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Phil Mickelson’s pursuit of average driving, Phil being Phil, and plenty more Mickelsonia from the wires today

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Phil Mickelson. We tend to forget the left-hander remains a divisive, swashbuckling figure as he settles into the home stretch of his PGA Tour career. We pretend that his outrageous risk-taking-masquerading-as-cool-calculation approach to the game is somehow something other than an affront to the plodding, conservative way the game was “meant to be played.” Phil Mickelson: Even those who can’t stand him have to be deeply intrigued by Mickelson the Man and Mickelson the Golfer. How can you not be fascinated? How can you not be frustrated?

The 47-year-old begins his season at the CareerBuilder Challenge this week seeking his first victory since the 2013 British Open. Thus, it’s not surprising to see a rash of Mickelson-related pieces populating the golf newswire today.

Here are a few morsels. Per Cameron Morfit of PGATour.com, Mickelson is pursuing “average” driving this year. The left-hander has historically struggled with the big stick and placed outside the top 100 in strokes gained: off-the-tee last season,

Here’s what Mickelson said about his pursuit of mediocrity off the tee.

“What’s funny is when you’re good at something, chipping, putting, wedges, distance control, all that stuff, it’s easy. It takes me a day or two of practice to get back to kind of an elite level. But to become just an average driver when you’re not good at it, it takes a lot of work. And that’s what I’ve been spending the last few years on, really trying to figure it out. Get the swing plane right, get shallower into the ball, get the weighting of the driver right. The whole mental approach to the driver. Just to get everything dialed in just to be average.”

“I just don’t want to give away shots off the tee. I don’t need to gain shots off the tee; I’ll gain them elsewhere. I feel like the short putting has been addressed. I feel like, and believe, that I’ve had a bit of a breakthrough with the driver. And if that happens, I think 2018 could be a remarkable year, a year where I can win multiple times.”

Golfweek’s Brentley Romine has some interesting remarks from Jon Rahm. Rahm, of course, was coached by Phil’s brother Tim at Arizona State–a job Mickelson left to manage Rahm. Tim Mickelson then ditched that gig to loop for his brother after Bones Mackay dropped his bag to pick up a microphone. In other words, Rahm has seen the pair up close plenty of times, and had this to say about the difference between his approach to the game and that of the variable-obsessed Mickelson

“It’s really fun to hear how they (Phil and Tim) talk to each other, because Tim being my coach at ASU, I don’t need much – “Okay, it’s like 120 (yards), this shot, right?’” Rahm said. “And you have Phil, it’s like, ‘Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like 1 mph wind sideways, it’s going to affect it 1 yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They’re thinking (that) and I’m like, ‘I’m lost.

“It’s funny, he gets to the green and then it’s the same thing. He’s very detail-oriented. He gets there and I’m like, ‘Oh, it’s a foot right.’ And he goes, okay, he reads the green, like, ‘Oh, it’s 1.8 degrees of slope here and this and that. And I’m there listening and I’m like, ‘Man, I hope we’re never paired together for anything because I can’t think like this.’ I would not be able to play golf like that. For me to listen to all that is really fun. And then you hear me and Adam talk, ‘180, a little breeze into, okay, hard six.’ … And it’s just opposite extremes completely.”

Different strokes before making strokes.

Then, there is this piece from Shane Ryan exploring the nature of Phil Mickelson, if you will, and suggesting he could impress this year. Of course, this is a wholly inadequate description of a piece for Golfworld you absolutely must read.

 

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. CB

    Jan 19, 2018 at 3:28 am

    If the likes of even Phil, the spokesperson for Callaway, can’t hit fairways with those drivers, how can the consumer expect to? That’s why Taylormade is #1

  2. dbleAGLE

    Jan 18, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    When I walk around the putt to see it from all angles by Buddies accuse me of “Overthinking” it…To see some real “thinking” they need a day on the course with Phil it seems.

    • Hifade

      Jan 19, 2018 at 10:36 am

      Number 1 at what…….patent infringement?

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19th Hole

Stephen Curry sponsors the creation of golf program at Howard University

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NBA star and avid golfer Stephen Curry has donated a seven-figure sum to Howard University in a move that will see men’s and women’s golf teams at the school for at least the next six years.

As the Washington Post reported on Monday, this will be the first time the school will compete at the Division I level in the sport, and the university plans to have the teams ready to compete for the 2020/21 academic year.

Curry’s donation was partly inspired by Howard senior and golfer Otis Ferguson IV, and speaking on bringing golf back to Howard, the 31-year-old stated

“Golf is a sport that has changed my life in ways that are less tangible, but just as impactful. It’s a discipline that challenges your mental wherewithal from patience to focus, and is impossible to truly master, so when you hear about these passionate student athletes who have the talent but don’t have a fair shot at the game, it’s tough. I feel really honored to play a small role in the rich history of Howard University.”

Howard University’s previous collegiate golf team competed in Division II before disbanding three decades ago, and Curry’s donation is set to be paid out over six years in order for the golf team to become self-sustainable.

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19th Hole

Here is where each player will start the Tour Championship

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Justin Thomas’ win at last week’s BMW Championship now gives him the lead in the FedEx Cup playoff race heading to the revamped Tour finale. The 26-year-old will start the Tour Championship at 10-under par, with his closest challenger Patrick Cantlay beginning the event two strokes further back at eight-under par.

Here are the starting positions for the 30 players at this week’s Tour Championship.

  • -10: Thomas
  • -8: Patrick Cantlay
  • -7: Brooks Koepka
  • -6: Patrick Reed
  • -5: Rory McIlroy
  • -4: Jon Rahm, Matt Kuchar, Xander Schauffele, Webb Simpson, Abraham Ancer
  • -3: Gary Woodland, Tony Finau, Adam Scott, Dustin Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama
  • -2: Paul Casey, Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker, Rickie Fowler, Kevin Kisner
  • -1: Marc Leishman, Tommy Fleetwood, Corey Conners, Sungjae Im, Chez Reavie
  • Even Par: Bryson DeChambeau, Louis Oosthuizen, Charles Howell III, Lucas Glover, Jason Kokrak

The Tour Championship takes begins on August 22 from East Lake GC in Atlanta, GA, with the winner receiving $15 million.

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19th Hole

How much each player won at the 2019 BMW Championship

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Justin Thomas produced a masterclass at Medinah Country Club to take home the BMW Championship title and with it claim the winner’s check worth just over $1.6 million. In what was a crucial week in the FedEx Cup race, Patrick Cantlay who finished runner-up to Thomas collects a check for just under $1 million and will head to Atlanta for the Tour Championship one place back of the 26-year-old.

With players battling for a place at East Lake and no cut in place, here’s a look at what the 69 players in action earned at last week’s BMW Championship.

1: Justin Thomas $1,665,000.00

2 Patrick Cantlay 999,000.00

3 Hideki Matsuyama 629,000.00

4 Tony Finau 444,000.00

T5 Jon Rahm 351,500.00

T5 Brandt Snedeker 351,500.00

T7 Corey Conners 298,312.50

T7 Lucas Glover 298,312.50

T9 Kevin Kisner 259,000.00

T9 Adam Scott 259,000.00

T11 Tommy Fleetwood 196,100.00

T11 Rickie Fowler 196,100.00

T11 Sungjae Im 196,100.00

T11 Louis Oosthuizen 196,100.00

T11 Kevin Tway 196,100.00

T16 J.T. Poston 148,000.00

T16 Rory Sabbatini 148,000.00

T16 Vaughn Taylor 148,000.00

T19 Jason Kokrak 112,110.00

T19 Marc Leishman 112,110.00

T19 Rory McIlroy 112,110.00

T19 Patrick Reed 112,110.00

T19 Xander Schauffele 112,110.00

T24 Paul Casey 78,856.25

T24 Joel Dahmen 78,856.25

T24 Brooks Koepka 78,856.25

T24 Webb Simpson 78,856.25

T28 Byeong Hun An 65,675.00

T28 Abraham Ancer 65,675.00

T28 Si Woo Kim 65,675.00

T31 Wyndham Clark 53,650.00

T31 Emiliano Grillo 53,650.00

T31 Joaquin Niemann 53,650.00

T31 C.T. Pan 53,650.00

T31 Ian Poulter 53,650.00

T31 Gary Woodland 53,650.00

T37 Billy Horschel 40,700.00

T37 Charles Howell III 40,700.00

T37 Ryan Moore 40,700.00

T37 Scott Piercy 40,700.00

T37 Jordan Spieth 40,700.00

T37 Tiger Woods 40,700.00

T43 Keegan Bradley 30,525.00

T43 Adam Hadwin 30,525.00

T43 Troy Merritt 30,525.00

T43 Ryan Palmer 30,525.00

T43 Andrew Putnam 30,525.00

T48 Bryson DeChambeau 23,865.00

T48 Shane Lowry 23,865.00

T48 Phil Mickelson 23,865.00

T48 Collin Morikawa 23,865.00

T52 Jason Day 21,571.00

T52 Dylan Frittelli 21,571.00

T52 Matt Kuchar 21,571.00

T52 Keith Mitchell 21,571.00

T52 Justin Rose 21,571.00

T57 Jim Furyk 20,627.50

T57 Dustin Johnson 20,627.50

T57 Graeme McDowell 20,627.50

T57 Chez Reavie 20,627.50

T61 Max Homa 20,072.50

T61 Francesco Molinari 20,072.50

T63 Rafa Cabrera Bello 19,702.50

T63 Sung Kang 19,702.50

T65 Cameron Champ 19,240.00

T65 J.B. Holmes 19,240.00

T65 Adam Long 19,240.00

68 Harold Varner III 18,870.00

69 Nate Lashley 18,685.00

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