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19th Hole

Phil Mickelson responds to ‘opportunistic’ gambling report in Detroit News

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Phil Mickelson is in Detroit for his first appearance at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, and ahead of the event, the 50-year-old has called out a journalist who rehashed a story linking the golfer to an alleged mob bookie over 20 years ago.

The Detroit News report published this week by writer Robert Snell is a repurposed piece telling the story of Mickelson’s ties to a mob-connected bookmaker, ‘Dandy’ Don DeSeranno, who allegedly cheated Mickelson out of $500,000, per court filings acquired by the author.

Speaking to ESPN’s Bob Harig, Mickelson’s attorney, Glenn Cohen, explained what occurred over 20 years ago.

“Phil and a bunch of buddies were betting on sports and they pooled their money and they made a large bet. The bottom line is Phil wasn’t paid. The guy who took the bet turned out to be a crook and Phil didn’t know it. But it’s irrelevant. Whether this guy was the worst human being alive or had anything to do with Jimmy Hoffa’s disappearance, what is the newsworthiness of this article now? There isn’t any.”

Mickelson wasn’t accused of wrongdoing in the 1997 trial and telling ESPN, Cohen believes the only reason the story has been rehashed ahead of this week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit is to embarrass his client.

“He didn’t say anything (in the story) that wasn’t true; I’m not complaining about that. But why? Why are you going to embarrass Phil Mickelson when he’s there to support your tournament and the charities it supports and the (PGA) Tour? Rocket Mortgage is a Detroit-based company. Phil has never played there before.”

Though Cohen stressed that Mickelson would not be commenting on the affair ahead of this week’s tournament, Lefty took to social media to share his thoughts on the repurposed piece, saying

“Took place 23 years ago. Had I not come here to Detroit it wouldn’t have run. My mistake making the effort to be here and have my foundation look into ways to help the local community. Didn’t even think of the opportunistic Rob Snells in the area would try and take advantage.”

Mickelson tees off in round one of the Rocket Mortgage Classic today at 7.55 AM ET.

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Gianni is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Phil the thrill

    Jul 1, 2021 at 11:27 pm

    Phil should not paint the city with the same brush that some “woke” reporter deserves. We all have the google machine and can look up history if we want to. Phil, not everyone in this city is a jerk.

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19th Hole

Introvert vs Extrovert – Study shows what brand golfers buy based on personality type

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A recent study conducted by Stephen Smith, chief psychologist at the UK-based Sports Psychology Ltd (SPL), sought to determine the brand preference of golfers based on them having either an extrovert or introvert personality.

As reported by FirstCallGolf’s Ken Klavon, Smith, who has worked as a psychologist to professional athletes in golf, Formula One, rugby, and football, posted a short questionnaire with questions on golf equipment preferences focused on around 15 brands, followed by a level of personality questions. 

The study focused on three main character identification questions for the personality section: Introvert versus Extrovert, Pragmatic versus Visionary, and Logical versus Idealist.

After receiving “hundreds upon hundreds” of responses, the data, matched up with their favored golf equipment, showed the following results:

Introverts

Ping was the preferred brand of 40% of those who were identified as introverts, while Titleist was next up for introverts, with 18% of those naming the brand as their favorite.

Extroverts

Callaway and TaylorMade were brands that 40% of those identified as extroverts chose as their favourites.

Smith’s data also concluded that “60 percent of golfers are sensory pragmatics who will be driven by the look, feel and sound of any equipment” and that golfers are by and large a group of consumers driven by a futuristic vision.

Amongst his takeaways, Smith said:

“This study shows that golf needs to be much more sophisticated in its understanding of the customers it is connecting with, and in the way it communicates to build that connection.

How do you get personalities to react to something, particularly a piece of equipment? No doubt the 2020s may be the decade when the psychology of design will be as important as the engineering that underpins it.”

Find out more about the study here.

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19th Hole

Lee Westwood reveals a key change he would make as next Ryder Cup captain

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Lee Westwood has been a member of 11 European Ryder Cup teams as a player, but at the tender age of 48, captaincy feels like a logical next step for the Englishman.

Westwood’s potential captaincy has already been discussed openly, and he was not shy to share a change that he would make in 2023 if he was in fact given the opportunity.

“Four, four, four my first thought would be–four off the Euro list, four off the world list and four picks. Different captains have different ideas and that’s the nice thing about playing under 11 different ones,” Westwood remarked.

It’s hard to argue with Westwood’s perspective, who just tied Nick Faldo for the most Ryder Cup appearances ever at 11. It’s also difficult to knock Westwood for suggesting that the European team should give themselves more leeway with their selections.

The United States team had six captain’s picks, and Captain Steve Stricker did an excellent job of selecting players that possessed the ideal skillset for Whistling Straits.

Despite being the clear favorite for Team Europe’s next captain, Westwood continued to keep his cards close to his chest. “I’ll assume I’ll get three or four months to think about it but people keep coming up and saying, ‘Are you going to be the captain in Rome?'”

The 2023 Ryder Cup will take place at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Guidonia Montecelio near Rome from September 30th in October 2nd.

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19th Hole

Rickie Fowler fires round one 66 after ‘stamp of approval’ hang out with Butch Harmon

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After a missed cut last week at the Shriners, Rickie Fowler looked a lot more like his old self on day one at the CJ Cup, firing a blemish free 66 to put himself in a nice spot early in Las Vegas.

Last week’s missed cut allowed the 32-year-old to visit his former swing coach Butch Harmon, who gave Rickie his “stamp of approval” on what he and current coach John Tillery have been working on.

Speaking after his 66, Fowler said on the visit:

“Yeah, so obviously having the weekend off last week, the course here was closed, and I wanted to hit balls. So it’s always fun to catch up with Butchie, he’s someone that’s just fun to be around, and on top of that it was nice to use the facility over there, hit some balls.

For me, for the most part, since I worked with him for such a long time in kind of the middle part of my career there, I think just getting kind of like his stamp of approval.

He loved everything that Tillery and I were working on, so it’s just fun to be around him. He was excited to see (Fowler’s wife) Allison and so spent some time with him, his wife, Christy, as well. As I said, he’s just fun to be around and he loved what we were working on. He just said go play and keep trusting it.”

Speaking to Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard, Harmon confirmed that he didn’t offer any advice and that his former pupil was swinging well.

“He came over a couple days really just to hang out, I thought he was swinging fine. Didn’t really help him with his game and we were always so close.” 

Fowler was indeed swinging it “fine” in round one at the CJ Cup. The Californian ranked second for Strokes Gained: Tee to Green on the opening day and will be looking to match that up with a good putting performance over the next three days.

The former Players Champion currently sits 128th in the Official World Golf Rankings.

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