Sunday, February 25, 2018
Golf

Mickelson has rough start at PGA Championship

PITTSFORD, N.Y. — If you want to hear a mass of humanity go from giddy to groaning, watch highlights of Phil Mickelson's fourth hole Thursday.

The gallery favorite and British Open champion drew a penalty after his first errant tee shot, struck his second into the rough and turned a par-5 he loves to dominate into a double bogey that dropped him to 3 over.

Mickelson didn't record his first birdie until the ninth hole, then rang up three from Nos. 11-14 to get to 1 under. But the wheels came off again at the par-4 18th, where Mickelson posted his second double bogey in a 1-over 71 of the first round of the PGA Championship.

"Even when I was making birdies, it didn't feel good," Mickelson said. "I was just trying to fight and keep it in play. I've got to come out (today) and get a little more aggressive and attack."

That's better: Having endured plenty of wayward shots this season, Rory McIlroy was feeling more positive about his game after opening with 1-under 69.

He probably hadn't felt that good since last year's PGA Championship blowout at Kiawah Island, where he was on top of the golf world after a record eight-stroke victory. Sure, it's a different course. But McIlroy will take any little edge he can get.

"To come back here, it gives me some confidence," said McIlroy, since the beginning of last year a combined 51 over at the first three majors of the year, 14 under at the PGA. "(Thursday) was definitely positive. I felt like I played really, really well."

Close again: Canadian David Hearn, 34, was the tournament's first alternate and got in when Brendan Jones withdrew. In the first round he shot 4-under 66 to sit a stroke off the lead. Hearn, who played on the Web.com Tour from 2006-10, lost in a playoff at the John Deere Classic less than a month ago for his best finish on the PGA Tour. "My career has always had a certain progression, and I've always found a way to get competitive at the next level that I've been to," he said.

Comments

Dustin Johnson, Ted Potter Jr. tied for lead at Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Dustin Johnson overcame a sloppy back nine in the stiffening breeze by making a 10-foot birdie on the 18th hole at Pebble Beach for 2-under 70 that gave him a share of the lead going into the final round of the Pebble Beach Nat...
Published: 02/10/18
Tiger Woods at the Valspar Championship? Maybe

Tiger Woods at the Valspar Championship? Maybe

PALM HARBOR — Every year at this time, Valspar Championship officials release a list of players committed to the tournament, those likely to commit and those who have not definitively said no. For the first time since it became a PGA Tour event in 20...
Updated one month ago
Gary Woodland rallies to win Phoenix Open in playoff

Gary Woodland rallies to win Phoenix Open in playoff

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Gary Woodland was surprised to see infant son Jaxson with wife Gabby late Sunday afternoon at the Phoenix Open. "My wife kind of surprised me with him," Woodland said. "I didn’t think he was going to be there. I thought it would j...
Updated one month ago
Record crowd watches Rickie Fowler take Phoenix Open lead

Record crowd watches Rickie Fowler take Phoenix Open lead

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Rickie Fowler birdied the last three holes in front of the largest crowd in golf history Saturday to take the lead in the Phoenix Open. Fowler shot 4-under 67 to reach 14 under with a round left at TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium Course,...
Updated one month ago
Fowler back in contention in Scottsdale

Fowler back in contention in Scottsdale

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Rickie Fowler took a share of the lead into the weekend in the Phoenix Open. He knows from experience the party is just getting started. "Just keep the gas pedal down," Fowler said. Fowler has had a lot of success at TPC Scottsdal...
Updated one month ago

Bill Haas takes first-round lead at PGA’s Phoenix Open

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Bill Haas’ 9-iron landed to the right of the pin and spun left, settling 3 feet away for birdie on the par-3 16th in the Phoenix Open. "I just tried to play the hole like I would any other hole, even though it’s not like any other...
Updated one month ago
Jason Day wins playoff at Farmers Insurance Open

Jason Day wins playoff at Farmers Insurance Open

SAN DIEGO — Jason Day calmly sank an 18-inch birdie putt at 8:17 a.m. Monday in front of empty grandstands on No. 18 at Torrey Pines for his first PGA Tour win in 20 months. There were no roars, just cheers from Day’s family and a handful of mates. I...
Updated one month ago

Seminole’s Brittany Lincicome defends title at Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic

PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas — Brittany Lincicome beat darkness — with help from floodlights Sunday on the Ocean Club’s 18th green — to win the Bahamas LPGA Classic for the second straight year. The Seminole resident birdied the final two holes and four ...
Updated one month ago

Nine-time European champion Alex Noren takes lead at Farmers Insurance Open

SAN DIEGO — A nine-time winner on the European Tour, Alex Noren of Sweden gave himself a chance to make his mark in America with 3-under 69 Saturday for a one-shot lead going into the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open. Noren finished strong, ...
Updated one month ago