May 31, 2014 - 12:12pm
mark.aumann's picture
Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson takes aim at the pin on No. 3 Saturday at the Memorial.

This is what makes Phil Mickelson such a "must-watch" player. On Saturday at the Memorial, Lefty nearly holes out a shot on No. 3 from 120 yards away for eagle, leaving the ball just inches from the pin.


And then later in the round, look at what Mickelson does from the fringe. A jaw-dropping shot, to be sure.




When he's on, Mickelson is as good as anybody in the game. When he's not, he can leave you scratching your head. But in either case, you just can't turn away when he addresses the ball, because something is bound to happen that will leave you wide-eyed and open-mouthed.

More Mickelson magic at Memorial
May 31, 2014 - 11:53am
mark.aumann's picture
Tony Harris paintings
Tony Harris/Twitter
Tony Harris painted this portrait of Arnold Palmer, entitled "Arnold Rockin' the Cardigan."

In the highly-specialized world of golf landscape painting, Linda Hartough is perhaps the most well-known. She's been commissioned to do several landscape portraits, including the 16th hole at Merion Golf Club.

But there are other talented artists in the field, including 50-year-old Tony Harris of Ottawa, Canada, who not only paints beautiful landscapes, but is outstanding at portraits of sports legends.

Recently, he posted a link on Twitter to a painting he had done of Arnold Palmer during his prime. And he's also completed one of Seve Ballesteros.

According to an article in the Toronto Star, Harris grew up in Petersborough, doodling on sketch pads during elementary school.

According to his web site, he was introduced to the game by his father and spent countless summer days playing at the Peterborough Golf and Country Club, often finishing as the sun was setting. The dramatic light at dusk during those long summer days had an impact on Tony, and has become his favorite time to sketch and paint a golf hole.

Since completing his first golf landscape commission in 1995, Tony has compiled an impressive portfolio that includes over 200 clubs across North America. Tony is the official artist of the RBC Canadian Open and of the Clublink Corporation.

He graduated from Bishop's University in Quebec with a bachelor of arts in fine arts. He's currently working for the National Hockey League's Players Association as their official portrait artist.

Check out some of his other work at his web site. They are all amazing in the detail and color.

Amazing golf artwork by Tony Harris
Rickie Fowler cliff diving
Rickie Fowler tried his hand at cliff diving, but his form wasn't exactly perfect on every jump.

Golf is just one sport that Rickie Fowler enjoys, and it's also very likely the tamest of his pastimes – he did, after all, come from a background of motocross racing.

And recently, he tried out cliff diving.

We know that Fowler loves to jump in the lake – we've seen him do a flip off of Bubba Watson's deck. But this was a little more big-time.

Fowler got together with David Colturi – a professional cliff diver and fellow Red Bull ambassador – for a day of "Dive and Drive" in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. First, Colturi donned his own version of Fowler's "Sunday orange" outfit and joined Fowler for a little golf.

Then, about two minutes into the video below, they swapped their golf togs for swimsuits and headed out to Possum Kingdom Lake, west of Fort Worth, which will host a stop on the global 2014 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series next weekend. Possum Kingdom Lake is known for "Hell's Gate" – a small cove in between a pair of 90-foot cliffs that rise dramatically out of the water, and that's where the diving competition will take place.

Fowler and Colturi checked out the cliffs, and Fowler got a little instruction on how to properly executive a high dive – though, wisely, from a lower level. Fowler's upper-body form was pretty good, Colturi said, but noted that he had a little "frog leg" working in his lower body.

Fowler tried a few more jumps, and Colturi seemed pleased with his student's progress. In the end, Colturi said, "I would compare my golf game to his diving." 

Here's the video:





Rickie Fowler goes cliff diving, lives to tell about it
Cheyenne Woods
Cheyenne Woods via Twitter
Cheyenne Woods showed off her U.S. Women's Open invitation after she qualified late Wednesday.

We've heard a lot about Lucy Li lately, as the 11-year-old phenom qualified her way into the U.S. Women's Open by winning her qualifier by an amazing seven shots.

Today, she filled in another week on her summer calendar by qualifying for the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship. She finished third in her qualifier, as nine players from the starting field of 45 to punched their tickets to The Home Course in DuPont, Wash., in mid-July.

Li, however, isn't the only prominent female golfer to be making some plans today. Late Wednesday, Cheyenne Woods – Tiger Woods' niece – qualified her way into the U.S. Women's Open, which is enjoying a higher profile than usual this year because it will be played as the second half of a unique "doubleheader" – it will be played on the No. 2 Course at Pinehurst the week after the men's U.S. Open is played there.

The irony of Cheyenne's success is that she will be in her national championship while her uncle Tiger won't be able to play in his as he continues to recover from back surgery.

Woods, who starred at Wake Forest (she won the ACC individual title in 2011 and graduated in 2012), has yet to earn full-time LPGA Tour status, and that appears to be her ultimate goal. The 23-year-old – who won more than 30 tournaments as an amateur – won a mini-tour event in 2012, then captured the Volvik RACV Ladies Masters on the Ladies European Tour in February, giving her a two-year exemption on that circuit. She is also playing the second-tier Symetra Tour this season.


Lucy Li and Cheyenne Woods qualify for more big summer events
Double hit
John Cook in the Champions Tour.

Many of you may have seen an interesting shot recently on the Champions Tour when John Cook double hit his ball on the 14th hole at Regions Tradition. The interesting story there was that Cook was unaware he double hit the ball, but after seeing cell phone video of the shot, realized he did and he was assessed with a penalty.

We were curious about not only this type of mishit, but others in the family, so we asked Senior co-chairman PGA Rules Committee Brad Gregory about the play. Gregory said the double hit rule itself is clear, Rule 14-4. It says if a player strikes the ball more than once during a stroke, the player must count the stroke and adds a penalty stroke for two strokes in all. The player would play the ball as it lies.

Which is what happened. But how about some other scenarios after the initial strike of a ball?

For instance, if it hits the club face, then shaft? Same thing, says Gregory. Initial stroke plus penalty for the shaft hit and then play as it lies.

Adding complexity, Gregory said if the ball were to hit something else (a tree, bunker lip, etc) and then rebounded and hit your club after deflection, it applies to a different rule (19-2) but the result is the same. "Count the stroke and add a penalty stroke for two strokes in all. Except in a rare circumstance where the ball comes to rest on the player, partner, their caddies or equipment. In this case, the player must drop the ball under the spot it came to rest."

Prior to 2004, these two Rules had different results, said Gregory. Back then, Rule 14-4 was the same but the penalty for Rule 19-2 was the general penalty. In match play, it was loss of hole and in stroke play, the penalty two strokes.


Golf rules: When you double hit your shot
May 29, 2014 - 7:15am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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The PGA of America and LPGA will join forces for a new KPMG Women's PGA Championship, announced by PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua and LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan this morning on Golf Channel's "Morning Drive."



The KPMG Women's PGA Championship will continue the rich tradition of the LPGA Championship and will rotate annually among prestigious courses in major metropolitan markets. In its first year, the Championship will be held in 2015 at the Westchester Country Club in Rye, N.Y., with a purse among the highest in women's golf at $3.5 million. The Championship will be operated by the PGA of America in close collaboration with the LPGA. NBC's Golf Channel, which broke the exclusive news, will be televsion partners.

Whan said the partnership will "evolve the LPGA into a new era."

Bevacqua said a critical addition is that PGA Professionals will have a chance to qualify for the major, like the PGA Championship and a first for the women's game. "This is all about growing the game, taking a very vocal stand in the women's game," Bevacqua said. 

More on the announcement will come during a press conference scheduled for 11 a.m. from the Saturday Night Live studios at 30 Rock in New York.



PGA, LPGA join for KPMG Women's PGA Championship