FRIDAY  | FEBRUARY 1, 2019
by Mike Purkey

Phil Mickelson said something that I’ve never heard any world-class athlete utter: That he isn’t good enough to compete on the most difficult venues in his sport.

Mickelson, a Hall of Famer and one of the greatest players ever, chose not to compete at last week’s Farmers Insurance Open after having played in his hometown event for 28 consecutive years. He lives within 20 miles of San Diego’s Torrey Pines and has played the North and South courses hundreds of times.

 


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by Alex Miceli

Thomas Pieters might not be a household name for many golf fans, but he does own some street cred in the game.

Some observers no doubt will remember Pieters from the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club, where he teamed with Rory McIlroy to win three points before defeating J.B. Holmes in singles in the Europeans’ 17-11 loss to the Americans.

 


European Tour and players should stop and think
Morning Read's Alex Miceli is wrong, as are those who say that the Saudi Invitational is "just a golf tournament” (“Chamblee, Saudi critics miss big picture,” Jan. 31).

Saudi Arabia, like other nations in the past and present, seeks validation through the acceptance of its sporting events and, if possible, the success of its athletes. We do not need to look very hard to see this happening every day in the sporting world, nor do we need to look back many years to see this very effort of state-sponsored sport being used to validate an abusive regime.

 


Accepted: By Tim O’Neal, the Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption into the PGA Tour’s Genesis Open. The tournament will be played Feb. 14-17 at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. Since 2009, one spot in the field has been awarded to a minority golfer in memory of the late Sifford, a World Golf Hall of Fame member who was denied access to Tour events for most of his career because of restrictive racial policies.

 


4.8

Percentage decline in rounds played in the U.S. in 2018 compared with the previous year, according to Golf Datatech’s National Rounds Played Report, which was released Thursday.

 


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RADIO, TV AND PODCASTS

Hawk & Rude: The Swing is the thing
In Hawk & Rude, a podcast featuring veteran golf journalists John Hawkins and Jeff Rude, the hosts relive their days of covering West Coast Swing events, but only after weighing in on the Haotong Li fiasco.


The Grill Room Golf Show
Co-hosts Bob Bubka and Jay Randolph Jr. discuss Justin Rose, who validated his No. 1 world ranking with a victory in the recent Farmers Insurance Open. Plus, the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and Bubka interviews golf instructor Hank Haney.




FROM THE INDUSTRY

The Performance Center at Mistwood Golf Club in Romeoville, Ill., has been named to Golf Digest’s list of “America’s 100 Best Clubfitters,” the club announced. The listing appears in the magazine’s December/January issue.

 

Desert Highlands of Scottsdale, Ariz., will unveil a Graeme Baxter painting of the club’s signature 14th hole at 6 p.m. Feb. 5, the club announced. The ceremony is part of the club’s 35th-anniversary celebration.

 

Tom Lehman used a new Exotics CBX 119 hybrid by Tour Edge in winning the Champions Tour’s recent season-opening event in Hawaii. Lehman also carried an Exotics CBX 119 staff bag as part of a deal signed before he won the Mitsubishi Electric Championship.

 

For the second time in three years, Desert Mountain Club members sank back-to-back holes-in-one. Kathy Henderson and Claudia Pilot holed out in consecutive swings at the par-3 third hole on the club's Apache Course.

 


CALENDAR
January 31 - February 3
PGA Tour: Waste Management Phoenix Open

TPC Scottsdale (Ariz.)

Web.com: Country Club de Bogota Championship

CC de Bogota-Lagos, Bogota, Colombia

European: Saudi International

Royal Greens G&CC, King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia

February 1-3
Men’s amateur: Jones Cup

Ocean Forest GC, Sea Island, Ga.


      
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