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9:30AM

RealClearSports: Pebble Beach - Sports Merged with Circus

By Art Spander
For RealClearSports.com


PEBBLE BEACH -- No, Tiger Woods is not here. Next question.

How about something dealing with Tom Brady's wedge game? Or Tony Romo's tee shots? Or Bill Murray's putting?

This is the other side of golf, not exactly the Twilight Zone but then again not too far away.

Read the full story here.

© RealClearSports 2010
8:36AM

Global Golf Post: Grooves Stay on Cutting Edge

By Art Spander
For GlobalGolfPost.com


LA JOLLA, CALIF. -- One thing about the PGA Tour, it doesn't like a lot of bad news about the PGA Tour, self-imposed or not.

Read the full story here.

Copyright 2010 Global Golf Post
8:11PM

PGATOUR.com: Mickelson's use of old wedges stirs groove rule debate

By Art Spander
Special to PGATOUR.com


SAN DIEGO -- This is what Phil Mickelson said. That all the clubs in his bag are approved for play. Including the ones some other players say he should not be using, wedges from Ping which if not older than dirt are old enough to create a controversy.

Read the full story here.

© 2010 PGA TOUR, Inc.
9:47PM

PGATOUR.com: With Woods gone, Mickelson brings shot in the arm to event

By Art Spander
Special to PGATOUR.com


SAN DIEGO -- This is his town, San Diego, where the waves sweep in and world seems nothing but blue skies and Mexican food. This is the place Phil Mickelson was always The Man, even when he was a boy.

And now, with the absence of the other guy, and is there any reason to mention names, there's a new responsibility for Mickelson as he plays for the first time in 2010.

Read the full story here.

© 2010 PGA TOUR, Inc.
9:36PM

Newsday: Mickelson just can't find a groove

By Art Spander
Special to Newsday


CHASKA, Minn. -- Phil Mickelson is caught between the sublime and the ridiculous, real life and real golf, dealing with missed putts and dealing with a wife and mother both battling breast cancer.

The good news is both women -- Amy, Phil's wife, and Mary, his mom -- appear to have made enough progress where Mickelson can say, "We're past the toughest part now, so I feel better.''

But he points out that flaws in his game cannot be easily dismissed and that though perspective is important, so is the golf he plays.

Mickelson's traumatic summer is not yet done. He shot 4-over-par 76 Saturday in the PGA Championship at Hazeltine National, his third straight over-par round, and is far back of the leaders with a 54-hole score of 8-over 224. He has one more round to play before a week off.

He did so well at Bethpage in the U.S. Open two months ago, better than anyone might have guessed while Amy was preparing for treatment back in California. Mickelson tied for second, two shots behind Lucas Glover. His courage was deemed the equal of his play, and his appearance at Bethpage was hugely popular.

He skipped the British Open, then believing his wife and mother were in good enough condition, returned to his golf. Mickelson played the Bridgestone last week and came to the PGA with hopes, if not direction.

"My expectations,'' Mickelson insisted, "are high. I'm disappointed with my performance this week. Regardless of what's going on, or off, the course, I still have high expectations.''

Surely the agony of the past couple of months has affected him. In a sport that requires the utmost concentration, at times his thoughts must wander.

Even Tiger Woods missed the U.S. Open cut in 2006 when he took a nine-week break because of the illness and subsequent death of his father.

"I think I practiced and prepared,'' Mickelson said when asked if it was difficult to compete. "But I just haven't performed well.''

It was putting that bedeviled Mickelson the first two days of the PGA. Saturday, his ball striking became a problem. He said he'll have a week to work on both phases of his game before the Barclays at Liberty National in New Jersey. "It's frustrating for me not to be in contention on the weekends of a major,'' Mickelson said. "That's the toughest thing. But also good motivation for me to work harder.''

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http://www.newsday.com/sports/golf/mickelson-just-can-t-find-a-groove-1.1372230
Copyright © 2009 Newsday. All rights reserved.