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Phil Mickelson: Playing courses like Le Golf National “is a waste of my time”

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After lighting up the Safeway Open on Thursday afternoon with a round of 65, Phil Mickelson gave an interesting interview after finishing his round. While discussing his impressive opening round of seven-under par around Silverado Country Club, Mickelson talked about his experience at last week’s Ryder Cup and the course itself, Le Golf National. When questioned about the bitter fallout that continues to rumble on from the U.S. camp, Mickelson described the team unity of the American side last week as “one of the best weeks of team unity that he’s seen from a U.S. side”.

Mickelson also commented on Le Golf National, and how it’s a golf course that “is a waste of time my time to play”. When asked directly about the struggles of the U.S. side at the host course of last week’s Ryder Cup, Mickelson stated:

“The fact is that they had brutal rough, almost unplayable, and it’s not the way I play. Here (Silverado CC), I can miss some fairways, and it’s playable. I’m 48; I’m not going to play tournaments with rough like that anymore, it’s a waste of my time. I’m going to play courses that are playable and that I can play aggressive, attacking, make a lot of birdies style of golf that I like to play.”

Mickelson’s performance at Le Golf National last week certainly supports his claim that golf courses that set up with tight fairways and thick rough are a waste of his time to play, but his comments are sure to raise some serious questions over what exactly he was doing in Paris for the 2018 Ryder Cup. Captain Jim Furyk came under attack for some of the decisions he made last week in Paris, and as a captains pick Mickelson’s comments about his inability to play courses such as Le Golf National is sure to add more fuel to that particular fire. Mickelson’s statements also bring up the question mark of his own preparation and knowledge of Le Golf National, and if it was even right on his part to accept his captain’s pick.

What do you make of Mickelson’s comments?

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Gianni is a freelance writer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Diploma in Sports Journalism. He can be contacted at gmagliocco@outlook.com. Follow him on Twitter @giancarlomag

55 Comments

55 Comments

  1. Stephen Donaght

    Oct 22, 2018 at 10:21 am

    We play the ball as it lies and the course in front of us, that is part of the unique nature of golf. All courses are different and we all have setups and styles we prefer. But it is as much a mental game as a physical one. You need the mental acuity to choose the right shot and the self discipline to deal with the consequences when it doesn’t turn out as planned. It seems to me that Phil no longer has the burning desire to discipline himself to the demands of the course.

    I am sure he will make a killing on the Champions Tour though.

  2. Simms

    Oct 17, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    A player considered “A Great Player” would fit his game to the course, Ten thousand golf instructors out there would tell you sometimes a driver or even a wood off the tee is not the right club. Us poor amateur hackers are hitting 3 woods and 3,4 irons into par 4 greens from our 180 yard drives in the fairways everyday….so sad if a pro is upset because he does not have a wage from 150 on a 480 yard par 4…..I loved that set up for this years rider cup, made a 240 yard drive in the fairway a plus over the 320 yard drive in the ruff.

  3. dixiedoc

    Oct 17, 2018 at 11:32 am

    Well he proves it once again, Phil is all about Phil. Please don’t show up at any more Rider Cups.

    • David Lehmann

      Oct 19, 2018 at 12:36 pm

      What is a “Rider” Cup?

      • David LehmannTheJack4ss

        Oct 24, 2018 at 1:21 pm

        The one where 2 teams take turns riding David’s mum

  4. kevin

    Oct 9, 2018 at 3:44 pm

    his arrogance continues to shine.

  5. AggOwl

    Oct 8, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    Mickelson and woods were both picked because they increase the viewership which sells more advertising which means more profit to the networks who bought the broadcasting rights. It’s that simple. Neither of them were going to refuse an offer to play and piss off all of the sponsors.

    This sport is a business like any other professional sport. It’s all driven by sponsors dollars and selling advertising.

    That is the only reason they were picked. Which means this team was sold to the highest bidder.

    • Christopher Hansen

      Oct 8, 2018 at 8:22 pm

      Amen.

    • Tim

      Oct 13, 2018 at 11:48 pm

      yup!

    • Ev

      Oct 19, 2018 at 6:34 am

      Sorry but you’re wrong. Woods was close to winning 2 majors and also won the Tour Championship beating the top 30 players in the world.

      • Gurt

        Oct 21, 2018 at 1:33 pm

        Woods is never any good at Matchplay. It’s no solid comparison.

        • U_Who

          Oct 25, 2018 at 1:54 am

          Bull… he won US Am 3 years in a row !!!

          • John

            Nov 2, 2018 at 3:36 pm

            The difference is the Ryder Cup is a team event and Woods is all about himself.

      • AggOwl

        Nov 5, 2018 at 7:58 am

        He had some success, yes. Not a slam to Woods, just a fact niether he or Mickelson would have been picked were it not for sponsor pressure.

        Tiger undoubtedly was the greatest player in the game at one time. He is the best thing that ever happened to the business of golf but the worst thing that ever happened to the game of golf.

  6. Aaron

    Oct 8, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    I thought picking him was a bad choice based just on his US Open ‘shenanigans’ aka cheating. A shame to see him live up to exactly that performance, guess we should have believed him the first time.

  7. Mike

    Oct 8, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    More sour grapes from a man at the end of his career. Hasn’t changed from the time he was so critical of the great Tom Watson. Beginning to sound like he is the problem in the team!

  8. Jack Nash

    Oct 8, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    So is your Cup record. When you’re in the trees a lot it’s hard to see the greens. You’ll still get great sponsorship though.

  9. Mike Barnard

    Oct 8, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    Tragic chat from Phil. One trick pony from now on. Disrespectful to his Captain, teammates and fans. I thought all top pros could hit the ball relatively long and fairly straight … it’s what they do for a job?? You get the odd genius of Seve who was wild off the tee and ( like Phil ) has a mercurial short game , but you would NEVER have heard Seve talk like that. Totally tragic comments.

  10. joro

    Oct 8, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    Well Phil, you could have dropped out and let somebody who wanted to win play. Face it, you and Tiger are RC losers. I have pulled for you every time you compete since your career started only to be disappointed by your pathetic finishes. You always seem to Phuque it up somehow thinking you can still play like you used to and of course you won’t change anything that people toll you, stubborn is the word. So do I not wast My time pulling for you, or are you going to wake up and adjust so you can win again, you can do it you know, just take your head out of your rear and adjust. And i would suggest you start listening to what Butch is telling you, he is right. I wish you good luck in the future.

  11. Tom54

    Oct 8, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    Hard to believe a player with his talents never learned a swing that would eliminate one side of the course. Seems all his career he found both sides of deep rough. The fact that he nearly won so many US Opens is a testament of his great short game. If he would just face up to needing to hit it straighter instead of fussing about the course setup he might come across a little better. Maybe he should try a shorter shaft in the driver.Not that I was gonna watch,but he needs to get better if he thinks he even has a prayer against Tiger in their upcoming match.

    • Tim

      Oct 13, 2018 at 11:53 pm

      with the phil vs tiger match, i think they are going to add some dimension to it. If it were straight match play or stroke play tiger might be up 5 after 7-8 holes and the ratings would drop. i think there will be something weird that will be applied.

  12. Kevin Kelly

    Oct 8, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    Let me write directly (lol) to Phil I listened to and read this account of your comments. You’re right and I agree with you 100%. You should have declined the team offer (since you were picked) because of what you’ve so eloquently described and shared. You were absolutely the worst “horses for course” pick in history of Ryder Cup. And I love watching you play ( was 75 yards away when you the behind the tree off the pinestraw shot and your not so high jump Masters wind!” You should have been gentleman enough at this stage if life to proudly Thank Jim for the offer and then politely declined. Thanks for reading, Respectfully

    Btw Nice article, well written and on point young man.

  13. Timothy

    Oct 8, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    I cheer for individual players rather than US or European ,so I’m not biased that way, but I thought the course was ridiculous. I kept looking for windmills, water slides and rubber ducks. Oh well, these choices are all about money and politics.

  14. Tom

    Oct 8, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    Phi stop being a ???? crybaby. You’re paid big bucks , so stuff it and admit you were beaten far and square.

  15. Me

    Oct 8, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    Mickelson needs to take a couple years off and try to reinvent himself for the Champions tour.

    In the meantime he could work on his NFL picks and insider trading investments.

  16. Funkaholic

    Oct 8, 2018 at 11:22 am

    In other words “I am a big baby and will only play in pristine conditions because I am not, nor have I ever been, up to a challenge.” Phil wants his rough like my fairways, his tee box like my greens and his hazards totally out of play.

  17. Bert Gwaltney

    Oct 7, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    Sad day again for Phil, US Open Rules fiasco, now condemning a course he could not handle, nor could the team, but the Euro’s could. Basically I’m not sure Phil could handle any course that required accuracy, especially driver accuracy.

    Was a favorite but have lost respect for him and any comments he would make. Hopefully we won’t suffer from his Captaincy.

  18. T-Bone

    Oct 7, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    So does this mean he’s not going to play in the US Open anymore?

  19. Shane Ingram

    Oct 6, 2018 at 11:18 am

    Isn’t it more relevant that Phil wasted the US team and its supporters time in energy and resources in an event where he wasn’t going to contribute but someone else would have had a much better chance? Or is it about Phil and not the team?

    • larrybud

      Oct 6, 2018 at 3:00 pm

      Gees Phil, you should have said something sooner. You knew how the course was going to be set up.

      • Alvaro

        Oct 8, 2018 at 2:09 pm

        Maybe he didn’t. It looked like he didn’t care at all.

  20. Tom Duckworth

    Oct 6, 2018 at 10:43 am

    A very poor comment from Phil. He should have bowed out and Jim should have focused on players that fit that course.
    Isn’t golf about adapting to be course to shoot a good score. Maybe distance isn’t the problem on tour it’s wide fairways with light
    rough. I don’t watch golf on TV to see how far they can drive I watch to see good golf but I guess that’s what thePGA thinks we want.
    They have created their own problem by setting up courses for long wild bombers. They too often give in to whining golfers that want the course to play easy so they can play “birdie ” golf whatever that is.

  21. drbopperthp

    Oct 6, 2018 at 10:15 am

    Vijay Singh told you all about Mr. FIGJAM a long time ago. But you didn’t want to listen. So now you know.

  22. ND Hickman

    Oct 6, 2018 at 9:29 am

    He just turned up to do his high kick in the team room.

  23. JP

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:41 pm

    Tiger just sent Shadow Creek GC a bunch of money to start watering the rough and to stop cutting it.

  24. Terry

    Oct 5, 2018 at 10:14 pm

    Losing respect for Phil and his antics/comments over the past year. What a shmuck

  25. Johnny Penso

    Oct 5, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    Funny how people hail Patrick Reed and his family as a heros for airing their grievances in public but Phil is fat and lazy for doing the same thing…lol.

  26. Tom

    Oct 5, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    Maybe he could run after his ball if it is heading toward the rough and hit it while its moving like he did in the US Open?

  27. Tom

    Oct 5, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    Watching Phil play Tiger on Thanksgiving would be a big waste of viewers time and money (pay-for-view). When the going gets “rough” Phil evidently quits?

  28. Red

    Oct 5, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    Phil, if this was such a waste of your time, why did you not spare Jim Furyk from wasting his wild card on you?
    If you’d have checked earlier, you’d have realised that the course is not your super-wide fairway that supports your play.
    So, instead of telling Furyk that you are not fit for playing there, you still do, just so you can get on the record books?
    Great sense of what a team needs you have there 🙂

  29. Kim Hay

    Oct 5, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    OK, Phil, do not enter any more US Opens which have tight fairways and rough. You totally exaggerated the width of the fairways in Paris, not 14-16 yards wide as you stated, more like 20 to 40 yards. You have acted poorly this year, gross rules infraction and now slagging a venue that was more like a USA style course than a European style course. How about showing some humility, you were not prepared, did not play well and are now looking for excuses. Definitely falling down the respect ladder and not being a very good example for the many fans who enjoy watching you play.

  30. rex235

    Oct 5, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    So-

    Phil Mickelson’s last shot in a Ryder Cup event will be a tee shot in the water (eau)?

    Do not despair! The PGA will offer him a Captaincy…in the US-

    Then again…

  31. Joeg Voll

    Oct 5, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    Wow? I consider myself to be quite a fan of Phil’s, but he lost quite a bit of my respect with this comment! (Not that it matters.) YOU SHOULD’VE DECLINED THE INVITATION THEN PHIL! IF PLAYING A COURSE LIKE THIS, is a waste of your time, then let 1 of the young guys take your place! How was the courses rough unfair??? The Europeans didn’t seem to mind, while they were waxing your @ss up and down the fairways! I wish I could add some colorful 4-letter expletives, to match my real feelings about PM’s comments! Hey Phil, maybe if you practiced keeping the ball in the fairways, instead of “dancing” like CP30 in need of a lube job, you could’ve actually contributed something in the Ryder Cup???

    • Luke Skywhacker

      Oct 5, 2018 at 6:17 pm

      C-3PO

    • Scheiss

      Oct 5, 2018 at 6:18 pm

      They were all there to visit Paris and Versailles with their respective WAGS. That’s why they didn’t decline to play.

  32. Vas

    Oct 5, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    He’s totally right… but I’m sure Xander Schauffele would have liked that spot.

  33. Thomas

    Oct 5, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    If this is the case, why didn’t Phil scout the course before the event and tell Captain Furyk NOT to pick him? I’m sure he ego wouldn’t allow that!

  34. Anthony B

    Oct 5, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    They hit lots of fairways on the Senior Tour Phil. In the meantime, betting on Mickelson for the Players, US Open or the British Open would be a ‘waste of my time’.

  35. Pete O'Tube

    Oct 5, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    So in future Mickleson will only play on courses with no hazards, no rough and no challenge. You’re a fat, lazy waste of time. Get some backbone and test yourself, see how good you can be if you hit it STRAIGHT. Pathetic response from a has-been.

  36. Paul stocks

    Oct 5, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    Absolute arrogance as usual from the Americans

    Why didn’t he play it in advance like Justin Thomas,why did furyk pick him ,both teams had to play the same course,,and the fact he said it’s the best team spirit he’s ever been in is the most worrying thing.

    • GolfGolfGolf

      Oct 6, 2018 at 6:50 am

      *American. Don’t generalize

    • Funkaholic

      Oct 8, 2018 at 11:27 am

      Ridiculous generalization, Phil is not all “Americans”, most of us don’t respect him and his antics. Typical, smug, uninformed European.

      • Meroo

        Oct 9, 2018 at 4:02 am

        Hey Funk,then you proceed to generalise about Euro’s. Hypocrite much?

  37. William Davis

    Oct 5, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    He really should learn not to make comments like this. Makes him look very silly – again.

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Rating the Zurich Classic walk-up songs

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On Saturday at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans, for the second year, teammates are choosing walk-up songs for their first tee ball.

There is some good, some bad, and some painfully predictable. The teams are dynamic enough, but seeing their song selection really brings a new level of personal insight. Let’s take a deeper look at some of the hits.

The Good

Steve Stricker/Jerry Kelly: As Good as I Once Was – Toby Keith

This is, perfect. All I see is an Italian chef kissing their hands to this selection, sheer perfection. Self deprecation, confidence and an overall great song. I have to imagine Jerry Kelly came up with this and Stricker tried to argue he’s still in his prime.

Tommy Fleetwood/Sergio Garcia: Radio Gaga – Queen

Queen, so hot right now. Winner of nearly every Oscar, these Ryder Cup teammates kept it current with Queen while selecting a deeper cut. Somewhere, Francesco Molinari is looking at Instagram posts of this pairing and wondering what went wrong.

The Local:

Stephen Jaeger/J.T. Poston: Callin’ Baton Bouge – Garth Brooks

Roberto Castro/Cameron Tringale – Born on the Bayou – Creedence Clearwater Revival

As long as nobody googled, “songs about New Orleans” prior to selection, these are fair game and a sure fan favorite on number one.  What are the real chances any of these guys have ever heard these songs prior to Saturday? 10%? I have to assume smooth, hotel elevator jazz not available?

Bubba Watson/JB Holes – When the Saints Go Marching In – Louis Armstrong

Now we’re talking. This is my favorite of the locals group. Perfectly awkward yet funny Bubba. Can’t you just picture Bubba dancing like the WB frog with a top hat on while teeing up? “You’re welcome.”

The On-Brand

Henrik Stenson/Graeme McDowell: Wake Me Up – Avicii

Swedish, check. Banger, check. Sentimental value, check (Avicii passed tragically just over a year ago). Potential to turn the bleachers into a full rave, check. My money is on the rhythmic three-wood of Henrik Stenson all weekend and my personal favorite song of the lot.

Brooks Koepka/Chase Koepka: Bad Boys for Life – P. Diddy

This is somehow hilarious and terrifying at the exact same time. Something about brotherhood makes this song hit even more. If Brooks and Chase are not wearing black sunglasses strutting to the tee in Nike schmediums, just call the whole thing off. (Would have liked to see Brooks choose “Centerfield” by John Fogerty, because you know, he really likes baseball better).

Adam Scott/Jason Day: Suicide Blonde – INXS

The Aussies stick together, and stick with their bands. That is truly all I know about this song so I’ll move on.

Padraig Harrington/Shane Lowry: I’m Shipping Up to Boston – Dropkick Murphy’s

Not sure if this leads to good golf or a good round of irish car bomb’s, or just one followed by the other. Either way, a near certainty that this is the first time this song was selected by a sober person, for a sober group.

The Bizzare

Carlos Ortiz/Sebastian Munoz: Ground Theme – Super Mario Bros.

While this should be funny, I can’t help but assume they couldn’t think of any good songs, or have vastly different tastes in music. Great in theory but imagine following Bad Boys for Life with Mario sound effects., and then being outdriven by 30 yards.

The Hazards to Spectators

John Rahm/Ryan Palmer: Enter Sandman – Metallica

Exactly what John Rahm needs on the first tee. Metallica.

The Biased

Kenny Perry/Josh Teater – Renegade – Styx

As a die-hard Steelers fan, I’m unfit to judge this. (The Steelers play Renegade as a pump-up in the fourth quarter and it works against players not named Tom Brady). With that being said, if Kenny Perry is able to time up contact with the hard-hitting drums in this song, he might blast it a country mile.

The Off the Grid

Pat Perez/Jason Dufner: Bazanji – 2019

I had very high expectations for these two. Personality for days. I could see Perez with an entire room for his music collection, and Jordan’s. To be transparent, I had to google the song. It is however, as expected, a jam. Only these two could be cooler than the entire song selection process.

The Just Why

Baby Shark – Pinkfong
Joel Dahmen/Brandon Harkins
Michael Kim/C.T. Pan

I’m not going to even research it, but there’s simply no way any of these four have children. If they did, the last thing they want reminded of on the first tee is their one-year-old crying at 5:00 a.m. for Baby Shark (do doo do do do do). However, LET’S GO HUNT, is a great mindset for golf. So there’s that.

The Eye on the Prize

Andrew Putnam/Max Homa – Trophies – Drake

Speaking of a good mentality… This crew chose an underrated Drake song with a perfect vibe and first note. Homa might be the funniest and best golf follow on Twitter, and even he went for swagger over humor. When your song is literally called trophies, your odds have to improve slightly.

The Basic

Old Town Road – Lil Nas X
Troy Merrit/Robert Streb
Harold Varner III/Tom Lovelady
Colt Knost/Boo Weekly
Adam Schenk/Tyler Duncan

Hate to see it. Each one of these teams even thought for a moment, this will be great, it’s viral and ironic. Just hate to see it.

For the record, if I was any good at golf and had a partner who obliged, I’d select Mac Miller’s The Spins, because Mac is the best and the first verse is as good as Hip Hop gets.

You can take a look at the full list for yourself here 

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Wednesday’s photos from the 2019 Terra Cotta Invitational

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GolfWRX is live from the 2019 Terra Cotta Invitational at Naples National Golf Club, which will be contested April 26-28. Past winners of the amateur event include Justin Thomas and Emiliano Grillo.

Denny Glass, chairman of the Terra Cotta Invitational, was kind enough to give us a little more information about the tournament.

For GolfWRX members who aren’t familiar, tell me a little bit about the tournament and its history

Glass: The Terra Cotta Invitational began in 1996 and was originally a combination stroke play/match play event. 20 players were invited and they played 36 holes of stroke play then the top four finishers went on to match play with the others playing an 18 hole consolation match.

I changed it to a 54-hole stroke play event with 50 players in 2006 when I took over as Tournament Chair. This was done to be eligible for Titleist/Golfweek Amateur Ranking Points. The field increased over the years and now has 75-81 players. The tournament is now ranked as a “B” level event in the WAGR (World Amateur Golf Rankings) run by the USGA and R&A. This ranking is one level below the top-ranked events in the world. The WAGR rankings are based on the strength of the field so we are proud to be ranked so highly.

As it’s an invitational tournament, can you tell me a bit about who gets invited in general and who’s in the field this year, specifically? Tournament format?

Glass: It is an invitational so we invite as many of the top-ranked amateur players as are available. The field consists of many juniors (up to age 18), mid-amateurs (19-25) and some seniors (50+), along with collegiate players. While it is an invitational, we still receive more than 150 applications to play.

Can you talk about the host course and the relationship with Naples National?

The tournament is played at Naples National Golf Club. The tournament was started by the membership back in 1996. The club opened in 1993. The club hosted the World Championship of Golf, which was an LPGA event in its second year.

I know the charitable impact is important. Can you tell us about that?

The net proceeds are donated to Naples based children’s focused charities. The tournament has donated over $517,000 since it began.

Wednesday’s photos

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Winner of the 2019 Charles Schwab Challenge to receive a 1973 Dodge Challenger Restomod

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Under new sponsorship, the 2019 Charles Schwab Challenge which takes place at Colonial Country Club in Ft. Worth, will have a special prize on offer for its champion – a fully restored and customized 1973 Dodge Challenger.

The vehicle pays homage to the year which Schwab Corporation was founded and is equipped with tartan fabric seats and custom glacier blue paint. The car will serve as a complement to the Leonard Trophy and tartan jacket awarded each year at the tournament.

Charles Schwab worked in collaboration with Steve Strope of Pure Vision on the restoration process, and the car will be on display at Colonial throughout the tournament until it is presented to the winner on May 26.

The tournament runs from May 23-26. In 2018, Justin Rose won the event by three strokes.

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