used to rule.  Now it feels like a very tall order, maybe too tall.

• K.J. Choi is poised to bounce back from a sub-par 2012.  He told me in Hawaii that when he returned from playing in the Middle East last year he wasn’t feeling well, a result of sand in his eyes.  What’s more, he took time adjusting to life without his longtime caddie, Andy Prodger, who retired.  K.J. is now comfortable with new bag man Graeme Courts, who looped for years for Loren Roberts.  Choi began to turn the corner late last year when he won the event he hosts in his native Korea. 

• The LPGA’s International Crown with eight countries featuring four golfers apiece looks good on paper.  If the inaugural delivers South Korea against the U.S.A. late Sunday for the title they will have gotten off to a great start.

• Expect a commercial to pop up on Golf Channel with the deep voiced announcer saying, “Do you suffer from bifurcation?  If so, there is a remedy.  Bifurcia.”

• I don’t know a reporter who wouldn’t love to do the Mike Weir comeback story on the 10th anniversary of his 2003 Masters win. His elbow’s on the mend. And his heart is still the best club in his bag.