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19th Hole

GolfWRX Morning 9: Phil already going full Mickelson | Singular US Open stories

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Good morning, GolfWRX members. As most of you are signed up for our newsletters, you likely already know that I’ve been sending this little Morning 9 roundup of nine items of note to start your day.

In case you’ve missed it, or you prefer to read on site rather than in your email, we’re including it here. Check out today’s Morning 9 below. Feedback is always welcome–send everything from news tips to complaints (hopefully more tips than complaints)!

If you’re not signed up for our newsletters, you can subscribe here.

By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com)

June 12, 2018

Good Tuesday morning, golf fans. Yesterday I asked if there was anything I ought to ask Sergio Garcia. Per a request, I asked him about changing wedge grinds for Shinnecock. He said he hasn’t changed anything and doesn’t plan to.
1. Vintage Phil
Mickelson, who will be practicing off site until the U.S. Open begins, spoke with the scribes at Shinnecock in a press conference Monday. He did not disappoint.
A few morsels.
  • “So the notes that I had in 2004 are all accurate. In fact, they were 100 percent the same from 2004 as they are today,” Mickelson said. “But the notes that I took weren’t precise, like this putt breaks ‘X’  amount. The notes were that you must stay here for this pin, you must go here for this pin, the odds of getting up and down from this spot are 50 percent, 10 percent.”
  • “The difficulty is, when you dream of a championship as a child – whether it’s U.S. Open or the Masters, whatever event – and you dream of winning these tournaments as a child and you work hours and hours and you fly in days and days and do all this prep work, and then you are left to chance the outcome, as opposed to skill, that’s a problem. That’s the problem that I have with it.”
2. Spotlight on singular U.S. Open stories
Given its unique open qualifying format and system of exemptions, the U.S. Open always produces a narratively rich field.
  • There are plenty of stories on that front. Joel Beall at Golf Digest looks at Matt Parziale, the Massachusetts firefighter who won the Mid-Am and has already played in the Masters.
  • Parziale on shelving his pro golf dreams: “Every decision I make, I don’t have any regrets,” Parziale said. “I just do what I think is right. I could be wrong. No, I’m still able to play golf and compete, and I enjoy that, and I have a career that I’m able to do, family. I didn’t want to miss out on life. I could be 35 years old and never make it happen. Then where do you start?”
  • In a similar vein, this AP profile of Garrett Rank, the NHL ref who qualified for the competition.
  • “Cancer for me was kind of a blessing in disguise,” Rank said. “It gave me a way better approach to hockey and golf and kind of changed my attitude that, hey, maybe that bad shot isn’t really that bad or, hey, maybe this missed call really isn’t that bad at the end of the day.”
3. USGA and Shinnecock Nation to Build Oscar Bunn Golf Facility
Press release
  • The USGA and the Shinnecock Nation have released a joint public statement today, confirming their shared commitment to a successful U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club this week.
  • “The USGA and the Shinnecock Nation share a long history that began in 1896 with the start of our relationship and will again be celebrated during the 2018 U.S. Open.
  • “The leadership of both organizations has worked together for several months to identify opportunities to recognize the Shinnecock Nation’s contributions to the golf course, honor its heritage and engage its members in the championship.
  • “The USGA will not only engage the Shinnecock Nation in various ways during the championship but will also provide a lasting tribute with the development of the Oscar Bunn Golf Facility, which will offer a place for Shinnecock golf enthusiasts and juniors to learn to play the game and enjoy it for a lifetime.”
4. Goodwin gets in
Dave Shedloski profiles on the the beneficiaries of a recent USGA decision.
  • “Last fall, the USGA announced that the champions of the U.S. Junior Amateur and the U.S. Mid-Amateur would be granted exemptions into the following year’s U.S. Open.”
  • It was a rush of emotions and a dream come true,” the Texas teen said Monday at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, where he will make his U.S. Open debut on Thursday. “Any teenager dreams of playing in the U.S. Open, and you always visualize making that putt to win the U.S. Open. So to have that dream come true at just 17 years old is something I could have never wished for.”
5. Remember the VAS?
Jonathan Wall catches up with Corey Pavin and Roger Cleveland to discuss the singular Cleveland VAS irons Pavin won at Shinnecock with in 1995.
  • “The VAS (Vibration Absorbing System) irons had a teardrop-shaped head that was a half-inch larger than conventional irons and a wide sole that allowed the club to rest squarely at address. Then there was a large purple badge in the cavity and rounded inset hosel that gave the heel a pronounced point and helped the head turn over at impact.”
  • “Cleveland wanted the clubs to have a more traditional shape, but the company that owned Cleveland Golf, French manufacturer Skis Rossignol S.A., wanted to build something that would elicit a reaction from the equipment industry and beyond.”
6. 10 years of turmoil
The great Jaime Diaz looks back at a surreal decade in the life of Tiger Woods.
7. Just the (Shinnecock) facts
Sean Martin at PGATour.com put together a great list of Shinnecock-related morsels
  • “Legendary golf writer Herbert Warren Wind wrote that after Shinnecock Hills opened “the United States for the first time had a golf course that looked like a golf course.”…It was a 12-hole course when it opened in 1891. Willie Davis designed the layout, while 150 members of the Shinnecock Indian reservation built the course.”
  • “The crew “removed the blueberry bushes from the rough, utilized the Indian burial mounds as obstacles before the greens or made them into sand traps, cropped and manicured the sandy turf,” Wind wrote.”
  • “One-hundred dollar shares of the club were sold in September 1891. Forty-four men and women purchased between one and 10 shares apiece. The clubhouse, designed by famed architect Stanford White (who was later murdered atop Madison Square Garden), opened in the summer of 1892. The club’s membership already had grown to 70 members.”

More.

8. How the favorites should fare
Malcolm Herbert breaks down the contenders.
Tiger Woods
  • Evidence for Success: Tiger has won three U.S. Opens, all at tough classic courses (Pebble Beach, Bethpage Black, and Torrey Pines). He has hit his irons beautifully this year, ranking fourth in Strokes Gained Approach-the Green and fifth in Strokes Gained Tee to Green. He is coming off a strong week at the Memorial, where he also hit 71 percent of his fairways.
  • Evidence for Failure: Tiger ranks 120th in Strokes Gained Off the Tee and a horrible 184th in Driving Accuracy. He is 102nd in Greens in Regulation. He also putted terribly at the Memorial, losing 1.924 strokes to the field.
  • Consensus: This isn’t a great setup for Tiger with his driving and recent putting woes. If he can get the ball in play and putt well, however, he can certainly make some noise.
9. Odds!
A quick look at the oddsmakers‘ top 10 (via Bovada)
  • Dustin Johnson 9-1
  • Rory McIlroy 11-1
  • Jordan Spieth 14-1
  • Justin Thomas 14-1
  • Jason Day 16-1
  • Justin Rose 16-1
  • Tiger Woods 16-1
  • Rickie Fowler 16-1
  • Brooks Koepka 18-1
  • Jon Rahm 20-1
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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Mr. Replier Guy

    Jun 12, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    Are the burial mounds still in play? Seems obscene.

  2. W

    Jun 12, 2018 at 8:59 am

    Sometimes, when you make too much of something, it totally ruins it. That’s what they’re all fighting against, especially Phil.

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19th Hole

WATCH: Phil Mickelson gets the Happy Gilmore meme treatment

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Maybe it’s too soon to find humor in the Phil Mickelson’s behavior on the 13th green during Saturday’s third round of the U.S. Open.

That said, the initial image of one of the game’s greats running after his golf ball and playing hockey in the manner of a child at mini golf was both shocking and humorous to most observers.

Perhaps not surprisingly, then, the meme producers at SPUN have put together this riff on Mickelson’s putting and post-round remarks, leveraging footage from the great golf masterpiece “Happy Gilmore.”

Check it out.

 

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19th Hole

Hot takes on Phil Mickelson’s Saturday antics continue to fly

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Yesterday, Phil Mickelson played a bit of field hockey on Shinnecock’s 13th green that continues to be the talk of the golf world… Mickelson didn’t do much to quiet the murmurs with his refusal to talk to the media following his final round and his celebratory antics after a made putt at that hole, Sunday.

Regarding the left-hander’s violation of Rule 14-5, we have a thread that’s 18 pages long and 516 replies deep at the time of this writing. It spans the full spectrum of opinions, from staunch support for Phil to outright condemnation.

A poll among golf WRXers saw 41 percent of responders say Mickelson should have been disqualified. 49 percent said he shouldn’t have. 9 percent said Mickelson should withdraw.

MtlJeff had this take

“Imagine if a young player did it. We’d be ready to euthanize all millennials for their horrible tantrums.”

Ssfranny said

“I have to kinda think Phil just gave a big middle finger to the USGA and pin placements.”

Teetogreen

“Frustrated as he may have been, he’s no better than the field. Everyone has to play the same course. I know Phil’s a fan-favorite, but that was wrong and disgraceful.”

Nessism said

“Pure frustration. I feel sorry for him. A momentary lapse of awareness will now cost him endless scritany for years to come.”

Golfgirlrobin quickly perceived what would be Mickelson’s eventual explanation

“Or maybe brilliant. Ball goes all the way down the green into the fairway and taking the penalty might actually have ended up being the better play.”

HolyMoses said

“Phil said he hit the moving ball intentionally so it wouldn’t get behind the bunker again. If he’s that defiant, he should be DQ’d. That’s cheating, plain and simple.”

Moving from WRXers’ takes to a few from other realms.

On Twitter, Lee Westwood played the devil’s advocate with this slippery slope (appropriately) argument.

“Here’s a scenario…Thoughts everyone??? here you go….. over the back on 15 at Augusta. Chip it too hard, run over before it gets to the water and knock it on the green so you don’t have to hit it again or go the drop zone!”

Writer Alan Bastable introduced the specter of Rule 1-2.

“Meanwhile, just two years after the DJ rules fiasco at Oakmont, the USGA blue coats were left to explain to the world why Mickelson hadn’t been disqualified for such an egregious breach of the rules. Indeed, under Rule 1-2, the Committee could have deemed that Mickelson’s actions gave him “a significant advantage,” and therefore warranted a DQ. “I would have lobbied for disqualification,” former USGA executive director David Fay said on the Fox telecast.”

The portion of Rule 1-2 Bastable referenced states.

“A player is deemed to have committed a serious breach of Rule 1-2 if the Committee considers that the action taken in breach of this Rule has allowed him or another player to gain a significant advantage or has placed another player, other than his partner, at a significant disadvantage.”

Golf Channel’s Randall Mell discussed Mickelson’s communication with Mike Davis late Saturday after some scribes floated the idea that the golfer ought to be disqualified.

“Phil really did want to understand how the rule operates,” Davis said. “Frankly, as he said to me, `Mike, I don’t want to play in this championship if I should have been disqualified.’” Davis said he assured Mickelson that Rule 14-5 was correctly applied, and that a two-stroke penalty is all that was required.”

With respect to the claims that Mickelson ought to withdraw, ESPN’s Ian O’Connor wrote this.

“There was a problem with Lefty’s story — a fairly big one. His playing partner, Andrew “Beef” Johnston, said he told Mickelson, “Sorry, but I can’t help but laugh at that. It’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.” Johnston also had this to say of his exchange with Mickelson: “He said, ‘I don’t know what that is. I don’t know what score that is or what happens now.’ And he started speaking to the rules official. It was one strange moment.”

“The standard-bearer with the group, Connor Buff, a 19-year-old from Smithtown and a student at the University at Albany, said he heard Mickelson tell the rules official, “Whatever I get, I get. Just let me know what it is.”

In other words, according to O’Connor Mickelson was both attempting to gain advantage and, for what it’s worth, lying about his thoughts during the field hockey moment.

And of course, Global Golf Post’s John Hopkins.

Amy Mickelson told Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols

“He has been pretty under fire,” she said. “A lot of people have been pretty rough. … . It’s not like we’re in his shoes and understand what he has gone through. You and me, we are looking at it from the outside, sitting in the press room or family dining. … They’re playing sports for a living, but still in the moment it’s a very heavy week, an intense week. A lot happens over the course of 24 hours every day.

Golf Digest’s Joel Beall wrote this about Mickelson’s mock celebration at the 13th, Sunday. He could just as well have written it Mickelson’s explanation and the whole ordeal

“His critics would call it the act of a charlatan. His fans would say he was being an entertainer. Part of the Phil Mickelson Experience is not knowing which is right.”

What do you think, GolfWRX members? Is there more to be said about the matter? Or, with the U.S. Open wrapped up, should be draw the curtain on all this as well? Do any other takes merit mention?

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19th Hole

See what today’s stars look like with Corey Pavin’s 1995 mustache. Hilarious!

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Surely, you’re familiar with Skratch TV’s efforts.

Launched in 2015, the PGA Tour/Bedrocket joint venture was billed as “golf’s first internet video network,” and it has grown into something pretty special in the golf mediaverse.

However, the producers of Adventures in Golf and a buffet of entertaining social media content have truly outdone themselves with the following.

Well played, Skratch. Well played.

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