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  • Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
    Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
  • The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Art of Golf Design
    The Art of Golf Design
    by Michael Miller, Geoff Shackelford
  • Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Golden Age of Golf Design
    The Golden Age of Golf Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
  • The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford
Current Reading
  • Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    by Daniel Wexler
  • The Golf Book: Twenty Years of the Players, Shots, and Moments That Changed the Game
    The Golf Book: Twenty Years of the Players, Shots, and Moments That Changed the Game
    by Chris Millard
  • The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    by Dan Washburn
  • The Early Days of Pinehurst
    The Early Days of Pinehurst
    by Chris Buie
  • Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    by Bill Fields
  • The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    by Gil Capps
Classics
  • Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    by Geo. C. Thomas
  • The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    Treewolf Prod
  • Reminiscences Of The Links
    Reminiscences Of The Links
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast, Richard C. Wolffe, Robert S. Trebus, Stuart F. Wolffe
  • Gleanings from the Wayside
    Gleanings from the Wayside
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast
  • Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    by Darius Oliver
  • Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    by Darius Oliver
Writing And Videos

Every golfer wants a challenge, but he doesn't want to be out there fighting the Korean War.
JOE LEE


    

Tuesday
Sep042007

"Phil's imagery is interesting"

Tim Rosaforte looks at what appears to be a developing theme: elite player dissatisfaction with the details surrounding the deferred compensation package for the FedEx Cup.

The confusion stems from the tour's business plan of taking $19 million of FedEx money, adding it to their pool of resources (which according to former policy board member Tom Pernice Jr. includes $16 million from the tour's retirement fund) to make a total of $35 million -- with an eye-popping $10 million to the winner. "[The message] the tour wants to get across is that [the playoffs are] more about winning the FedEx Cup than the money," Pernice said. "But they've made it a money issue [by making the prize money] deferred."
And...
Some players -- Davis Love III and Jim Furyk, most notably -- have been outspoken proponents of the deferred payment idea. The griping has come as a surprise to tour officials. Tour executive vice president Ty Votaw explains that the deferred plan went through all the proper channels, from the PAC to the board of directors, which includes both players and four leading businessmen. Votaw also noted that Woods, Els and Mickelson were asked for their input during the process (although a representative for one of the Big Three told Golf World that the tour received some opposition and not support for the deferred concept).

"Phil's imagery is interesting," Votaw said. "We could still roll out $10 million in a wheelbarrow. The difference is the $10 million is being deposited into an account. An annuity is different. The $10 million starts growing the day it goes in."

As compelling as the idea of cash is for the average fan, Votaw and players like Joe Ogilvie are able to make a compelling case that the deferred compensation is great for the rank and file players. What I'm not understanding is why the elite players like Mickelson and Woods may be so against it. Unless they are simply looking at this from a fan perspective and realizing that "deferred compensation" is a lot less sexy than cash.

This is interesting...

As for Pernice's claim that a portion of the $35 million came from the retirement fund, Votaw told Golf World the FedEx payout, which includes $32,000 for last place, was part of the tour's overall budget. "I'm not going to get into sources of revenues, but there's an allocation of resources that takes place, and that takes place every year," he said. "Our job is to create as many economic opportunities as possible for our players."

And...

Says former policy-board member Olin Browne, "It's a lot easier to tuck the money in a safe corner rather than hand somebody a check. It stands to have much greater value down the line. In the meantime, nobody's on the hook for the cash. It's in there somewhere. It's on the books. But I don't know the whole thing seems a little convoluted to me."
Tuesday
Sep042007

"These wedges he's designed have really paid off for him this week."

Did you catch when Johnny Miller said that during the final round telecast of the 2007 Deutsche Bank Championship after yet another of Phil Mickelson's miracle up and downs?

I couldn't help but think of our beloved old pal Stu Schneider, who not only would have been all over Example 492 of Johnny's blatant Callaway conflict of interest (I know, I know, he mentioned the Sasquatch after a Tiger drive...yada, yada).

But it should also be said that Stu might have noted the telecast as perhaps NBC's best of the year and a classic example of how good NBC's golf coverage can be when given a compelling finish and course. 

Tuesday
Sep042007

Murray Blames Golf For His Cart Driving DUI

We can only hope he's prepping for a reprisal of the Spackler role with talk like this. Apparently the cart was used during a pro-am and he just kept on driving with it until...

I ended up stopping and dropping people off on the way like a bus. I had about six people in the thing and I dropped them off one at a time and as the last couple were getting out, who wished to be dropped off at a 7-Eleven. ... I didn't know they had 7-Elevens in Stockholm," said Murray, who turns 57 on Sept. 21.

 

Tuesday
Sep042007

So Nice To See John Cleese Working...

When the script resorts to gently spoofing the CEO, I suppose that's refreshing. Or a signal that it's time to pull the plug on John Cleese's steadiest check in decades.

Tuesday
Sep042007

2011 FedEx Cup In Doubt If Woods Decides To Walk Sam To First Day of Pre-School

Okay sometimes this hiding behind family values stuff gets the best of me. (By the way, did Phil's offspring wait around for him today while he did his corporate outting?)

Anyway, it does seem that Tiger is going to pass on the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, what with Doug Ferguson already speculating on possible replacements.

Don't laugh, but Mike Weir is the third alternate.  

Tuesday
Sep042007

Phil Refuses To Let Nanny Take The Kids To School, Will Skip BMW

It's official...

Tuesday
Sep042007

"Knackered"

That's Padraig's explanation for pulling out of Chicago and the rest of the playoffs.

 

Tuesday
Sep042007

Deutsche Bank Wrap Up

Paul Kenyon and Kevin McNamara on reaction to the TPC Boston changes and the possibility of more work to come, with this from Deutsche Bank's Seth Waugh:
“Some of the holes, you look at them and half the hole has been changed. That side has, but this side doesn’t have the same look,” Waugh said. “The course plays differently, more strategically because of Gil’s work.”

The fourth hole, which went from a dogleg 435-yarder to a 298-yard par-4, was the hole the players least liked, Waugh reported. The new hole, driveable for virtually all of the players, was much better received.

Among others, Phil Mickelson went 2, 3, 5, 3 on the hole, picking up three strokes on Tiger Woods, who went 6, 2, 4, 4. Because it provides wild swings in scoring, officials are discussing the possibility of setting up new stands behind the green and making it one of the focus holes.

The hope is to continue to modify the course, although now it becomes merely fine-tuning.

“Gil is an artist. Brad is, too. You just let them go paint the picture,” Waugh said.

Jim McCabe has more from a jubiliant Waugh, comments from Waugh that make it quite clear how little schedule tinkering will go on for 2008, and this update on the much talked about fourth hole:
When all was said and done, the much talked-about par-4 fourth - a 298-yarder that had plenty of skeptics - held its own. No doubt, players took aim and plenty drove the green - 134 of them in four days. Five players made eagles as the hole played to a field average of 3.714 to rank 16th. But as a testament to the devilish nature of the hole, of the top eight players on the leaderboard at the start of the day, only Mickelson made birdie in the final round. Crunching some numbers after 374 scores had been recorded over four days:

Woods never did birdie it. He had a three-putt par yesterday, a par in Round 3, an eagle Saturday, and that unforgettable double bogey thanks to three bunker shots Friday.

Tom Pernice was the only player of the 75 who made the cut to play the hole over par. He made the championship's only triple bogey, then followed with three pars.

Mickelson played it in 3 under.

Sergio Garcia had four pars.

Cameron Morfit says the Mickelson issue is simple: he hasn't played well at Cog Hill.
Tuesday
Sep042007

Where's Mickelson's Beef?

Looking at his frank remarks to Mark Rolfing late in 2005, I thought I might get a better feel for what it is that has Phil Mickelson so upset with Tim Finchem. Instead, I'm more confused than ever. Read this, then read his comments after the Deutsche Bank and he comes across as irrational.

Monday
Sep032007

Mickelson's "Intent" Revealed: To Drive Finchem Batty

Mauricio, this is Mr. Finchem's office calling, we would like to move up that color session scheduled for next week to this week.

Oh, Mr. Daly acting up again?

No.

Mr. Woods?

No.

Mr. Mickelson?

Yes Mauricio, you obviously saw the telecast. So how about Thursday, just be at the airport and the Falcon will take you up to Chicago and back, just like in May when you took care of him.

Oh I remember, the drug testing stress. Well tell Mr. Finchem I'll bring the nice light brown he prefers for the summer months.

I will tell him.

Steve Elling pieces together the details of Phil Mickelson pulling down his pants and turning a positively joyous, downright classic golf tournament into yet more millionaire bickering spilling out on national TV (I knew I should have left for the beach after NBC signed off!).

And you know the way Elling spells it out, as well as Chris Lewis (who transcribes the Jimmy Roberts interview) I think Phil's going to have people feeling sorry for the Commissioner. That's not easy to do!

If you want to read it straight from Mr. Family Man's mouth, here are the key excerpts, with the point misser and rally kill trimmed for your reading sanity. Well, except for that in-house, PGA Tour designed kill...

Q. Based on some comments on TV, is your rival now Tiger or Tim?

PHIL MICKELSON: Oh, no, no. I don't have a problem, it's just that I'm a little conflicted on some things because I'm trying to -- I want to have a balance in my life, and I certainly feel the obligation to play and support the FedExCup and to support the PGA TOUR, support the game of golf.

And I also want to have balance in my family life, and my family has sacrificed a lot this year because it's been a very difficult schedule. It's not the four FedExCup tournaments; it's the PGA, Akron right before that, only four days off after the British Open before we had to travel and playing two weeks before that, so it's been the last three months having no more than two days off at a time and working to do corporate outings in between.

Can we set this to Schubert? Maybe string quartet No. 14 to really capture the totality of this terrible man making you play so much golf for all that money in between your corporate outtings!
So our time together has struggled, and I want to have a balance there. They start school next week, so I have that conflict -- or obligation and desire to be there.
My frustration from this past year came from asking for a couple of things in the FedExCup that weren't done and not really feeling all that bad now if I happen to miss. So I'm not really sure how it's going to play out.

Like I said, he's making you feel for the Commissioner isn't he?

Q. You said a couple discussion points with Tim that you were looking for vis-á-vis the design of the Playoff structure.

PHIL MICKELSON: I don't want to go into it. Just I want to support it and I certainly feel the obligation to, but I also have to have a balance both ways.

Q. Did you talk about it this week?
PHIL MICKELSON: Every time I see him this year I bring it up.

And this would be what? Oh right, that's confidential.

Here's a nice endorsement for the playoffs, again, after a thrilling finish that has done wonders for his season, brought great attention to his sponsors, wonderful vibes for Boston fans and in general, boosted the FedEx Cup's profile....

Q. Were you more excited about the FedExCup or more excited about 2008?

PHIL MICKELSON: I'm excited about the way this week went. I loved this finish, I loved being able to play three rounds with the best player of arguably all time and certainly the best player in the world today, and to be able to come out on top feels great, and that just leads to excitement for the coming here, as well as I guess the finish of the year. But '08 is when our next major is, so that's kind of what I'm looking forward to.

Q. Are you going to play next week?
PHIL MICKELSON: I was just saying, I don't know.

Q. But you'll be in Chicago --
PHIL MICKELSON: I'm not sure. I don't know.

Q. You'll be there tomorrow, though?
PHIL MICKELSON: I'll be there tomorrow. I had already scheduled an outing I was planning on playing, but I'm not sure.

Q. If you were to skip next week, would that mean skipping the last one, too?
PHIL MICKELSON: No, I would end up going to Atlanta.
STEWART MOORE: I believe we've touched on 12 and 18. Can you briefly take us through the rest of your birdies?

Are rally kills by the in-house PGA Tour staff eligible for Rally Killer of the Year? Hmmm...

Monday
Sep032007

"Well, I don't know, there's only two of us this time"

From Steve Elling's preview of today's Woods-Mickelson pairing:

Mickelson stands two shots behind 54-hole leader Brett Wetterich, who is 13 under, while Woods is three back. The game's two most popular players were paired for the first two days at TPC Boston, along with Vijay Singh, attracting a huge throng. The crowd following the two biggest draws in the game Monday ought to make the mood over the first two days look serene.

"Well, I don't know, there's only two of us this time," Mickelson cracked.

Sunday
Sep022007

"I've got to slow things down."

Tad Reeve and Aaron Barber play Hazeltine with retro club and Reeve reports on the round.

Normally, I'd hit a 3-wood off the tee at No. 10. That's a metal 3-wood. This time, I needed all the distance I could get, so I pulled out the driver. You see that little wooden club head behind the ball, and you can't help but think of all the things that could go wrong. It felt clunky. Naturally, I hooked it deep into the woods, but that isn't unusual for me on that hole. Only this time, I was a good 50 yards shorter than normal, about 175 yards out.

Normally, Aaron would hit an 18-degree hybrid here. Instead, he pulled out the driver, too. He was uncomfortable, too, saying it felt heavier than his driver. His shot flared to the right and settled into the edge of the rough 235 yards away, quite a dropoff from the 277 yards he averaged with his driver on the front nine.

"Oh, geez, that's the swing I make with my regular driver," Aaron said after making contact. "I've got to slow things down."

After that, he did. He adjusted quickly. Each of his next three drives went more than 250 yards, and he averaged 244 for the nine holes. But more importantly, he adapted to the nuances of the old clubs.

"All through the back nine," he said, "I only thought about scoring and not about how the shot looked."

He hit the set of Wilson Staff irons as well as the Titleist DCI 962 irons he normally plays with. He lost maybe five yards in distance with each club, but he is used to hitting pro-style irons that have smaller sweet spots, which elite golfers like because of added control and feel. He was quick to admit that he was hitting pretty well that day, and on a day when he didn't feel so much in the groove, the results wouldn't have been so ... well ... groovy.

He had a couple of three-putts on the back nine, caused by poor lag putting, but he didn't feel overly hamstrung by the old-style putter. It reminded him of the putters he had as a kid. And, to be fair, Aaron Barber is good. You don't get to the level he reached without talent.

"Guys who play for a living," he says, "have to adapt real quick."

There was also a video that accompanied the piece online...

 

Sunday
Sep022007

Deutsche Monday

Doug Ferguson on what figures to be an exciting Monday in Boston. I wonder if Phil is going to get some chuckles watching Tiger do whatever it is that Butch told him to watch for?
Sunday
Sep022007

"Beyond comprehension"

Catching up on some other non-PGA Tour stories, I see where a nice little spat is developing in Europe over the consistent selection of dreadful Ryder Cup venues. Darren Clarke spoke up and Mike Aitken reports:

DARREN Clarke, a Ryder Cup regular since 1997, completed his first round on the PGA Centenary course at Gleneagles and admitted it was "beyond his comprehension" why Europe's Ryder Cup committee had chosen to stage the match here against the USA in 2014.

After carding 73, level par, in the first round of the Johnnie Walker yesterday, Clarke described the Jack Nicklaus lay-out as an American style course not up to the standard of championship venues widely available in Scotland.

He said: "I think it is unbelievable they [the Ryder Cup committee] have chosen this course to stage the 2014 match. There's only been one Ryder Cup in Scotland, in 1973 [at Muirfield], and then they choose a course like this one. There are even two better ones here at Gleneagles. Scotland is the home of golf and we should not be playing on an American-style course; it's beyond my comprehension."

Clarke was not against Gleneagles as a venue for the match, if it was played over the adjacent Kings course, which has staged European Tour events, or even the short Queens course.

"Gleneagles is a wonderful venue but this is the wrong course," Clarke insisted.

Muirfield, Turnberry, Loch Lomond and Carnoustie were the other Scottish bidders. But Diageo, the owners of Gleneagles, succeeded because they made the best commercial offer with a venue deemed the most appropriate to host a modern Ryder Cup.

The next day Aitken wheeled out some poor chap (Sandy Jones?) to defend the selection, who made sure to note that the course is difficult, therefore it must be good!

"Even when Bells sponsored the Scottish Open on the King's, there was talk someone might shoot 59 there," added Jones. "The truth is the King's and the Queen's are just not big enough to accommodate today's players. To suggest the Ryder Cup should be played there isn't helpful. If we're going to have a debate about the course, let's have a sensible one."

A sensible one eh? Well then that calls for Monty's take!

But Colin Montgomerie, chairman of the Johnnie Walker championship committee, said: "Gleneagles will be a fantastic venue.

"As far as the staging of the match in Perthshire is concerned, I have no concerns whatsoever."

Spoken like someone who really wants to be captain in 2014.

Jones also stressed the important role Gleneagles had played in the history of the match, hosting the first unofficial contest against the USA in 1921 even before the hotel was built.

Colin Montgomerie also rallied to the defence of Gleneagles and insisted the PGA Centenary course was at least as good if not better than most of the venues chosen to host the Ryder Cup on this side of the Atlantic over the past 25 years.

Asked to comment in his capacity as chairman of the Johnnie Walker championship committee about the suitability of Gleneagles as hosts of the 2014 Ryder Cup match, Montgomerie said: "People are entitled to their opinion, but I feel the course would stand up to any Ryder Cup venue."

"Gleneagles is at least on a par with any of those venues if not an awful lot better than some."

Well and it is such elite company: K Club, Belfry, Celtic Manor. The architectural marvels of our time.

Sunday
Sep022007

"I felt comfortable in the standings to take the week off"

Scott Michaux, writing in the Augusta Chronicle on the lure of college football.

Just how enticing is the lure of college football? Consider that one of the legitimate contenders for the PGA Tour's $10 million playoff all but forfeited his chance to win the grand prize by skipping this week's event in Boston to be in Sanford Stadium on Saturday.

Scott Verplank said he had a harder time convincing his wife to let him come to Athens with fellow OSU luxury box owner Tway than he did to take the week off. Standing 15th in golf's new playoffs points system, he was one of the few considered a viable contender to win the overall FedEx Cup and the richest paycheck in sports history. But the Cowboys were playing the No. 13 Dawgs between the hedges.

"I felt comfortable in the standings to take the week off," Verplank said.

Boy, when the PGA Tour adopted its new schedule to avoid conflicts with football season, here's betting the commissioner didn't have this in mind.

But that says something about the attraction of football on a Saturday. It's irresistible to fans and players alike.

Scott had a slightly different rationale earlier in the week.

Saturday
Sep012007

"I'd pay $15 to play El Dump-o-rama down the street with the bowl-shaped greens and the bunkers that haven't been raked in four years. Absolutely. That's fun. That's fun golf."

A fun item from Doug Ferguson's Deutsche Bank second round notes column

Rich Beem lives the good life on the PGA Tour, playing the best courses with the best players, taking part in pro-ams with the rich and famous. But he still enjoys going back to his roots - a municipal golf course, a few beers, lots of laughs.

Beem was having lunch with his caddie, Billy Heim, on Monday in Rhode Island when he mentioned he was going to play golf and the waitress recommended a course in Providence called Triggs, an old Donald Ross design.

"I played with two police officers from Rhode Island," Beem said. "They had their day off. They finished playing golf, but I don't know how. They were really enjoying their day off."

This wasn't the first time Beem has gone from TPCs to municipal tracks. He was asked if he would pay $400 to play Pebble Beach.

"Oh, God, no," Beem said. "But I'd pay $15 to play El Dump-o-rama down the street with the bowl-shaped greens and the bunkers that haven't been raked in four years. Absolutely. That's fun. That's fun golf. We play these beautiful courses all the time, but what's wrong with going out and playing fun golf now and then, shooting whatever, play in your bare feet."

Heim is more than just a caddie. He lost in the final match of the 1987 U.S. Junior Amateur to Brett Quigley, who happened to play with Beem the first two rounds of the Deutsche Bank Championship.

How does a former PGA champion wind up on a municipal golf course?

"I'm just another guy who took a day off of a work and went to go play golf," he said. "Is that so bad?"

Saturday
Sep012007

"But he [Harmon] told me a couple of things he [Woods] likes to do, and I was watching for it, and I chuckled throughout the round when I'd pick up on it."

Steve Elling files an entertaining report on Saturday's much-improved performance (19-under-par!!) from the Tiger-Phil-Vijay pairing.

It was gang engorgement, a feeding frenzy. Mickelson, ever the smirking wise guy, suggested that Woods might have been motivated to pick up his pace after Lefty started a torrid run in the middle of the round, when he played an eight-hole stretch in a blistering 7 under.

"I think Tiger got a little upset there when I got on that streak because he started out 6 under in his next six holes," Mickelson said, his math exactly right.

Oh that's good, but here's the buried lede:

Mickelson enjoyed the two days in the premier trio so much he wants more of the same in Monday's final round. Butch Harmon, his swing coach and Woods' former teacher, gave Mickelson some insider information on things to watch when playing with Woods. Mickelson declined to provide specifics, but it must have something to do with Woods' mannerisms or peccadilloes.

Maybe Woods has been demystified a bit.

"In the past I haven't really played that well with Tiger, per se," Mickelson said. "But he [Harmon] told me a couple of things he [Woods] likes to do, and I was watching for it, and I chuckled throughout the round when I'd pick up on it."

Mickelson stubbornly wouldn't offer more, other than Harmon's insight seemed to work.

"It's really helped because I find myself chuckling at it now and played much more relaxed and had a good time today," Mickelson said.

I think that pretty much eliminates any hope of a Butch-Tiger reunion.

A few other nuggets from Mickelson's press conference:

PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, figuring out how the slopes on the greens are going to take it. I love the design and I love the setup. I love the way the greens are, around the greens, the way the rough is where you can actually play shots, and I think that I'm going to plan on making this a permanent stop. This is the first time I've been here, and I can't believe I haven't been here earlier. This is a wonderful tournament for us.

Guess Phil likes fescue rough.

And on the FedEx Cup...

Q. When you first heard about the FedExCup, what was your sense then, and has it changed at all since you've started to play in it?

PHIL MICKELSON: I'm not sure. I mean, I think that I won't have a good comment for you on the FedExCup for a couple years. I think that I've got to give it a fair chance to play out and see how the individual events go and see how the overall chase for the Cup goes. The first year we're going to need to do a few tweaks, you can tell, and I'm curious to see how next year's scheduling is going to be.

There's a lot of little areas in there that are critical I think in the first couple years on whether it makes it or not.

I guess he hasn't heard that the schedule is set for next year.

This is funny and it leads into the stuff Elling quotes above...

Q. At a normal TOUR event you three guys wouldn't play together. Would it be good to do this more often?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I think it would. I mean, I think it would. Certainly the last three years this random computer pairings has randomly had us on opposite tee times every day for three years (laughter).

Q. Funny how that works out.

PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, anyway, but I enjoy it. This was actually a really interesting day because I've been working with Butch Harmon, as you know, and in the past I haven't really played that well with Tiger per se. But he told me a couple things that he likes to do, and I kind of was watching for it, and I chuckled throughout the round when I'd pick up on it. And it was just -- I think that working with Butch has really helped me understand how to get my best golf when I play in the same group as Tiger, and I'm hoping I have a chance to do that on Monday.

Q. Anything you can tell us, the things you look for?

PHIL MICKELSON: Oh, no, I'm not about to tell you. I'm not even going to go there. But just a couple things that have been very interesting, and certainly the stories have been great (laughter). But just a few things to watch for. And it's really helped because I find myself chuckling at it now and played much more relaxed and had a good time today.

Q. Kind of demystified the guy for you?

PHIL MICKELSON: I wouldn't say that. That's all I'd really care to go for. I'm sharing with you a little piece and you keep asking for more.

Q. Are you hoping you guys get paired together again next week?

PHIL MICKELSON: Absolutely. I'd like to play well tomorrow and I'd like him to play well tomorrow, so hopefully we both have a chance on Monday and maybe get paired together. That would be fun.


Saturday
Sep012007

"You might think making the same nine-hole loop time after time would grow tedious, but nothing could be further from the truth."

PT-AG320_Golf1_20070831182126.jpgJohn Paul Newport celebrates the beauties of nine-hole rounds with his Saturday WSJ column. And yes, I supplied the image of Marion's 9th that accompanies the piece.

As always, thanks to reader John for sending the link.

Saturday
Sep012007

"One week into the much belly-ached FedEx Cup "Playoffs," the howls from the golf scribes can be heard from here to Madagascar."

The Commissioner has mentioned the many positive fan and blog entries commenting on the FedEx Cup, though I don't know if I've found one yet. Here's one he probably won't like because like others, it points out that the season-long points race has made a mess of things. However, FedEx wouldn't have anything to do with it if the "race" was not being mentioned each week.

Saturday
Sep012007

Diaz On Nicklaus

Jaime Diaz blogs about some of Jack Nicklaus's candid stories told during this week's session to publicize the amazing new Martin Davis book.