Category Archives: sports

Watch: Tiger takes some 'smooth iron shots'

The back appears to be holding up.

Tiger Woods tweeted a video of him on Saturday taking some “smooth iron shots” and his form is looking pretty good.

During last weekend’s Presidents Cup Woods told reporters that he is unsure of what his future holds, but judging by the video above he looks to be taking the necessary steps to getting back into tournament shape.

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Mickelson posts 2nd-round 69 at Safeway Open

Phil Mickelson remains in position to win his first PGA Tour event since 2013, after he posted a second straight 3-under-par 69 at the Safeway Open.

“I felt ready to go today,” Mickelson told pgatour.com. “I expected, actually, a little bit better round. But I drove it a lot better, I hit a lot of good shots, and shot the same score.”

Mickelson, who started his Friday round on the back nine at Silverado Resort & Spa, tossed his first birdie on the card at the par-4 12th, draining a 10-foot putt. After dropping two shots at the par-4 14th with a double-bogey, the 47-year-old strung together three consecutive birdies at Nos. 15-17 to make the turn in 2-under-par 34.

The five-time major champion trimmed another shot at the par-4 fourth, knocking his 124-yard approach to 11 feet, then holing the putt. Mickelson made his only bogey of the round at the par-3 seventh, but got the shot back with a rebound birdie at the eighth, then made a par on his final hole Friday.

“Everybody is having trouble going really low, but it’s out there. Those low rounds are out there, I just got to go get one tomorrow.”

Stat Round 1 Round 2
Fairways hit 2/14 8/14
Greens hit 14/18 14/18
Putts per GIR 1.786 1.571

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Dunne, Colsaerts tied for lead at Alfred Dunhill Links

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Paul Dunne picked up where he left off at Newcastle-upon-Tyne as he led the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship with Nicolas Colsaerts after the first round on Thursday.

Four days after winning the British Masters, Dunne shot a 5-under-par 67 in the three-course event on the Old Course. Colsaerts’ 67, which represented a strong recovery after a triple-bogey 7 at the third, came at Kingsbarns.

Five players were in a tie for third at 4 under, including defending champion Tyrell Hatton, his fellow Englishman Oliver Fisher and Ireland’s Shane Lowry. They also began at St. Andrews.

Ten players were on 3 under, including England’s Ben Evans and Scot David Drysdale, who recorded the best scores at the third course being used, Carnoustie, along with Joakim Lagergren.

Rory McIlroy, who was playing alongside his father Gerry in the pro-am, carded 73 at St. Andrews.

McIlroy was 3 over before he finished with birdies at the 14th and 18th. It might have been better had eagle putts at the ninth and 18th rolled in.

Dunne maintained the momentum which allowed the Irishman to beat McIlroy to his maiden European Tour title last week.

Returning to the Old Course, the scene of his impressive showing as an amateur in the 2015 British Open, Dunne birdied the third and sixth and holed from 22 feet for eagle at the ninth.

Further birdies followed at the 11th and 14th. There was a slip at the 17th – the notoriously difficult Road Hole – and a missed opportunity at the last.

At Kingsbarns, Colsaerts recovered from his poor third hole by claiming birdies at four of the next five holes. The Belgian added three more birdies on the back nine, including the 17th and 18th.

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Justin Thomas voted PGA Tour player of the year after 5-win season, FedEx Cup

Justin Thomas has been voted PGA Tour player of the year for his remarkable season of five victories, his first major championship and the FedEx Cup title.

Thomas all but locked up the award when he closed with a 66 at East Lake and was runner-up at the Tour Championship to capture the FedEx Cup. His five victories included the PGA Championship and a FedEx Cup playoff event, and he set the tour’s 72-hole scoring record at the Sony Open.

The tour does not disclose the vote totals. Also on the ballot were Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama.

Xander Schauffele, whose two victories this season included the Tour Championship, was voted PGA Tour rookie of the year.

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Mickelson's final mission: Win a Ryder Cup in Europe

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) Phil Mickelson hasn’t had his fill, not when it comes to the Cup.

Especially the next one.

Mickelson saved some of his best golf in one of his worst years for when it really counted. Steve Stricker wanted to see some life from Lefty before deciding to use a captain’s pick on him for the Presidents Cup, and Mickelson delivered with four rounds in the 60s at the TPC Boston to tie for sixth.

The pick extended his record streak to 23 consecutive teams, and Mickelson delivered another strong performance on the course and in the team room. He went 3-0-1 at Liberty National, one of four Americans to go unbeaten.

But it was a passing comment in Chicago, the week after he was chosen for the Presidents Cup, that shed some insight into his immediate future. He is starting a new season this week at the Safeway Open, which was expected because his management company runs the tournament.

”Looks like I’m probably going to go to China, too,” Mickelson said.

China?

Mickelson is a two-time winner at Sheshan International, but he has played the HSBC Champions only once in the last four years. Why now? One reason – perhaps the only reason – is because the World Golf Championship in Shanghai is the only tournament in the fall that offers Ryder Cup points.

This is one team Mickelson doesn’t want to miss.

He turns 48 next year and is still trying to manage psoriatic arthritis, which affected his energy and focus this year. Mickelson realizes his time is running out as a player in the Ryder Cup. He has played on three winning teams, all in America.

Next year’s matches are in France. This might be Mickelson’s last chance to win a Ryder Cup in Europe.

”That’s the one thing I haven’t done,” he said in Chicago.

And the opportunity has never looked better.

The Americans suddenly look a lot like Europeans when only a gold trophy, not cash, is on the line. They have developed a formula of familiarity, and they have relationships that go beyond the team room. Not even Europe had that. Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Daniel Berger grew up together in junior golf and graduated high school the same year. Thomas lives down the street from Rickie Fowler.

”You look at the camaraderie of the young players and how they support each other, even outside of these team events,” Mickelson said. ”They have a support system where they love competing against each other, love beating each other, but are genuinely happy for each other’s success. And that leads to a very positive, uplifting energy in the team room.

”And I think that these young guys … really lay a solid foundation for the U.S. teams.”

The performance in the Presidents Cup – a 19-11 victory, a beating so thorough the Americans were one match away from ending it on Saturday – made it tempting to look ahead one year to the Ryder Cup with the belief it will turn out the same way.

If the Europeans were watching, should they be nervous?

”It’s more confidence for us than anything they would be worried about,” Spieth said.

That alone might be enough to worry.

The Americans have figured something out, and Mickelson was behind that, too.

He’s the one who put his image on the line at Gleneagles after the 2014 Ryder Cup with his passive-aggressive criticism of the way Tom Watson ran the team and his incredulous tone when asking why the Americans got away from what had worked for them in Valhalla when they won in 2008.

That led to the task force, in which the players lobbed for consistency and control.

And it appears to be working.

”They got better at doing what Europe does than what Europe did,” said Geoff Ogilvy, an assistant captain for the International team. ”And we paid the price. Europe made America better. … Europe plays with such spirit, and that’s what it is. What you see with that U.S. team, isn’t it a bit of that European spirit?”

Does that translate to the Ryder Cup? Not necessarily. The Americans have been feeling good about themselves after the Presidents Cup for the last decade and they have only two Ryder Cup victories to show for it.

The Ryder Cup is a different monster. Mickelson knows that better than anyone. And that’s why he’s so desperate to be there.

”There will be a point where I look back and I remember, cherish, talk about all the experiences and memories that have been created,” he said of his 23 appearances in the Cups. ”Right now, I’m still trying to make more. I have not been a part of a Ryder Cup victory in Europe. It’s a big goal of mine. We have the players, the foundation, and the direction. I want to be part of that team next year.”

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The winners and losers from the Presidents Cup at Liberty National

While it wasn’t a close Presidents Cup, there were plenty of great moments in New Jersey this week. Steve Stricker looked like a genius, a young American displayed sportsmanship at a key moment, and we were reminded how silly golf rules are at times.

Here are the winners and losers from the 12th Presidents Cup at Liberty National:

Winners:

Team USA

A 19-11 victory. Enough said.

Phil Mickelson

The 47-year-old needed a captain’s selection just to make the U.S. team, but he certainly made Steve Stricker’s decision look good this week. In perhaps his final Presidents Cup as a player, Mickelson went 3-0-1, took a selfie with three former U.S. presidents, and broke Tiger Woods’ record for all-time Presidents Cup wins with 25.

Kevin Chappell

After grinding out an 11-foot par save at the 18th hole Saturday evening, Chappell conceded a tricky 3-footer to Anirban Lahiri, giving the Internationals their only full point of the day. The gesture also gave Nick Price’s team a mathematical chance in the Sunday single matches.

Losers:

Golf rules

The American team of Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed had to concede the 12th hole Saturday after Spieth picked up Louis Oosthuizen’s ball that was running well by the cup. Spieth was disqualified from the hole for violating Rule 1-2, even though the South African’s attempt had no chance of going in the hole.

Si Woo Kim

With his team down 11 points to the U.S., and Kim trailing Daniel Berger by two holes, the South Korean picked a bad time to shush the crowd Sunday. Kim would fall to Berger 2 and 1, which turned out to be the deciding point.

Emotions are running high on Sunday. Si Woo Kim trying to keep the International Team in it.

A post shared by PGA TOUR (@pgatour) on Oct 1, 2017 at 12:18pm PDT

NBC

Unfortunately for NBC, the Americans’ dominating performance through the first three days essentially made Sunday worthless for golf fans.

(Photo courtesy: Action Images)

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Hoffman sprays champagne on Berger after clinching Presidents Cup

Daniel Berger was the first U.S. player to get soaked in champagne Sunday at Liberty National.

Berger grabbed the necessary point in his singles match, beating Si Woo Kim 2 and 1 to win the Presidents Cup for the United States. After shaking hands with Kim on the green, it was celebration time for the Americans.

Charley Hoffman sprinted out after Berger, spraying the Florida native with champagne before grabbing the bottle and chugging it while walking towards his teammates.

“What a feeling,” Berger told Jimmy Roberts of NBC. “We’ve been here for the last week, but we’ve planned this for months and it’s just a great feeling.”

It’s a party, it’s a party, it’s a party 🍾🎉🏆

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The 24-year-old became the youngest player ever to clinch the Presidents Cup.

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Watch: Spieth DQ'd for 1 hole after picking up Oosthuizen's ball

Oops.

Jordan Spieth was disqualified from the 12th hole during Saturday’s match at the Presidents Cup, as he picked up Louis Oosthuizen’s ball after it rolled well past the target.

Spieth’s gaffe likely won’t have much of an effect on the tournament’s outcome, but it allowed Oosthuizen and Jason Day to move 1-up on him and partner Patrick Reed.

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Watch: Thomas goes crazy after holing bunker shot for birdie

@justinthomas34 is feeling it @presidentscup! 🎯💪

A post shared by PGA TOUR (@pgatour) on Sep 29, 2017 at 1:09pm PDT

Justin Thomas provided easily the biggest roar Friday at the Presidents Cup.

After dumping his approach at the par-4 14th into the greenside bunker, Thomas followed up a poor shot with a magnificent one.

The 24-year-old splashed his third shot into the cup for a birdie to halve the hole with the Internationals, causing Thomas and the Liberty National crowd to go nuts with excitement.

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Obama, G. W.Bush, Clinton celebrate start of Presidents Cup

JERSEY CITY, N.J. – The start of the Presidents Cup gave golf a new Big Three – former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton posing with players and wives on each team in an opening ceremony unlike any other.

It was the first time three U.S. presidents have attended the matches together since this event began in 1994, named after the highest office in the land.

The U-shaped grandstands around the first tee at Liberty National were at capacity more than an hour before the first tee time Thursday. Most of the players were warming up on the range. Phil Mickelson, in the fifth and final match, came over early to clasp hands with all three.

Then, Mickelson took out his phone for a selfie he might not get again.

All presidents are invited to be the honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup when it is held in the United States, and all have accepted. Clinton has been the only sitting presidents to attend the matches, on Saturday at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Virginia in 2000.

That might change. The PGA Tour was preparing for a visit by President Donald Trump on Sunday, though it has not been confirmed.

”I get excited about the fact that three individuals ascended to the highest office in the land and golf was an important part of their life and continues to be an important part of their life,” PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said Wednesday. ”I think it’s a great statement for our game.”

There was plenty of buzz on the first tee, especially when a platform behind the tee began to fill.

All three PGA Tour commissioners dating to 1974 were there – Monahan, Tim Finchem and Deane Beman. The loudest cheers were for Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, who along with Arnold Palmer were the Big Three during one of the early growth periods in golf. Palmer died a year ago Monday.

And then the U.S. presidents filled the box.

Mickelson got his selfie, and before long other players and assistant captains filed over to see the presidents. They stepped out of the box to stand to the back of the tee as Charl Schwartzel of South Africa and Rickie Fowler hit the respective opening tee shots.

The presidents then went over to greet the wives of the International and U.S. teams and stayed behind for the rest of the matches to begin.

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