Monday, February 18, 2008

PGA Tour needs Mickelson, Bivens says LPGA prospers without Wie, Tom Watson says don't be a slouch and how to proceed when your ball is unfit for play

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Jeff Quinney patiently stalked Phil Mickelson during the final round of the Northern Trust Open, waiting perhaps for Lefty's golf club to become entangled in the kikuya grass or for Mickelson to erupt as with his eleven last week. Four birdies over a six-hole stretch for Quinney placed Lefty in a precarious position leaving the possibility of another playoff and yet another close call.

Mickelson is used to hanging tough, but rarely for making a charge and instilling fear into his opponents.

Instead, Mickelson watched as the tables turned and Quinney fell to pieces, bogeying four of his final six holes at Riviera. It might have taken Phil longer to come out of his winter cocoon but the results couldn't have come at a better time.

Still, the "I can beat Phil" mentality makes any tournament in which Lefty contends exciting and that is precisely why the PGA Tour needs Phil Mickelson.

In contrast to the interesting faces on the men's tour, Carolyn Bivens claims that the rising stars of the LPGA are enough to sustain it without Michelle Wie's assistance.

"The fate of the LPGA doesn’t rise or fall with any one woman, and that includes Michelle." voiced an emphatic Bivens last month.

But, like Phil Mickelson, Michelle Wie is exciting to watch. Whether she's up or down, heading for an 88 or mixing it up with Annika Sorenstam, golf fans will tune in to an LPGA Tour event not as much to watch Morgan Pressel or Paula Creamer but to see what commotion will come from the Wie Camp. This week's Fields Open should prove very interesting as to the emotional and physical state of Michelle Wie.

Golf for Beginners podcast this week questions the success of the LPGA Tour without Michelle Wie. Can Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa maintain the ratings that Wie can achieve? We also discuss Rule 5-3 from the Rules of Golf which deals with the replacement of a damaged golf ball. Tom Watson posture tips rounds off this week's popular internet radio show.

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