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Phil Mickelson’s very surprising answer to a question about Tiger Woods

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You know this story: Nobody suffered more under Tiger Woods’ regime of Tour domination than Phil Mickelson.

From 1996 through 2013, Tiger Woods won 79 times on the PGA Tour. Phil Mickelson won all but nine of his 42 PGA Tour tournament titles during that same stretch of time. So, it stands to reason, Phil would have won a few of those tournaments, right?

So when Mickelson, who is competing in his 100th major, was asked ahead of the PGA Championship how his career would have been different if Woods had never said, “Hello, world,” you’d expect him to say, “I’d have won more.”

Instead, the singular left-hander essentially said the opposite.

“I feel as though had Tiger not come around, I don’t feel I would have pushed myself to achieve what I ended up achieving, because he forced everybody to get the best out of themselves.”

“He forced everybody to work a little bit harder. He forced everybody to look at fitness as a big part of the game of golf, and I think that’s actually helped me with longevity, working with my trainer, Sean Cochran, for 14 years now, trying to stay flexible and so forth to elongate the career.”

“And I feel like that’s been a big part of it and he was a big influence on that. So I don’t think I would have had the same level of success had he not come around.”

Is this how Mickelson really feels? Is he just being gracious? Ernie Els, for his part, offered a much more glass-half-empty (and reasonable) take.

“But, you know,” Els said. “I could have had a couple more, definitely, without him around.”

Definitely. Check out Phil and Ernie below, courtesy of Golf Channel.

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19th Hole

Bryson DeChambeau reveals his distance goals for 2022

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Three weeks ago, a high-profile Cobra testing session involving both world number 8 Bryson DeChambeau and two-time World Long Drive champion Kyle Berkshire took place.

Whilst Berkshire clocked a record ball speed of 233.4, the ten-time winner wasn’t exactly disappointed with his own personal best of 221mph, and he believes this is coming to the PGA tour.

Promoting the upcoming Saudi International, the 2020 U.S Open winner commented,

“This year I’ll hit it even further. Once I get into some lower lofted heads that I’ll be getting this week or next week, you’ll be seeing some much longer drives.”

Clear leader in the driving distance stats on tour, many pundits question the pursuit of length to the possible detriment of the rest of his game, but Bryson isn’t to be tamed. He added:

“We’re getting close to having something that we can get working at 200mph ball speed that will work on tour. I’m super excited and happy with Cobra. We came to a bit of a sticking point last year but we’ve worked together and burst through that wall.”

Only 25th at the season opener, the Tournament of Champions, he withdrew from this week’s Sony Open with an injury to his left wrist, which had been ‘bothering me for about three or four weeks now.’

Bryson continued, ”All the speed training has definitely taken a toll on my muscular structure. Now, it’s got to a point where I’m putting so much speed and force into my wrist.”

With some driver-friendly events coming up, Bryson is going to see plenty more interest in his long game to begin 2022.

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19th Hole

‘Too invasive for me’ – Bryson snubs Netflix docuseries

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As reported yesterday, Netflix is currently filming a docuseries profiling some of the biggest names on the PGA TOUR.

However, Bryson DeChambeau will not be one of those big names.

In a virtual news conference on Thursday to promote the Saudi International, Bryson explained why he didn’t want to be a part of the series:

“There’s a lot of factors going on in that. One, there wasn’t a deal that was struck that was very well for my side of it. I love Netflix. I watch it. I have a great time with it. But just for me, it wasn’t right at the present moment.”

DeChambeau has been busy with his own content, releasing videos showing his insane ball and clubhead speeds and is approaching 900,000 followers on Instagram, and added to reporters on Thursday:

“They’re getting a pretty dang good look inside my life [from YouTube]. And to have more people come in and go even further, which is almost impossible for what I’m giving out, is just too invasive for me.

There’s a lot of great people on there. If I was to go on there, yeah, it would be cool to see, but I feel like there’s a lot more interesting stories. You’ve got Harry Higgs. You’ve got numerous others.” 

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19th Hole

Tour pro withdraws from Australian PGA after slicing hand mid-round

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After being postponed twice because of Covid, you would think the dominant story at the Australian PGA might be the first-round lead, held by world number 1387 Louis Dobbelaar.

However, in a bizarre incident Damien Jordan grabbed the headlines with a withdrawal, according to Australian Associated Press, due to ”slicing his hand trying to move a stake on the course.”

Full details are not clear as yet but Golf Australia’s editor, Jimmy Emanuel, first reported on the accident on Twitter, posting that Jordan “went to move a stake on course and sliced his hand the entire width from top to bottom. Quite heavy bleeding so off to see a doctor.”

At the event itself, Dobbelaar leads at 7-under and by one from Aaron Pike and Jediah Morgan with short-priced pre-event favourite, Min Woo Lee, just four behind.

Over at the accompanying WPGA event, Su Oh has a clear lead after the first round, being three shots clear at 5-under the card.

They all may ask their caddies to move boundary markers for the rest of the event.

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