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19th Hole

It’s a boom time for Phil Mickelson stories

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A few tasty morsels are being served for fans of the game’s greatest left-hander today.

Coming on the heels of Alan Shipnuck’s superb ride along with Phil (as in, riding in Mickelson’s souped-up golf cart) the other day, Lefty had plenty of note to say at the Scottish Open (per John Huggan). 

Question: Do you think the backlash has been over the top?

“You have to be accountable for yourself,” said Mickelson. “I do a lot of dumb stuff. I had that rules deal at Greenbrier last week. And last year at Greenbrier I picked up my ball in the middle of the fairway, marked it and cleaned it. I have these like just moments where I’m in a ‘cloud.’ I’m not really sure what I’m doing. I’m just going through the motions and not really aware of the moment. I’ve done that a bunch in my career. I keep doing stuff like that. That’s the way my mind works.”

Next question: “One of the confusing things for people is that you said after the round at the U.S. Open on Saturday that you thought about doing it a lot of times before, and that indicated that maybe it was premeditated what you did?”

“Not only was I not great on the course, I was not great after the round, either…So it was just not a great day, and it was my birthday. I tend to do dumb stuff on my birthday. The way I show anger is not the traditionally accepted way, throwing clubs and berating the fans and marshals. I tend to be a little more passive aggressive in my actions, and that was kind of what I was doing.”

And if that weren’t good enough, Golf.com filed a roundup of some great Mickelson stories, courtesy of his fellow Tour pros and others.

Keegan Bradley

“I have a Phil story from Muirfield Village, at the 2013 Presidents Cup. We were doing really well, playing alternate shot, and we were dormie, 6 up with whatever left to play. And I had about a 5-foot putt on 13 to win the match — and it 360ed the hole. Lipped out. I got up on the next hole, it’s my tee and just a 3-iron, but I was rattled — I hit this 3-iron 100 yards right. So they win that hole. And then we get to the next hole, a par 5, and we get up there and I’ve got 5 feet for birdie; Graham DeLaet has about 25 feet for his birdie.”

“So all Graham has to do is miss his putt and we win the match. And Phil looks over at Graham and goes, ‘Pick it up, it’s good.’ And I looked over at Phil and I’m like, Are you kidding me? Now, if I miss the putt, we lose the hole. So I was pissed. But then, sure enough, I made the putt, we won the match. Now it’s funny — but if I’d missed the putt it wouldn’t have been funny. Now he says he knew I was rattled and he wanted me to make that putt to win the match. So, typical Phil, trying to teach lessons. But it was wild. I mean, a 25-footer!”

Xander Schauffele

“This year, I played all four rounds at the Waste Management with Phil, and it was incredible. I feel like I got the full Phil experience. But the coolest moment I’ve had with him was when I was on the Web.com Tour. I played a pickup round with Phil and Charley Hoffman at The Grand, my home course in San Diego, and [laughs] there’s so much banter between those guys. This was sort of my introduction into what the top dogs do. So we’re on the second hole, and I think Charley was already up on him. You know, they always gamble a certain amount of money.

“Phil’s about to tee off, and he’s pretending to struggle. He was like, ‘Oh, gosh, it’s so hard to swing.’ I was like, what’s going on? And Phil goes, ‘Here Charley, you mind holding onto this?’ And he pulls this wad of cash out of his back pocket! The whole day, I was sitting in the cart, just lookin’ around, like, ‘I’m not gonna say anything here; I’m just gonna let these guys battle it out.’ And it was so much fun. Phil showed how competitive and fun he can make golf.”

Check out the rest of the anecdotes here.

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  1. Mizzle Fizzle

    Jul 13, 2018 at 9:00 pm

    “Oh, Phil schmoozed a guy and we got the consulting gig.”
    Oh my god my sides hurt, so hilarious. What characters these guys are out on tour.
    LOL OMG…give me a minute to get back in my chair.

  2. ~j~

    Jul 13, 2018 at 11:41 am

    Phil fears Tiger. Not sure he could rally the banter high enough to thwart Tiger AND keep his head in the match.

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19th Hole

Tiger Woods appears to be renovating his practice facility

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Tiger Woods’ home practice facility seems to be getting a makeover this spring, and it has got golf fans speculating on the 15-time major champion’s future.

A photo taken and shared this week by pilot Dakota Atkinson shows Woods’ backyard under construction, with three of the facilities’ four greens being renovated.

Per Tiger Woods’ design website, the facility is broken down as the following:

“Tiger started with a flat, 3.5-acre area, and, teaming with TGR Design, directed its design, layout, and shaping. The result is a practice facility of tournament-conditioned turf and bunkering that recreates the look, feel, and playability of various major courses. Using a variety of turf found on the PGA TOUR, the design allows Tiger to hit almost any shot of 150 yards or less to one of four unique greens.”

What this signifies for Tiger’s future is unclear, with many golf fans suggesting that the renovation could well be for his son Charlie. In contrast, others believe it’s a positive sign for Tiger’s potential comeback.

It’s worth noting that many tour pros have commented on Woods’ good progress from his injuries, and that Rory McIlroy told media before the Masters that: “When you hear of these things and you look at the car and you see the crash, it’s like, you think he’s going to be in a hospital bed for six months. But he was actually doing better than that”

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19th Hole

Will Zalatoris on the one hole he wishes he could do over at the 2021 Masters

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Fresh from lighting up the Masters with a brilliant performance last week, Will Zalatoris featured on Doug Flutie’s SiriusXM podcast Flutie Flakescast, where the rookie broke down his week at Augusta.

*All quotes courtesy of Doug Flutie’s SiriusXM podcast Flutie Flakescast*

The 24-year-old finished one stroke behind Hideki Matsuyama at the event, and when asked which shots he would take back if he had the chance, Zalatoris was quick to highlight his week-long performance on the par 5 13th hole.

“I think it’s any collection of shots on 13. I played it at even par for the week, which you just can’t do. I mean, you see all those guys knock one tight out of the trees and make eagle or make a good birdie and that’s what jumpstarts them to win the golf tournament. And I just didn’t have it.

I had about a 50 or 60 foot look that weirdly that green is just so slow. I don’t know what it was. I had, you know, I had two 50 footers over the last two days and on that hole and I three-putted both of them and that’s the difference right there.”

In contrast to Zalatoris, Hideki played the 13th hole in four-under-par for the week, including making an eagle on the hole during Friday’s round.

“You know, I just needed to play 13 in a couple under par, just like I would have basically just played average golf and you know it just, it is what it is. But that’s the one to me where it’s like every single day I’m walking off 13, like dang nabbit, like I just need one shot, one shot, one shot.”

The Californian also revealed on the show that his first Masters’ experience flew by, and he wishes he could have slowed the week down.

“Man, I wish I could have slowed it down. I did a good job of staying in the moment, but I mean that seven days that I was there felt like it went by in seven minutes. It was just, you know, every day I walked over that bridge on 12 and look back just cause it’s like, you know, I worked my ass off to get to this point and I finally got there and yeah, a lot of gratitude, a lot of appreciation. And obviously I knew I was playing some good golf, and so, you know, it’s a really good feeling to be frustrated to lose by one.”

The 24-year-old returns to action this week at the RBC Heritage.

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19th Hole

Sports marketing expert: “Masters win worth $600 million for Matsuyama”

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Hideki Matsuyama’s victory at Augusta National has taken the golf world by storm, and it could pave the way for monstrous endorsement deals for the 29-year-old, according to a sports marketing expert.

Speaking to Sportico.com, Bob Dorfman, a sports marketing expert at Baker Street Advertising, revealed that the win could earn Matsuyama up to $20 million a year in endorsements over the next 30 years, thanks to the longevity in careers golfers enjoy.

“Barring any career-ending injury or scandal, I’d say a Masters win is easily worth $600 million for Matsuyama. He’ll be an icon in his golf-mad country.”

Unlike Japanese tennis star Kei Nishikori (who rakes in more than $30 million a year from endorsements), Hideki is already a major champion, and Octagon marketing executive David Schwab is another who believes the massive endorsement deals and opportunities are sure to follow.

“He will have limitless brand deals and corporate requests. I suspect he will value his personal time more than a lot of marketing days. Preferential equity stakes in businesses and licensing may be attractive to limit time involved. And because it is 2021, he will probably have 50 NFT proposals on his desk by tomorrow.” – Octagon marketing executive David Schwab.

On the course, Matsuyama has pocketed over $33 million in PGA Tour career earnings, and per Bill Sanders, who worked with Chinese NBA star Yao Ming, Hideki’s limited English won’t stop his endorsement opportunities rolling in, saying: “English doesn’t really matter for a full-page ad in GQ.”

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