By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
A month removed from the Ryder Cup, Phil Mickelson is still not over the historic loss.
“The first two weeks following The Ryder Cup was a really tough low, one of the biggest lows of my career,” he said Wednesday at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions. “We expected to win. I think that the disappointment will last a lot longer than a month. I still feel disappointed from it.”
Though Mickelson matched a team-high with 3 points for the week, he squandered a 1-up lead with two holes to play against Justin Rose in singles play.
The U.S. went on to lose 14 1/2-13 1/2 after blowing a 10-6 lead going into the final day at Medinah.
“I still feel that over the next two years, we'll still have the same disappointment from not winning this year's Ryder Cup,” Mickelson said.
There was, however, a silver lining in Mickelson’s eyes: The partnership he and Keegan Bradley forged. The two went 3-0 playing together and in doing so Mickelson saw some areas of his own game that he needs to improve on.
“I have this new kind of excitement and energy that Keegan has, and it's rubbed off on me and I am excited to play and work and practice,” Mickelson said. “When we played alternate shot and I was hitting the ball from the middle of the fairway way down there, we were shooting some low scores.
“If I could drive the ball the way Keegan did, I would really have some opportunities and chances to do something special in my career.”
Indeed. Mickelson’s best year driving the ball in the last 10 years came in 2004 -- the same year he won his first career major.
“I think [Mickelson] is going to try to focus in on getting the ball in the fairway more and in play, because he's the absolute best iron player I've ever seen,” Bradley said. “If he can do that more consistently, he'll win so many times more and he'll be competitive well past and in his 50s.”
By Laura Hill, PGA TOUR staff
GUANGDONG, China — The World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions field includes players from 23 different countries, creating quite the melting pot at the final WGC event of the season. But three players from Thailand have brought their culture -- and menu -- to Mission Hills Golf Club like no other contingent.
Traveling with hot pots, utensils and everything else needed to set up a mobile kitchen, Thaworn Wiratchant, Prom Meesawat and their caddies hosted Asian Tour media director Chuah Choo Chang in one of the group's hotel rooms and cooked an authentic Thai dinner of spicy curry, local crabs (provided by a member of the golf course staff who is also from Thailand) and vegetables they found on the Olazabal Course's 12th hole.
By Chris Reimer, PGA TOUR staff
GUANGDONG, China -- As Masters champion Bubba Watson's interview in advance of the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions concluded, Keegan Bradley's interview quickly began.
Only, Watson wasn’t done with the media gathering. He decided to ask Bradley, who is left-eye dominant, about a unique feature of his putting routine.
“As one of your biggest fans, the public would like to know what are you looking at when you're reading putts,” Watson said.
Bradley was quick to take the bait. “Well, if I explained it to you, then I'd have to kill you. So I don't want to … give you any of my secrets.”
“Okay, look, I'm going to leave the room,” Watson persisted. “You tell the rest of the world why you're doing that and whatever you're doing when you do that?”
Bradley wouldn’t budge. “Listen, it's the stink eye; don't get in the way of it,” he said. “It will burn you.”
Watson then wondered if Phil Mickelson, Bradley’s frequent practice round and Ryder Cup partner, would adopt the habit.
“He was actually doing it today,” Bradley said.
“Since he's left handed, does he go the other way?” Watson said.
“ Yeah, he goes the other way. Thank you, Bubba,” Bradley said, and the interview – at last that portion of it – was over.
By Chris Reimer, PGA TOUR staff
GUANGDONG, China -- Phil Mickelson may have gotten a glimpse of the future on Tuesday when he spent time with students in the China Junior Golf Program sponsored by the China Golf Association and HSBC.
Mickelson, a two-time winner of the World Golf Championships-HSBC Championship, worked with the juniors on their bunker game. He came away impressed -- not only with their golf skills which he called "tremendous," but also their ability to take advice and instantly implement the changes he suggested.
"I thought that the juniors that I just spent a few minutes with today had great golf swings and were able to make the little adjustments that I recommended, and then hit the shot that was needed," Mickelson said. "It's that type of ability to learn quickly with proper instruction that is a sign of a good young player who can go a long ways in the game.
"The key to being a professional is getting better every year, and their ability to learn and pick things up quickly was very impressive, very similar to what I see in the States and other parts of the world. To hit a high, soft shot out of the bunker, out of a deep-faced bunker that they were hitting, those are hard shots, and every one of them was able to hit it in the end."
The CGA-HSBC China Junior Golf Program began in 2007 and is the only officially sanctioned, long-term program dedicated in the promotion, development and improvement of junior golf in China.
As part of the program, a series of tournaments, including the HSBC National Junior Golf Championship and HSBC China Junior Golf Open, are staged and a ranking system of juniors has been developed. Summer and winter camps are held, as well as the HSBC National Junior Golf Advanced Camp.
There is also a "Golf in School" component of the program, and HSBC sponsors the China National Junior Golf Team, as well.
Fredrik Jacobson caps his second round with this 18-foot birdie conversion on the par-4 9th.