Phil Mickelson leaves the first LIV Golf Invitational series. The Centurion Club pitch paid the price as he attempted to play for the first time in more than four months. The same goes for the media, who have often been relentless in their criticism of the Saudi-backed track, which he chose to exploit his rusty skills.
The problems with his game are easy to explain, as he left the club in place for quite some time after announcing his withdrawal from the game.
The condemnation of his actions is just something he will have to live with, and given the controversy surrounding LIV Golf, he is well aware that things are coming. Without Saudi support, it would be a polarizing issue; the investment in public investment funds, Saudi human rights abuses, and the notion that he — and others involved — are willing to fight for the country by taking money.
The British tabloid press had a particularly easy time. The Daily Mail, for example, called him “The Greedy Jacket” Mickelson. The questions he asked at Wednesday’s news conference were understandably pointed and relentless.
And it’s unlikely to go away.
Mickelson played his first stateside game this week at the country club, and here is one of the Lefty’s fondest memories — his 1999 Ryder Cup victory. It was the only time he and Tiger Woods played on the same Ryder Cup team. Unlike the Masters and PGA Championship earlier this year, Woods won’t take the spotlight outside of Boston.
Boston’s fan base has a reputation for sexual abuse. Just ask Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors. Could this really have happened to Phil, the fan favorite of the U.S. Open for most of his 30-year career? He started his career in 1992 with a six-time runner-up finish at the event at Pebble Beach, the only untitled Grand Slam.
Twenty years ago, despite his win, Woods was the darling of New York fans at Bethpage Stadium known as the “People’s Open.”
What reception will Mickelson get? The venue has a tragic history, and at the 1999 Ryder Cup, Sunday’s audience’s abuse of Scotland’s Colin Montgomery became so unruly that his opponent, Payne Stewart, came forward Defended him and asked security to evacuate the personnel.
Sweden’s Jarmo Sandelin has also been criticized. He happened to be playing Mickelson that day as the Americans united in an incredible victory over what seemed like a doomed defeat.
Now Mickelson will likely catch the ball in what may be his last U.S. Open. The USGA said last week that it would not ban any LIV golfers from playing, saying it would be inappropriate to change its eligibility criteria.
But given the PGA Tour’s indefinite suspension of all PGA Tour memberships — even those who ditched them — could the USGA change its standards?
This is just one of many questions that remain to be answered after the amazing developments over the past few months.
Mickelson’s struggles at country club come as no surprise. While Centurion Club isn’t toppled, it certainly isn’t U.S. Open caliber either. After a 69 on day one, Mickelson had a lot of problems going 75-76 in the final two rounds. He ended up tied for 34th out of 48 players, 17 shots behind champion Charl Schwarzer.
The South African didn’t become world champion recently – his first win in six years – and Mickelson only needed three rounds to generate such a deficit.
“It would be a miracle if he did compete, I really think,” NBC chief analyst Paul Azinger said on a conference call last week. “It’s a small miracle to have someone who can argue with everything that’s going on.”
Mickelson is generally very popular in galleries, and he may have a lot of support. But there are various opinions on the LIV Golf issue.
“This is a major disruption to the sport,” Azinger said. “I predict that if Phil misses the cut, like Friday afternoon or something, he’s probably going to get really tough. I just thought – that’s a big step for those guys. They could change the game forever. .
“I think the reaction was mostly positive because he’s been a fan favorite over the years. But the Boston crowd, they’ll let you know how they feel.”
Canadian golf fans deserve a dramatic Sunday, with Rory McIlroy producing alongside PGA champions Justin Thomas and Tony Furnau, who birdied the final hole to finish second. It was canceled several years in a row due to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and 2021, and it was the first RBC Canadian Open in three years.
The audience clearly enjoyed the show and the place was packed on weekends.
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Given the upheaval in golf in recent days and weeks, it’s great to see several top players fighting between the ropes.
McIlroy shot 62 in final round (61 when he won three years ago) for 21st PGA Tour win — then hid it from LIV Golf Invitational commissioner Greg Norman 20 shots. Pro PGA Tour win.
“It’s incredible,” McIlroy said. “Playing today with Tony and JT, two of the world’s top players, all of us playing our way. It’s one I’ll remember for a long, long time. One more than the others, today gave me a little bit extra power.
McIlroy, Ferno and Thomas now head to the U.S. Open with a lot of confidence.
1. Rory McIlroy will try to be the first player He has won majors since his PGA Tour victories at the WGC-Bridgestone and PGA Championships in 2014.
2. Justin Rose becomes second player since 1983 Shoot with multiple bogeys or hit a 60 or higher in a round. Keegan Bradley had two bogeys with a first-round 60 against Byron Nelson in 2013.
3. The LIV Golf Series uses an F1-like podium For the top three players. But what if there is a tie? It happened to Branden Grace and Peter Uihlein, both of whom were 5 under. The tie was broken by comparing the scorecards of their last nine holes. However, the players did split the third- and fourth-place prize money, so they each won $1,275,000. Because LIV is calculating points to determine the overall winner, all ties are broken this way, but the money is still split evenly.
4. Two players who have not yet been exempted to get a spot At the British Open, they finished in the top eight at the Canadian Open. Keith Mitchell and Wyndham Clark were tied for seventh as part of the open qualifying series. Mitchell has now qualified three times, previously at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2019 and 2020. Clark will play for the first time.
Mickelson and the Masters
Phil Mickelson’s fallout included skipping the Masters and the PGA Championship, where he defended his title. As he turns 52, Mickelson won’t have more opportunities to compete, making skipping even more of a disappointment. Mickelson skiing in Montana during the Masters.
“Every day at the Masters I ski in the morning and then I watch the race,” he said. “I enjoyed watching it. I think Scottie Scheffler put on a great show there.
“I found myself missing the Masters, but didn’t want to. I didn’t play, I didn’t touch a club. I wasn’t competitive. But I’d love that game, and if I wasn’t there, I’d miss it forever. But I don’t want to be there.
St Andrews Honours
Jack Nicklaus will receive honorary citizenship in St Andrews the week of next month’s British Open at Golf House. Nicklaus, 82, has won three Opens in his 18 majors and two at St Andrews in 1970 and 1978.
Nicklaus will become the third American and the first to receive honorary citizenship since Bobby Jones became a St Andrews Freeman in 1958. The recognition was the same as being granted the city’s freedom, which Nicklaus said he was “deeply honored” to receive.
Also in attendance were Lee Trevino, Jose Maria Olazabal, Catriona Matthew, Sir Bob Charles and Sandy Lyle, all of whom will receive honorary degrees from the University of St Andrews.
U.S. Open countdown
The U.S. Open, which begins Thursday at the Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, was one of the most important early moments in golf history when 20-year-old amateur Francis Oymet beat Britain in the playoffs Superstars Harry Vardon and Ted Ray.
The country club has also hosted several other notable playoff games, with Arnold Palmer losing to Julius Boros in 1963 (one of three U.S. Open playoff games). second), while Curtis Strange won his first straight U.S. Open, this time at the end of the playoffs over Nick Faldo.
The field took shape last week with nine final qualifiers, eight in the U.S. and one in Canada. Those who had no other qualifications but made the top 60 last Monday also got a spot, as did 10 players in the UK qualifying system based on four DP World Tour matches.
> Impressive performance from Linn Grant, who became the first woman to win on the DP World Tour.
> A fun way to watch the Canadian Open.
> Claret Jug will be on tour.
> The 2010 major winners – Phil Mickelson, Graeme McDowell, Louis Ushutzen, Martin Kemer – are now at the LIV Golf Invitational.
next (mainly) up
After this week, there is only one major remaining in 2022 – the British Open in golf’s hometown. St Andrews Old Course. This will be the 150th match of the British Open, and there will no doubt be a lot to talk about on the eve of the tournament, which starts on July 15.