Phil Mickelson nearly became the sixth player in PGA TOUR history to record a 59 in competition Thursday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open before his putt horseshoed around the hole and out on his final hole of the day, the par-4 ninth. Mickelson's 60 matches his career low, which he shot in this tournament in 2005.
Here's a look who has shot 59, complete with details:
||TPC Old White
|2010 Greenbrier Classic
||One eagle, nine birdies. Made 11-foot birdie putt on the 18th to win by one.|
||TPC Deere Run
|2010 John Deere Classic
||Twelve birdies. Made 7-foot putt birdie putt on the 18th hole.
||PGA West Palmer Course (Par 72)
||1999 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic||Final
||One eagle, 11 birdies. Made 6-foot eagle on 18th hole. Won by a stroke.|
|1991 Las Vegas Invitational
||13 birdies. Began on back nine, birdied last three, included 3-footer on last.|
|1977 Memphis Classic
||One eagle, 11 birdies. Began on back nine, made 8-foot birdie putt on ninth.|
The father/son duo of David and Bob Duval accomplished a rare feat in 1999 by winning on the PGA TOUR and Champions Tour, respectively, on the same day.
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
One of the year’s better stories on the PGA TOUR was authored last week by Ben Curtis, ending a six-year winless drought on TOUR with a win at the Valero Texas Open.
Curtis was the Cinderella champion won the 2003 British Open (Valero T2 finisher John Huh was 13 years old then) and two events in 2006, then a few years later dropped off the radar. This year he as many starts on the European Tour than the PGA TOUR (three each) before winning in Texas.
In winning by two shots at TPC San Antonio, Curtis had another first of sorts – the first win for Titleist’s AP1 712 irons. Most Titleist players on TOUR play the AP2 irons, which have more of a traditional blade feel and less offset. The AP1 irons have a high-density tungsten sole weight positioned toward the toe, increasing ball speed on off-center hits and reducing twist at impact.
Curtis had a 4-iron through pitching wedge in his AP1 set – which we’ll see a lot more of in the U.S. now that Curtis has winner’s status again on TOUR.
GOLDEN: Ping has enjoyed a great season so far, with wins on TOUR by Mark Wilson (Humana Challenge), John Huh (Mayakoba Golf Classic), Hunter Mahan (World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship, Shell Houston Open).
All of its players have a gold-plated replica of their winning putters put in Ping’s vault in Scottsdale, Ariz., and sometimes even more special additions are put in the vault. A double eagle at the Masters would qualify, so a gold S56 4-iron was added to the vault recently in honor of Louis Oosthuizen’s feat. He also received one for his collection.
WEEKENDER: David Duval tested a Callaway Razr Fit driver against a Titleist 910D3 and TaylorMade RBZ last week, with the Callaway going into his bag at Valero at 9.1 degrees loft. He ended up making his first cut of the season after seven misses, and shot his best round on Sunday (71) to finish in a tie for 60th.
BY A HAIR: Amazing how just the slightest adjustments make all the difference for TOUR players. At TPC San Antonio, Derek Lamely thought a flatter lie angle would help to stop losing shots to the left with his 15-degree Callaway Diablo Octane Tour fairway wood . Callaway techs adjusted the angle by one degree – from 59 to 58 – allowing him to hit a baby fade. No more lefts. He finished T35 at Valero, his second-best finish of the season.
WINNER’S BAG: Curtis at the Valero Texas
Driver: Titleist 910D3 (Aldila RIP NV 65X shaft, 8.5 degrees)
Fairway wood: Titleist 910Fd, (Aldila RIP 80X shaft, 13.5 degrees)
Hybrids: Titleist 910H (Aldila hybrid NV 85X shafts; 18, 20 degrees)
Irons: Titleist AP1 712 (Dynamic Gold shafts; 4-PW)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Spin Milled C-C 200 (52 degrees), C-C TVD (58 degrees)
Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport 2
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
LA JOLLA, Calif. – David Duval withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open on Thursday morning prior to his first round.
Duval, who has the flu, was replaced in the field by Stephen Bowditch, who has played his first six holes in even par.
By Melanie Hauser, PGATOUR.COM
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- He's been splitting time between the golf course and the beach.
Just enough work. Just enough play. Working on the rough edges of his swing. Scouring the beach with the kids for starfish and sharks teeth and fossilized turtle shells.
Duval, who won here in 1999, threw out an opening 2-under-par 70 Thursday afternoon and had everyone wondering if he really is right. That he's thisclose to playing really well.
"I think I've made it perfectly clear on more than one occasion that I feel good about what I'm doing,'' he said. " I don't feel like I've gotten very much out of it, out of my game. I haven't scored particularly well this year, but I feel like for the most part I've played well.''
He said this opening round -- his first here since 2006 -- was "okay. That's about all I can say. Nothing great. Had a few shots, couple putts kind of kept me together. Nothing special, that's for sure.''
Duval pointed to a couple of key putts that kept his round together -- a 12-footer for birdie at the 18th and a 20-footer for par at the seventh. And, while he's encouraged, he knows this course too well to think tomorrow morning's early tee time will lead to a lower round.
"Here you can't ever get ahead of yourself because it's real quick to make a 6 or 7 then when you do,'' he said. "So I'll do what I did today, and I'll hit it and hopefully it will go straight. Sometimes it won't, and then I'll go hit it again.
". . . I try not to get too ahead of myself because I know I'm playing well. If anything this year, I've hurt myself by pressing too much and forcing it too much. So I'm doing the best I can not to do that.''
The former world No. 1 has been on a comeback trail for years now and doesn't have to walk far to hear fans tell him how much they want to see him win again.
"I see it most every week,'' he said. "I have a very true, dear fans, that's for sure. I've been very blessed that way. And I certainly know it week‑in and week‑out where I play there seem to be a lot of folks pulling for me.''
With that, he went to hang out with the kids, to see how many more sharks teeth 6-year-old Brady found and see what the evening plans were. The golf could wait.
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – David Duval earned his way back into THE PLAYERS Championship after a five-year absence when he finished in the top 125 on the 2010 money list.
And now that he’s back competing at TPC Sawgrass, Duval is taking full advantage of the opportunity. The 1999 PLAYERS champ has just birdied his third straight hole to move to 4 under with seven holes remaining.
Duval started on the back nine and birdied the 11th hole, getting up and down from the left side of the green and capping it off with a 14-footer. He gave that back with a bogey at the 15th hole, though, before embarking on the birdie barrage.
First there was another up-and-down at the par-5 16th. Then Duval made a 9-footer for birdie at the 18th, a 2-footer at the first and a 3-footer at No. 2.
Duval is currently tied for sixth, four strokes off the lead held by Nick Watney. He’s missed the cut in his last three appearances at THE PLAYERS and hasn’t broken par at the Stadium Course in his last nine rounds.
On the par-5 18th, Bubba Watson managed just a par Thursday. That was about the only thing that didn’t go write for Watson.
The long-hitting left-hander made six birdies, an eagle and just two bogeys on his to a 6-under 66 that gives him a one-shot lead after the first round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Watson hasn’t been much of a factor his last three starts, but he was on target Thursday, hitting 15 grens in regulation and taking 28 putts.
And remember, he has a history of playing well in this even with a tie for fifth in 2007.
Meanwhile, Australian Matt Jones made a late push with birdies on each of his last two holes to tie for the lead with Watson at 6 under.
At one point, Jones made four straight birdies and he finished the day with eight. He also took just 25 putts and averaged 1.46 putts per green.
Watson and Jones lead a cluster of six players at 5 under, which includes David Duval.
Standing on the 18th tee Sunday at the Transitions Championship with a first TOUR win possible if he could make par, Gary Woodland had to find the fairway.
A driver wasn’t the smart play for the big hitter. His caddie talked him out of a 3-wood.
Woodland instead hit the fairway – and eventually won – with a Titleist 503i driving iron.
Some may call it a 2-iron or utility iron or an iron-type hybrid, but the club is essentially a driving iron -- and those two words aren’t heard much anymore in an era of hybrids and higher-lofted fairway woods, for both pros and amateurs.
Titleist no longer makes the 503i (Woodland’s is 18 degrees) and never sold it to the public.
“The trend on TOUR, and certainly in the market, is towards more playable, higher-launching hybrids like the new (Titleist) 910,” said Joe Gomes, director of communications for Acushnet Company. “It is used by only a very small number of players and they are typically either high ball speed (like Woodland) or high spin.”
Only five TOUR pros carry the muscle-back forged 503i – David Duval, Bobby Gates, Michael Sim, Kyle Stanley and Woodland – and you’d be hard-pressed to find too many more driving irons from other manufacturers in TOUR bags.
But for a guy like Woodland who doesn’t lack for driving distance (299.5 yards, eighth on TOUR) and can use some help in accuracy (56.58 percent, 144 th), there’s still room for a driving iron. He doesn’t carry a hybrid or any fairway metal other than a 3-wood.
At Innisbrook last week, he rarely pulled driver.
“Four to five (per round), just depending on the wind,” Woodland said. “The wind switched a little bit (Sunday), so I think I hit maybe five, but it’s mostly about four a day.”
● Justin Rose faded on Sunday at the Transitions after starting the day in the lead, but the twin 65s he shot on Friday and Saturday were the low 36 holes on TOUR this year and a first for the Copperhead course. The TaylorMade staff player gave some credit to a Scotty Cameron putter fished out of the garage.
“I used it at the ’08 Masters, I putted nicely at the time. It’s just a different look,” Rose said Friday after the first 65, where he was T12 in putts. “I think that’s what I needed. I had the (TaylorMade) Ghost, which had a lot of lines on it and I just thought I was getting a little bit too technical.
“I feel like I’m threatening the hole from 20, 25 feet more than I have been all year.”
● According to E. Michael Johnson of Golf World, Sergio Garcia was swinging some serious lumber at Transitions, his first TOUR event of the year. His TaylorMade R11 and Burner SuperFast 2.0 fairway woods had Mitsubishi Diamana shafts weighing 103 grams, the heaviest in the field. That’s twice as heavy as some players’ shafts, and for a guy standing 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds.
● Forget having just one’s initials on the back of clubs, Alex Cejka stamps his yardages (in meters) on the back of his wedges. He explains here. –John Schwarb
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. – David Duval closed with a 67 on Sunday and moved up 14 spots on the leaderboard.
Looks like he’ll finish in a tie for ninth or 10th, which is his third top-10 in the last 12 months and first of 2011. Duval has shot par or better in 15 of his last 17 rounds.