Monday, February 28, 2011

Tiger Woods like Humpty Dumpty while Elin Nordegren a dancing star

Tiger Woods is becoming the "humpty dumpty" of the golf world according to Johnny Miller, while Elin Nordegren is reinventing herself as a possible candidate on Dancing with the Stars!

Johnny Miller's comments came soon after Woods lost his match against Thomas Bjorn in first round action at the WGC Match Play event this past week. In a comparison to Mike Tyson, TV Announcer Miller said that, like Tyson, Woods was "way above all the other players, and had a great fall, and there’s pieces all over the place trying to put them together.”

Like pieces of Holyfield's ear Johnny? More than a bit of exaggeration in Miller's comments which are usually stated with bit of flourish, don't you think?

The comparison made between Woods and Tyson is ridiculous at best. Woods, although terribly unfaithful, was always a gentleman golfer on the course as opposed to Tyson's disgraceful antics which eventually led him to jail time.

On a more positive note, Elin Nordegren began dusting herself off soon after her split from Tiger Woods with a cover shoot for People Magazine and a number 60 spot on's 2011 list of "Most Desirable Women". Although a boyfriend did appear on the scene, sources say Tiger Woods' jealous nature keeps suitors at bay.

Elin Nordegren
Credit: Hubpages

In an effort to keep picking up the pieces of her life, rumors are coming in that Elin will appear on Dancing with the Stars. 12th season cast announcements will be made tonight on The Bachelor.
It appears that Nordegren is having less trouble rebounding than Tiger Woods!
Now if only Tiger Woods would start dancing on the golf course. Fans are still waiting for history to be made!

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

HSBC Women's Champions Final Round Duel: Arimura vs. Webb

The final round of the HSBC Women’s Champions looks like one of those great things in golf: a good old-fashioned duel. If stroke play can ever look like match play then this is it. Separated by just one stroke, and a further five shots clear of the rest of the field going into the final round, Chie Arimura and Karrie Webb have been conducting their own private battle. Tim Maitland reports.

The duelists could not be more different: Chie represents the future, Karrie is already a legend.

  credit: Karrie Webb winning Kraft Nabisco

Webb at 36 has seen it all, done it all and got the t-shirt! She qualified for the World Golf Hall of Fame 11 years ago and when she became eligible to be inducted in 2005 she was the youngest inductee ever at that time.

Arimura in sharp contrast has never won outside Japan, but those who have watched her burst onto the scene on the JLPGA have been expecting her to break through internationally. At just 23 years of age she already has seven wins under her belt, including five during a spectacular 2009 season: she knows how to win.


credit: Golf Digest

“It’s still not easy! With each experience you learn the nervousness and the pressure you have to go through. I say I’m still not used to it!” Arimura says.

The main reason that an international win is missing from her young CV may be that she hasn’t played that often outside her homeland. During her great 2009 season she showed up at the Evian Ladies Masters and the Women’s British Open and last year she played the HSBC Women’s Champions, the Evian and in all four LPGA majors, finishing 9th at the Kraft Nabisco, 32nd in Singapore.

Those with insider knowledge of the Japanese game, such as 2010 HSBC Women’s Caddy of the Year Dean Herden, have been expecting her to breakthrough internationally.

“I’m not surprised at all. She had a wonderful year in 2009 and she really learned how to win that year. She’s a real hard worker and she’s probably the toughest Japanese player since I’ve been caddying on the JLPGA Tour! All that hard work pays off somewhere down the line,” says Herden.

“She hits her iron shots so straight and you need to do that around this course. She’s a complete player. She hits it so straight off the tee and she hits her irons so straight and she’s deadly with the putter. All round she’s got a great game; there’s not one part that is weak. She chips well, she does everything right. She’s cute and she’s known for that in Japan; the smile, the good looks and she’s not very tall. She’s quite famous too, her and Sakura Yokomine,” he adds, before insisting that, if Chie wins on Sunday it won’t be long before her name is just as accepted as those of Ochoa, Shin (who he caddied to victory in 2009) and Ai Miyazato.

“It’s the great thing about this event, it’s a great stepping stone for every player; once they win this it gives them the confidence to go on to even bigger and better things. I think Chie can probably win a US Open she hits it so straight and they set up those courses with long rough and tight and she’ll kill it,” Herden insists.

Arimura’s caddie this week, Lionel Matichuk, who works permanently on the Japan Tour, has also known Chie was bound to break out internationally sooner or later.

“She’s good. She’s good enough to do it. She’s top quality; she just hasn’t played many international events,” said Matichuk.

“I’ve known her for three years and she’s always been pretty good. This week she’s just been in control, hitting a lot of solid shots into the wind, so the wind hasn’t affected them much and if she’s made a mistake somewhere she’s recovered. She’s got a good short game, pretty much everything.”

As if playing almost head-to-head with a legend like Webb – a winner of 7 majors and 36 LPGA events – Arimura will also have the hottest player on the planet in her 10-10 a.m. group. The world number one Yani Tseng, still in with a chance of winning for the fourth week in a row and her fifth consecutive event, leads the best of the rest six shots behind the young Japanese star.

“To play amongst these great players, even now, feels very much like a dream, but I’m calm and I think I’m ready to play well,” Chie insists.

“We had the duel between Lee Westwood and Francesco Molinari at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai last November and people are still talking about that,” says Giles Morgan of the event won by the young Italian.

“That battle was compared, not equal to, but compared with the 1977 Duel In The Sun at Turnberry between Nicklaus and Watson; that’s how special duels are and if we have one in the final round in Singapore the fans are in for a treat!” he adds.


Arimura, who has never won an LPGA tournament, will be paired Sunday with Webb and world No. 1 Yani Tseng of Taiwan, who shot a 69 Saturday and is six strokes off the lead.


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Monday, February 21, 2011

Yani Tseng Hopes Number One Rule Applies at HSBC Women's Championship in Singapore

New women’s world number one Yani Tseng is hoping that the HSBC Women’s Champions rule that its winners belong to the exclusive club of top-ranked players still applies when she gets to Singapore next week. Tim Maitland reports.

The three champions of the tournament at Tanah Merah come from the elite group of six players to have been rated number one since the rankings were introduced in 2006: Ai Miyazato of Japan, Korea’s Jiyai Shin and Lorena Ochoa of Mexico.

“That sounds really good! Yeah! Thanks for reminding me of that!,” said the 22-year-old Taiwanese star Tseng, who won the Honda LPGA Thailand this weekend by five strokes extending her 2011 record to four wins in four events!

Yani Tseng LPGA Thailand  

“I’m really looking forward to this year. I know I have lots of confidence right now and I can’t wait to get to Singapore and see my old friends, to play that tournament and see all my HSBC friends over there. It’ll be pretty nice,” said Tseng, who is eager to test herself on the Garden Course after winning the Taifong Ladies Open on the Ladies Asian Golf Tour and claiming the Handa Women’s Australian Open and the ANZ Ladies Masters in Queensland in successive weeks.

“It’s a great golf course. You can play all 14 clubs on that course; it’s not just driver-wedge, driver-wedge. You hit a three wood off the tee, you hit a rescue off the tee all the different kinds of shots you have to hit. You really need to focus on what your strategy is and every hole is different. Some of the par fives are reachable, which makes it more fun and then there are island greens; it’s just a fun golf course to play. You never know the winning score and there are big crowds too,” Yani says.

However Tseng will face fierce competition to keep hold of her number one ranking when she gets to Singapore. As well as 2009 HSBC Women’s Champions winner Jiyai Shin who Tseng toppled from top spot on the Rolex Rankings at the start of this week, Suzann Pettersen, Cristie Kerr and Na Yeon Choi are all one win away from taking the number one ranking away.

“It’s an incredibly exciting time for golf at the moment. We had Lee Westwood arrive at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai last November as the new number one with Tiger Woods, Martin Kaymer and Phil Mickelson all with the opportunity to toppling him that week and it made for a great tournament. The HSBC Women’s Champions is going to have that same buzz and excitement,” said Giles Morgan, HSBC Group Head of Sponsorship.

“Last year was the first time that a tournament in Asia had impacted the very top of the men’s world rankings, now we have young talented Asian women fighting for the right to be world number one in an world-class event in Singapore. It all proves Asia’s emerging in to the top echelons of the golfing world,” he added.

For Tseng, just being able to return to the Lion City as number one, to a place where she played and won some of her earliest junior tournaments as a girl, will be a memorable moment.

“That would be great! I’d really wish that. I’m trying not to think too much about only staying number one for one week, but sometimes you never know. I really just want to stay focused and keep working hard,” she says.

“When I first started playing [tournaments] in Singapore, I didn’t even think of being women’s number one; I just came to play and to try and win those championships. I didn’t think about the world. I didn’t even know how big the world is. It’s only since I went to the United States that I started to know how big it is. But all the tournaments I won in Singapore gave me a lot of confidence too. I’d win a tournament, come back the next year and win again.”


Q: So, little Ruby* Tseng is the world number one! How about that?
A: It’s very exciting for me to be world number one. For the last five or six months everybody in the top six in the world has had the chance to be number one and then finally I’ve got to world number one. It’s really, really exciting. I’ve dreamed about being world number one and I’ve talked about being world number one and now that moment has come it feels so unreal. I wasn’t expecting that it was really going to come. It makes me so appreciative. I appreciate my friends, my team, my coach and all the people around me that are always supporting me. I just really appreciate it.

Now, I have lots of confidence. I know how to be on top. I feel like I know more how to win a tournament. I’m not afraid to be in the lead. I’m happy to be in the lead. Everything’s started to change a little bit; I feel like I’m improving and improving every year and it’s very exciting for me to see how I’m getting on this year.
[*Ruby was the western name Yani used for a time when she was an Amateur]

Q: Was there a moment when it really sank in?
A: Not really. All the moments are there in my mind. I’ve looked back at every day from the first time I started playing golf and I’ve finally become world number one, but you know we’re all still very close; you never know what will happen this week or next week. So I just want to keep working hard, because everybody’s working, so it’s very challenging for me. There are still a lot of things to learn. It’s not just for the short term. I want to be long-term; like Annika and Lorena.

When I first started playing [tournaments] in Singapore, I didn’t even think of being women’s number one; I just came to play and to try and win those championships. I didn’t think about the world. I didn’t even know how big the world is. It’s only since I went to the United States that I started to know how big it is. But all the tournaments I won in Singapore gave me a lot of confidence too. I’d win a tournament, come back the next year and win again. Through all the years it’s been very successful, as an amateur playing all over Asia. Going back for the HSBC [Women’s Champions] I was always very happy to go back there again.

Q: Can you believe the little girl who used to go over there to play tournaments is now number one?
A: No. I was expecting that, but I didn’t know it would be so soon. This year I set out the goal to be world number one, but it’s been just two weeks! After three tournaments this year I’ve become world number one! It feels unreal.

Q: Your game seems to be so good. It’s not just that you’re winning, but you don’t seem to be making mistakes!
A: Yeah. I’m trying. I’m working out with my coach Gary Gilchrist and I’ve been changing my swing and I think my swing is better now. I’ve been working on my putting; my putting has always been sometimes up and sometimes down, but I’m working to be more consistent. My putting is working pretty well and I think everything is all set.

Q: And the HSBC Women’s Champions? A course you HAVE to be straight on…
A: Yeah, that’s for sure. It’s a great golf course. I’m really looking forward to playing that course. You can play all 14 clubs on that course; it’s not just driver-wedge, driver-wedge. You hit a three wood off the tee, you hit a rescue off the tee all the different kinds of shots you have to hit. You really need to focus on what your strategy is and every hole is different. Some of the par fives are reachable, which makes it more fun and then there are island greens; it’s just a fun golf course to play. You never know the winning score and there are big crowds too.

Q: And always a good champion. The three champions so far have all been*…
A: Number one! That sounds really good! Yeah! Thanks for reminding me of that! I’m really looking forward to this year. I know I have lots of confidence right now and I can’t wait to get to Singapore and see my old friends, to play that tournament and see all my HSBC friends over there. It’ll be pretty nice.

[*Strictly speaking, it’s better to say the three winners of the HSBC Women’s Champions also belong to the group of six women to have been ranked number one since the Rolex Rankings were introduced in 2006]

Q: Is it important to you to keep that number one so you can go back and see those friends as number one?
A: That would be great! I’d really wish that. I’m trying not to think too much about only staying number one for one week, but sometimes you never know. I really just want to stay focused and keep working hard.

Q: And what’s happening in Taiwan? They must be going crazy.
A: Yeah, I think so. On Sunday (at the ANZ Masters) I wrote on Facebook ‘Everybody wear pink. I’m going to wear pink and want everyone to support me’ and lots of people were wearing pink on Sunday in Taiwan. That was really interesting. I want to thank them for their support in Taiwan. It’s huge. I’m going back to Taiwan after the HSBC.

Q: So you have two homecomings? A homecoming in Singapore and then a homecoming in Taiwan.
A: Yeah. Yeah.

The HSBC Women's Champions event will be played February 24-27th on Tanah Merah Golf Course. Sixty-three of the best female golfers in the world will converge in Singapore in the fourth edition of the tournament.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

What makes a good golf blog and more questions answered by Golf for Beginners

What makes a good golf blog?

Recently I was asked this question (and more) by the folks over at Leaderboard Golf, a new website aiming to be "the authority for golf online."

Although the number of golf blogs has greatly expanded since Golf for Beginners hit the internet back in 2004, I believe that all memorable golf blogs have certain commonalities: they question what they read/see and hear, offer you an opinion and make you want to comment. Isn't that what blogging is all about?

Check out the new Leaderboard Golf website and feel free to click on the Stacy Solomon: Golf for Beginners Interview where you'll also find out about my favorite professional golfing moment and my goals for 2011!

Most people who read Golf for Beginners and connect with me via Twitter and Facebook, also know that I utilize social media and believe that this growing medium is changing the way business is conducted on the internet.

In the premier issue of 914Inc Magazine, I offer up two easy ways to attract followers on Twitter. Dave Donelson, author of five books including his most recent novel, Heart of Diamonds, also discusses the benefits of Facebook and LinkedIn as integral parts of a saavy marketers online presence.

Click here to read "OMG U R on Fire!" written by Dave Donelson.

A hearty thank you to both Leaderboard Golf, @Leaderboard on Twitter and to Dave Donelson who is both on Facebook and on Twitter as @TheDynamicMgr.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tiger Woods, say cheese! Hey Mickelson, this call is for you!

In this technically advanced world in which we live, although I can understand the PGA Tour enactment of a policy allowing cell phone use on select areas of the golf course, I'm certain there are going to be growing pains.

PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, has been chosen as the first golf event which will officially implement the new cell phone policy.  A mobile device has to be set to "silent" mode and text/pictures/calls (no video) can be sent in order to "enhance" the overall fan experience...again, in designated areas only!

Practically speaking, Andy Pazder, PGA Tour Chief of Ops, states that the new policy is meant to allow fans to "stay connected to business and family." With mobile devices like the iPhone and my Droid X, I can now complete most work-related concerns (even post simple blogs) during an event.

The best part of allowing mobile devices at tournaments is that I will also be able to post updates to Twitter and Facebook after coming across Phil Mickelson leaving the practice green! Maybe I can catch a photo of him at the burger stand!

On the flip side, here are a few problems which could occur during a PGA Tour event allowing mobile devices:

1. Forgot to set mobile device to silent. "Oops, sorry," blushes the guy next to the tee box after Tiger Woods swings and hooks his shot into the woods..."Uh Tiger, my friend saw me standing behind you on the tee and wanted me to wish you good luck."

2. Fans bumping into each other. It happens on the streets of New York, it will certainly happen walking from the leaderboard to the clubhouse as people attempt to send the latest golf news to friends confined to their desk during work hours.

3. Social media overload. I get the "Twitter is over capacity" pasted across my screen at least twice a day. Now imagine the inability to get your tweets across...utter panic for the internet saavy. More bandwidth needed!

4. Claim check frenzy. Some fans at Torrey Pines, it was reported, had their phones taken away and were given claim checks. All phones look alike...imagine trying to find one on a Sunday.

5. The "I didn't realize..." a fan favorite excuse!

I'm sure there will be more than a few fans in the crowd who will breach the photo rule. (I've got a Nikon camera with 3x zoom and I'm within picture distance of Tiger. Just one shot...who'll notice?)

Tiger Woods Texting  
Tsk, tsk... doesn't that golfer know that texting is not allowed during competition?  ;-)

In order to avoid the "I didn't realize" excuse, here is the the new PGA Tour policy regarding cell phone use.

As the PGA Tour continues to implement the mobile device policy for future events, it will be easier to make revisions and a great aid to the Tour. More security will be needed to enforce the new rules but, if the PGA Tour was looking for a way to spread the word of professional golf through the internet, they have come upon an eventual win-win situation.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Tiger Woods learns that loose lips incur fines on European Tour

A portion of the $3 million appearance fee Tiger Woods reportedly earned in Dubai will go towards paying off a fine incurred on the 12th hole of Emirates Golf Course.

Announcers were quick to berate him about it.

"Disgusting, what he has just done there," said Sky Sports commentator Ewen Murray. "But there are some parts of him that are just arrogant and petulant. Somebody now has to come behind him and maybe putt over his spit. It does not get much lower than that."

The Huffington Post, in addition to posting a video showing Tiger Woods' spittle on the green, reported a derogatory comment issued by comedian Bill Murray regarding the incident, "one of the ugliest things you will ever see on a golf course."

Tiger Woods spitting incident was indeed ugly (did he realize the cameras were on him?) and I noticed that Woods spat a few times during his round but it did not look intentional. Although I'm not defending his actions, he has done it before without receiving a fine; according to Michael Bamberger, on the 18th tee at the Masters, but, as Bamberger defended, due to allergic reactions to the great outdoors.

In stark contrast was Sergio Garcia's intentional blob of goo directed into the bottom of the cup after missing a putt on the 13th green at the 2007 WGC-CA Championship at Doral GC. (If I remember correctly, Tom Lehman was the next to putt.)

Garcia's response showed a lack of class, "Yes I did it," he admitted. "I'm not going to pretend I didn't. But there was nothing to it. I missed a putt and I was not too happy. Don't worry, it [the spit] did go in the middle. It wasn't going to affect anybody else and if it did I would have wiped it off."

Tiger Woods has been tight-lipped about his indiscretion up until now but I hope that he will accept his penalty with grace and polish. (see update, below)

The next question is how closely is the code of conduct and etiquette to be followed in golf?

The European Tour, it appears, will outwardly and staunchly hold to the code of golf remaining a "gentleman's game" (in other words, carry a handkerchief) by issuing a fine but I'm interested in seeing whether or not the PGA Tour follows suit in making expectorating without good reason an etiquette violation.

Or, will it be the fans who start calling into the PGA Tour every time a loogie is dropped?

Tiger Woods Update: I mentioned above that I believed Tiger Woods would show grace under fire...and so he has! Woods stated the following on his Twitter account today:

"It was inconsiderate to spit like that and I know better. Just wasn't thinking and want to say I'm sorry."

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Golf fans policing PGA Tour: Good or bad for the game?

Tim Finchem created a buzz in the golf media world with the admission that if fans want to call in a rules infraction, it is their right to do so. This will create thousands of call-ins by armchair golfers who think they see, or possibly do see, something.


For the most part, PGA Tour golfers know the rules but, Ian Poulter even reluctantly admitted, "I still dont know all the rules, there's too many."

Although there are Tour golfers who admit they don't know every rule, is "see something, say something" always the best idea?

Why encourage fans to police the PGA Tour?

With social media being an integral part of the world we live in, it is quite easy to reach the PGA Tour via Twitter or Facebook with a comment or an @ statement. Although seemingly harmless, not every fan with a Rules of Golf book should be an armchair referee.


"Cutting them (fans) off is not an option at this point"  said Finchem, and he has a point. With the PGA Tour grasping for audience, the Commissioner isn't turning away any viewers but, rather, welcoming them in as pseudo-refs.


Telephoning the Tour is an option but would create a glut of calls for every piece of dirt that a fan thought was moved illegally. Perhaps Finchem will set up a special hotline that he could man during each event?


One good thing that may come out of all of this is that fans may actually dust off their copies of the Rules of Golf. Golfers may finally READ and understand the rules!

Should the game of golf remain pure or should the new media be welcomed into the sport? Paddy Miller mentioned that the Commissioner has compromised the integrity of the game and is jeopardizing the tradition of golf itself.

Golf has always been a sport of honor in which golfers call an infractions on themselves...if they know that an infraction was created.

If a Tour player, however, didn't realize that he broke a rule, he could go on to win the event which would be unfair to the other golfers. With money and position at stake and knowing that technology now rules the airwaves, it is impossible to keep the tradition of the game completely status quo. Hopefully a resolution that is fair to all will be achieved.

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Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Kaymer defense of Tiger Woods honor refreshing but ...

Martin Kaymer is standing up for Tiger Woods before their two-day golf pairing at the Dubai Desert Classic this week, defending the now number three's right to sort out his private life for the sake of the game.

"Tiger shouldn't be getting a hard time," number two golfer in the world, Kaymer, told reporters, declaring that the world of golf should be "thankful" for what Woods has done for it.

Lee Westwood, playing in the pairing with Kaymer and Woods at Emirates Golf Club, may not be defending Woods' honor but understands that Woods still adds excitement to the game, "I'm watching how Tiger is playing. I'm seeing if he's playing well."

Speaking of a great honor, golf fans around the world should congratulate Westwood for being awarded lifetime membership on the European Tour.

George O'Grady, Europe's chief executive, said of Lee Westwood, "the fact that only 12 other players have claimed the position of Number One over a 25-year period speaks volumes for the enormity of his achievement. He has done this through the quality of his golf and sheer force of personality – and is undoubtedly one of our greatest champions."

Mickelson has a sword in his hands! Is he looking to depose all three of the world's top golfers? ;-)


Although the top two European Tour golfers are concerned with playing their own game, Kaymer's "fan" status has placed him in a precarious position. The "stars" in Martin's eyes for his teen idol could blind him from a Woods thrashing if Tiger's game rebounds in Dubai. Kaymer believes and insists that Tiger is still "the best player in the game."

Here's the part that could hurt Kaymer's mental game. Kaymer said of Woods, "At the moment, Lee and me, we are Numbers One and Two, but in every golfer's mind, he is the best player in the world."

Kaymer's sensitivity to Woods' plight might also take down his guard.

Still, all Martin Kaymer wants is a fair fight, wishing to go one-on-one with Woods in a Sunday duel.  
May the best golfer win.

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Friday, February 04, 2011

More exciting golf hole-16 or 17 at TPC Scottsdale?

Some fans prefer taking a seat at the 16th hole, a.k.a. the "loudest hole in golf" while others who may be part of the "overflow" find themselves at the 17th at TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course. Either way, expect to hear a raucus crowd echoing through the hills at the Waste Management Open.

Anthony Kim explained the reason why both golf holes are equally flooded with fans, "The people who can't get into 16 go to 17 and it's a great carry-over effect."

The 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale is a 162-yard par 3 from the Championship tees. Accuracy is required and a golfer will get booed if their golf shot falls short of perfection! This is also the Kodak Challenge hole selected for the event.

TPC Scottsdale 16th
TPC Scottsdale 16th hole: credit

The 17th hole at TPC Scottsdale is a 355 yard drivable par-4 edged with water. said that the 17th is, "narrow and protected by mounding and slopes with a very narrow back portion making the player 'challenge' the trouble to make a birdie three."

TPC Scottsdale 17th

I personally prefer the risk/reward of 17 over 16 at TPC Scottsdale but, with over 20,000 fans squeezing into the seats at 16, both golf holes are going to be crowded and expecting plenty of action!

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PGA West par-3 17th hole
Torrey Pines-18th hole

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

"Fun" Phil or "Safe" Mickelson?

One article on the Phil Mickelson website mentioned that "fun" Phil reappeared at Torrey Pines but will the "let it ride" or "safe" Mickelson attitude win more PGA Tour events this season?

On Sunday, Mickelson's play on the 18th hole at Torrey Pines gave fans mixed signals about what to expect from Lefty's game.

Did Mickelson make a hasty decision by carving a safe shot out of the rough before watching how Bubba Watson played the 18th? Should Phil have gone for the green or lay-up as he ultimately chose to do?

Mickelson's usual risk-taking attitude gave way to a safe out handing Watson his second victory. Although risk could have equaled reward, (an eagle and a playoff), it could have also equated to folly.  Perhaps Phil could have been thinking back to his 2006 US Open disaster in which he double-bogeyed the 18th hole at Winged Foot losing a one-stroke lead and dropping into a tie for second place.

As Phil said,
"I'm not ever going to forget it, that's obvious!"

Throwing around the word "strategy" hasn't come easy for Phil but, knowing the changes that have been made to Torrey Pines has made Mickelson more cautious about how to play the course.

"The biggest thing for me is I'm not taking on anywhere near as much risk," Phil explained Saturday after getting into a tie with Bill Haas. "I'm just playing it much more conservative, because the reward isn't there. This course doesn't reward you for taking on any challenge. And my more conservative approach into the greens, albeit boring, has led me to be on top of the leaderboard."

Although a conservative finish didn't get him the trophy, without the pressure of having to win on 18 Mickelson dazzled fans with a tremendous wedge to within three-feet of a tie. If the ball would have spun a little more, there could have been a playoff.

So, perhaps there is room for both fun Phil and safe Mickelson to co-exist with positive results?

Phil Mickelson  
Credit: Mickelson in Phil?

Looking ahead to this week's PGA Tour event, the Waste Management Open in Phoenix, Mickelson will be playing golf alongside fellow lefty Bubba Watson.

"I played really good golf and gave myself an opportunity," said Mickelson. "Played well on Sunday and had a good tournament. Hopefully, I'll use this as a springboard for (Phoenix)."  I wonder which Phil will be in attendance?

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