Player of the week
Phil Mickelson. Not a bad little summer vacation for Lefty, who departed Scotland with two more pieces of shiny hardware than he had when he arrived. Mickelson’s win at the British Open was impressive on many counts, none more than this: When the tournament was there to be won, Mickelson went out and grabbed it, making four birdies over the final six holes, a feat that nobody else accomplished during the tournament, much less someone in contention in the final round. The mark of a champion.
If you could select a hole location for the final round of a major championship, how difficult would you make it? Step right up, because fans will help select where the flag on the 15th hole will be placed on the Sunday of next month’s PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club. Fans can go online (www.pga.com) to participate in the “Pick the Hole Location Challenge,” which runs through Aug. 10. Jack Nicklaus and Kerry Haigh, the PGA’s chief communications officer, have identified four options for the final-round hole location at the 15th, which is a par 3 with a scorecard yardage of 181 yards; fans will determine the winner. “The chance for golf fans to interact with the PGA Championship and play a role in shaping the outcome of the final round fascinates me,” Nicklaus said. “It’s like being able to call the shots during the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl.”
You’ve probably never heard of Jesse Massie, but what the 25-year-old from Kentucky did last Friday has certainly drawn some attention. Massie, who mostly plays on the Carolina Series of the NGA Hooters Tour, shot a 16-under-par 56 at Glenmary Country Club in Louisville — and even incurred a penalty stroke during his round. Massie, who played college golf at Eastern Kentucky, had 14 birdies, one eagle, and three pars at a course that measures 6,540 yards from the back tees. “I was more nervous when I got to 11 and 12 under par, because as a golfer, you really want to break that 60 barrier,” Massie told a local reporter. “When I got to 14 under, I wasn’t really nervous anymore. I was trying to get into the clubhouse and just post the number.”
Quote of the week
“If I’m able to win the US Open and complete the career Grand Slam, that’s the sign of the complete great player. I’m a leg away. And it’s been a tough leg for me.” — Phil Mickelson, who now has major championship victories in the Masters, British Open, and PGA Championship.