By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
If Las Vegas could have put odds on the first two-putter bag on the PGA TOUR, Phil Mickelson probably would have been the even-money choice. After all, he had carried two drivers before.
That didn’t happen at the Deutsche Bank Championship, as Mickelson completely abandoned his blade for a belly. But there was another player on the fence just enough to carry two flatsticks in competition – Brandt Jobe.
As Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press reported, Jobe played the third round at TPC Boston with his conventional putter and a belly. He had used a belly a few years back but hadn’t quite recaptured the feel enough to fly solo with it, so his other putter came along for the ride just in case.
"I've been hitting it real good and putting so bad that the last month hasn't been fun," said Jobe, who’s moving on to the BMW Championship at No. 63 in FedExCup points. "It was getting to the end of the year and I had nothing to lose, but I didn't want to shoot 80 if it didn't go well."
Of course, there’s a drawback to a bag that’s 14 percent putters. The club that had to come out, a 4-iron, was dearly missed. Jobe said he needed it four times during the round.
NICE PROBLEM TO HAVE: Lucas Glover, a winner earlier this year at the Wells Fargo Championship, made a ball switch at the start of the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup. He switched from Nike’s new 20XI ball to the older-model One Tour D.
He said he had been hitting shots too far.
Glover missed the cut at The Barclays, but dialing it back proved the right play at the Deutsche Bank, where he finished T21. He’s No. 45 in the FedExCup standings and will make at least one more Playoffs start.
MUSCLE UP: Ryan Moore isn’t one of the TOUR’s long bombers, so he looked to a beefed-up driver for help at TPC Boston. The Adams Speedline 9088 LDA is designed specifically for Long Drivers of America players, and only made in 5-, 6- and 7-degree lofts.
Moore used a 7-degree model with a high-torque UST Mamiya VTS Silver 6 tx shaft, which he said allowed for increased carry distances. He averaged 298.3 yards off the tee, 43rd-best in the 100-player field. For the season on TOUR he ranks 115th in driving distance, at 288.8 yards.
And, oh yeah, he finished T10 in the event, moving up to No. 39 in FedExCup points.
SMART SNEDS: Brandt Snedeker has become a strong candidate to win the FedExCup since switching from an older set of Bridgestone Tour Stage irons to J40 Cavity Back irons.
He started the Playoffs at No. 18 in points, but consecutive T3 finishes in the first two events have moved him to No. 5.
MORE PHIL: Mickelson’s belly putter was the prime topic of conversation at the Deutsche Bank. Golfweek’s James Achenbach shared the backstory of how it actually got in his hands.
Mickelson wanted an Odyssey Sabertooth model similar to Keegan Bradley’s, but the company doesn’t sell any lefthanded models. (Try finding a lefthanded long putter at your local golf shop.)
Fortunately the Sabertooth’s creator is lefthanded and had one in his office, so the putterhead was taken off and customized for Mickelson with a tungsten weight insert. The head came in at 392 grams and the completed putter was 45 1/4 inches long, an inch and a half shorter than Bradley’s.
EDISON, N.J. – Jonathan Byrd has joined Harrison Frazar and J.J. Henry in the lead at 5 under after making his third straight birdie at the 11th hole.
Byrd, who entered the Playoffs ranked 24th, started the spurt with a 13-footer at the ninth hole and followed it with a putt of 26 feet. The South Carolinian also made a birdie and a bogey on the front nine before getting back into red numbers with a 12-footer for eagle at the fifth hole.
Byrd got his 2011 season off to a great start when he beat Robert Garrigus in a playoff at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. He was also in a playoff at the Wells Fargo Championship but that time his former college teammate Lucas Glover ended up getting the victory.
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Sedgefield Country Club isn't being quite as generous on this overcast Friday morning as the Donald Ross gem was during the first round of the Wyndham Championship.
That is, except for Lucas Glover. The former U.S. Open champion has climbed within three strokes of the lead after playing his first 14 holes in 7 under on Friday. Tommy Gainey is setting the pace at 10 under with five holes remaining.
Glover, who shot even par on Thursday, started on the back nine and made the turn in 31. He made a 16-footer on the second hole for his fifth birdie and has just rolled in an 11-footer for an eagle on the fifth hole.
Glover has three par 4s and one par 3 remaining. He trailed by three entering the final round of last year’s Wyndham Championship and went on to finish seventh.
Ever play in a charity scramble where you get a free throw of your golf ball? Well, that wasn’t exactly on the rules sheet for Monday’s Telus Skins Game in Alberta, Canada, but avid cricket player Paul Casey saw a 132-yard par-3 and could only think of one thing.
“I played a lot of cricket growing up and I am good at throwing balls … it just looked like the perfect yardage and I thought ‘why not,’” Casey told The Canadian Press.
Playing in a group with Jhonattan Vegas, Lucas Glover, Anthony Kim and Canadian Stephen Ames, Casey figured he’d make things interesting with the throw – which sailed over a pond and landed on the green, some 30 feet from the hole. He then hit a wedge which landed closer to the pin, but spun into the rough.
“I was a little disappointed I didn't get the wedge shot closer than my throw,” he said.
He had hoped to get his partners to bet him on whether he could throw the ball on the green – and his partners wisely declined. In the official action, Jhonattan Vegas was the big winner with $55,000 won on the first nine holes of competition.
The event raised $28,000 for charity on the first of two days of play, which concludes Tuesday.
A significant number of players headed directly from the British Open to the RBC Canadian Open -- a 4,758-mile flight from Sandwich, U.K., to Vancouver, B.C. Among those are three players who finished in the top five last week at Royal St. George’s: Anthony Kim, Rickie Fowler and Chad Campbell.
Kim and Fowler are both on the course early in the opening round, while Campbell will tee off this afternoon.
Kim actually had a share of the lead at 2 under through five holes, but he double bogeyed the sixth hole to fall back to even par. He’s through seven holes so far.
Fowler, meanwhile, is coming off his best finish in a major and is 1 over through seven holes after a bogey on No. 6.
As for the top of the leaderboard, there’s a logjam of players that includes Lucas Glover at 2 under in the early going.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. -- Lucas Glover withdrew after nine holes Thursday morning at Aronimink, citing illness.
Since winning the Wells Fargo Championship in early May, Glover has struggled with two missed cuts and zero finishes inside the top 40. When he pulled out Thursday he was 5 over after six bogeys and one birdie through nine holes.
By Melanie Hauser, PGATOUR.COM
BETHESDA, Md. -- He started the week as a guy with visa problems.
He ended it as a bit of a rising star.
We're talking Englishman Robert Rock, who won the BMW Italian Open last Sunday, got a last-minute visa, flew to Newark, took a car service to Washington D.C. in the middle of the night and got here at 3:30 a.m. Thursday. A little more than 13 hours before his first-round tee time.
He stands to finish in the top 30 this week and people are already buzzing about his game and his tousled haircut.
If not for a third-round 76 . . . . well, it's golf and you have to count them all, but finishing at 1 over for the tournament with no practice round and only a rough idea of the course from watching an event on television . . . get where we're going?
Rock closed with a 68 and will head to Paris tonight for the Alstom Open de France in two weeks.
"I hit a lot of good shots.,'' said Rock, who closed with a 68 and will head to Paris tonight for the Saint Omer Open next week. "It was a pleasure playing with Lucas (Glover) today. That made it easier. I'm reasonably happy overall. I'm only going to finish 30th, which is not what you want when you enter a tournament, and I had better hopes after overcoming the hardest part, which was the first round.
"I'm disappointed because I thought I'd play better golf, but not knowing enough about the place just cost me."
And, he's as impressed with European Tour mate Rory McIlroy as everyone else.
"Yeah, I think Rory is showing what can be done around here,'' Rock said. "I'm not saying I played anywhere near that good, but I played some decent golf. If I would have learned a bit more about it, I would have maybe gone a bit more under.''
After his whirlwind trip, Rock was ready to slow down a bit.
"My caddie and I are going to have a beer now and chill out before our flight tonight,'' he said. "I've got a week off to do very little. There won't be much practice done, I don't think. I'll take it easy for at least a few days and then start up again because I've got a big tournament coming up the week after."
Nike has provided a preview of what some of their players will be wearing this week for the U.S. Open. Here’s a look at the clothes Anthony Kim, Paul Casey, Lucas Glover and Stewart Cink are expected to wear for each of the four rounds (should each make the cut, of course) at Congressional.