Welcome back to Monday Fenech, where we rumored this columnist to have been offered $30 million to join SGL. Let’s start this week!
First off the tee
before we talk about it Phil Mickelson This week we dominated the golf headlines, and I’d like to take a trip down memory lane to the 2019 Genesis. Mickelson entered that week after winning at Pebble Beach, an impressive feat for a 48-year-old tour pro.
Mickelson didn’t light up the Riviera leaderboard that year; T37 finished. Looking back now, three years later, the only notable thing about his week was the stretch of golf that followed. Mickelson has played 60 PGA Tour events since then. He has finished inside the top fifteen exactly three times. His victory in the 2021 PGA Championship wasn’t just a shocking one; It was incredibly helpful. It bought him months and years of extended legitimacy. Mickelson’s greatest achievement may have been his stifling grip on the attention economy in golf. Who could be the talk of the tour while only competing on average once a year?
But being an occasional competitor and provocateur full time can be a turbulent situation. In just the past three weeks, Mickelson has uttered two two-word phrases that will stay with him for the rest of his career (or at least until he replaces them with the next hit). The first phrase, “hateful greed,” was used to refer to people on the PGA Tour, which has been Mickelson’s home for the past three decades. The second phrase, “scary m-f-” was used to refer to Mickelson’s potential new chiefs in the renegade Saudi league that Mickelson has now admitted he helped create. Now that he’s turned biting hands that fuel him into a full-time sport, Mickelson’s next move will prove to be a tough escape even for the 64-degree wedge master.
Who won the week?
PGA Tour Loyalists
The stakes were high for the tour this week. Riviera is considered to be the best golf course in its schedule. Tournament host tiger wood She is her northern star. With the Saudi League rumors continuing to spread, it was important for the tour to showcase the best version of its product to double from the party it held last week in Phoenix.
Let’s recap how the week went for Tour supporters. Senior pros emphasized their loyalties; John Ram, Colin Morikawa, Victor Hovland, Justin Thomas And the Rory McIlroy They were among those who declared themselves PGA Tour Professionals. Other fan favorites put their swords in Jay MonahanAlso introduced, including Max Homawho gave a particularly poignant talk on the topic that included this phrase:
“Money makes me comfortable. It didn’t make me happy.”
And there was this, from Harry Higgs:
what happened after that? Phil Mickelson The quiet part said out loud. journalist Alan Shipbank In an interview with Mickelson in November, Lefty explained his motivations for helping start a competition tour. The release of the interview led to a sharp reaction from fellow professionals. Thomas called her “upstart”. McIlroy described her as “selfish”. Billy Horschel He called her “an idiot.” And in the days that followed, the tour released statements from Dustin Johnson And the Bryson DeShampoo Two top pros widely associated with Saudi rumors – confirming their commitment to the PGA Tour.
Time will tell if the reports of the demise of the Saudi League are greatly exaggerated. They have made the positives and have a lot of money. But the air seems to have come out of a balloon. Feature, Ponte Phaedra.
Falling into the microphone
This reaction to Mickelson’s comments was unlike anything I can remember on the PGA Tour. Thomas’ initial response – in which he called Mickelson’s remarks “arrogant” – was utterly riddled with disdain. And on Sunday, McIlroy’s shouts began, “I don’t want to kick somebody down,” cementing the fact that Mickelson, in these guys’ eyes, is down bad. McIlroy followed this up with a target sentence that included the following words: naive, selfish, conceited, ignorant, surprising, disappointing and sad. Yikes.
One of the reasons why it’s such a compelling week on Tour is that one of his brightest stars, is 23 years old Joaquin Niemann, opened with consecutive amazing innings of 8-under 63 and finished off the best week of his career. He withstood a star-studded leaderboard that included another rising star, Cameron Youngin addition to number 2 in the world Colin Morikawaworld number 4 Victor Hovland and the likes Adam ScottAnd the Justin Thomas and more.
Neiman was among those rumored to be considering a jump to the Saudi League, adding a layer of complexity to his victory. But in his post-tour press conference, he didn’t seem like someone believed the current tournament system was broken:
“Obviously everyone is here to compete against the best players in the world. I am here to do the same. I want to compete with the best players in the world, I want to be number one one day,” he said. “I think there is nothing better than what I feel right now.” . Winning the PGA Tour, getting a trophy, having Tiger there, all the history behind you, there’s nothing that can rival him.”
Adam Scott jacket
Professionals selected to speak with the media on pre-tournament coverage, Adam Scott Showing by far the most interest in an alternative tour, he described the limited schedule as “attractive” and admitted that he had been in discussions with the tour organizers. Then his play took center stage. Opening 68-65 to jump into the row. By Sunday, focus was split between Scott’s play and his jacket, which he had been playing on all four rounds.
By the end of the week he had given up his beard and looked clean-shaven – but he still wears the same jacket. When asked about his Monday panel starring Adam Scott Jr., Scott wasn’t sure about all the attention:
Cameron Young’s rise
Korn Ferry Tour fans have been watching Cameron Young Entering this season he won twice last year on the Best Developmental Tour of Golf and was hoping this would translate into a junior season on the PGA Tour. Good news: You did! Young hit a solid second-round 62 to join Neiman in a class of his own and stayed there for the weekend, adding steady runs of 69-70 to finish off T2 alongside Morikawa.
With his second place finish, Young jumps to 53rd in the world, which means he is ready to join the list of first-round professionals who can play anywhere they wish. Another top finish could mean an invitation to the Augusta National as well, clearly marking the pros’ next step in the climb.
Tiger Woods’ Playing Prospects
I wasn’t sure how to categorize tiger wood“A look forward to his playing style because he’s sent us cautious signals. Woods answered questions about his health twice, once to reporters and once to Jim Nantz on Saturday’s CBS broadcast. He downplayed his preparation both times, insisting that no Still far from ready for tournament play.
But that does not mean that it is as much as it is allowed. It was one telling moment: Woods fretted over the idea that he would only play the Masters Par-3 competition.
“Okay, I can go about it now,” he said. “I’m talking about play golf. “
He expanded to Nantz, who lobbied him for a potential Masters return.
“You’ll see me on the PGA Tour,” Woods said. “I just don’t know when. Believe me, I’d like to tell you I’ll be playing next week, but I don’t know when, which is frustrating in that sense because I’ve been down that road before with my back, as I didn’t know when I would be able to come back. It’s difficult, because it’s It’s hard not to have goals in there. Well, I want to play that event so I can prepare myself for that mentally, physically and emotionally. I don’t have any of those dates in my head. I don’t know yet.”
“Augusta, which shot are you going to play with the Masters this year?” asked Nantz.
“I don’t know,” Woods said.
So you’re saying there’s a chance…
Not their week.
Phil Mickelson’s master plan
As covered above. One interesting wrinkle to add, at least journalistic, comes from discussing Shipnuck’s podcast with her Matt Jenila about the article. Jenella Shipnuck asked if Mickelson has been in touch since the article was released. I copied an excerpt (and you can listen to it all here):
“I got a text from him and it was his accent – he was upset,” Shippock said. “He tried to go the ‘Oh, I thought this was a private conversation between you and me,’ and he shut that down really fast. And his heart wasn’t really there anyway. He knows the truth. I don’t know what he’s going to say from now on, but he knows this is a conversation It’s registered and it’s for the book and never asked for any of this to be private.
“You can spin a lot of things but it’s hard to lie face to face in front of someone who knows the truth. He can tell others what he wants, but me and I know what happened and there’s no point trying bulls – me because I was there so he didn’t try hard, it was a short text eloquently and I wrote again that’s been the grand total since the story ended.”
Golf Score Rules
Wyndham Clark He was the last to suffer the indignity of the wrong result disqualification after signing an incorrect number in Genesis. Clarke likely wouldn’t have made the cut, so it didn’t have any material impact on his standing on the PGA Tour – but it still looks incredibly ridiculous every time it does.
3 things to watch this week.
1. Playoff 16 vs. 1.
The Honda Classic may not have the same stature in the Tour as it once did, but there is no doubting the strength of Monday’s qualifying. So it’s no surprise that a whole bunch of Florida-based professionals have come to a standstill in a tight…
By the time you read this it may already be over. Or it might take a Tuesday, too.
2. Phil Mickelson’s Twitter feed.
He hasn’t posted anything since things went sideways last week. He didn’t like a single tweet either. This is not the same! Before long he will try to regain control of the message, I think. But in what way?
3. Rory McIlroy press conference on Sunday.
This was evisceration. Rory in squirting. Worth your time.
We’ll see you next week!