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Phil Mickelson is planning a busier fall of competition than usual. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Phil Mickelson is planning a busier fall of competition than usual. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Notebook: Timing just a little off for Mickelson this year

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Phil Mickelson, who failed to win a major for the first time since 2003, wishes he'd had just a bit more time to prepare. Plus, rakes cause big problems, and big numbers, for two players on Sunday; John Senden finishes strong, and more. 

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- Having failed to win a major for the first time since 2003, Phil Mickelson said his win at THE PLAYERS Championship -- the so-called fifth major -- was "what salvaged the year for me."

After tying for 24th at the Masters, Mickelson injured his left wrist while practicing for the U.S. Open, then missed the cut at Oakmont and at the Open Championship. He shot a 1-under 69 Sunday to end the PGA Championship at 6-over 286 in a tie for 32nd place.

"My other four performances in the majors were not what I wanted obviously, but I don't want to be too hard on myself because for a couple, I wasn't able to make the swings and hit the shots I needed to try to hit," Mickelson said.

The injury has changed Mickelson's outlook for the fall.

"Usually this time of the year after the PGA, I'm ready to pack it in," Mickelson said. "But because I haven't played or because I feel like I haven't been able to play and practice three months even though I've tried, my excitement level to get back out and compete is still very high right now."

Mickelson said the wrist injury "should be in the past now" and he wishes the PGA Championship had been a couple weeks later so he'd have had a better chance to prepare.

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TOUTING TIGER: With his win, Tiger Woods became only the third player to win at least four PGA Championships. He's one behind Walter Hagen and Jack Nicklaus.

He's the only player to repeat at the PGA Championship since Denny Shute won consecutive titles in 1936-37. Woods also repeated in 1999-2000. Hagen, who won four straight titles from 1924 to 1927, is the only player to win more than two in a row.

Only Woods and Nicklaus have won at least one major in three consecutive years on two separate occasions.

PAVIN'S PENALTY: Corey Pavin's caddie moved a rake out of the way during an errant bunker shot at the par-3 sixth hole, allowing the ball to roll down a hill and into the water. Even though his action allowed Pavin's shot to enter the hazard instead of avoiding it, the 1995 U.S. Open champion was still assessed a two-stroke penalty.

Pavin played another shot out of the bunker, then two-putted for an 8.

Tim Herron also ran into trouble with the rake. After hitting his tee shot into the water, his shot from the drop zone hit the rake. When the rake was moved, the ball rolled into the water. He was able to drop again in a spot where the ball wouldn't roll off, and carded a 7.

DIVOTS: John Senden carded a 71 to earn his first-5 finish at a major. His previous best finish was a tie for 35th at last year's Open Championship. "It's been a great week. I'm really, really excited." ... John Daly's second shot on the par-5 fifth hole got stuck in a tree. After a drop, He ended up making bogey. Daly, who shot a 67 in the first round, shot his third straight 73 on Sunday and finished the tournament at 6 over. ... Graeme Storm, who opened with a 65 to take the first-round lead, shot 78 Sunday and ended up at 13-over 293 for the tournament. ... Anyone looking to buy a camouflage cap like the one worn by Boo Weekley will have to wait. "They can't get one like this right now," said Weekley, an avid hunter and fisherman. "It ain't on the market."

Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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