Phil Mickelson has signed a five-year extension with Callaway that will take him through his 42nd birthday. Mickelson first signed with Callaway in '04 to play its equipment and wear the Callaway brand in secondary locations like the side of his hat, shirt sleeve and bag. At times, Callaway has appeared on the front of Mickelson’s hat and shirt as his agent, Steve Loy, sought to replace expired deals. Mickelson also endorses KPMG (hat front) and Barclays (chest) (Jon Show, SportsBusiness Journal).
Phil Mickelson and caddie Jim "Bones" Mackay made for compelling television at Doral when they discussed the risk of Lefty hitting a right-handed shot on No. 12, and the club selection into the 18th green with a one-shot lead. Now, the PGA Tour is curious if such dialogue is worth broadcasting, according to the Associated Press. The Tour will be working with NBC Sports at the Shell Houston Open to determine if it's worth putting a microphone on some of the caddies. The Houston Open will only be a test for the quality of the audio and whether the conversations are worthy of the telecast. None of the comments will be on TV next week. "The dialogue between Phil and Bones on the second shot Sunday at Doral is the type of stuff our fans tell us they want to hear more often," said Andy Pazder, senior vice president of tournament administration for the Tour.
The idea of getting inside the ropes is appealing to almost every golf fan, especially those that understand the unique dynamic between the caddy and player. More often than not, the conversation will be rather robotic and not all that interesting. But then again, there will be that moment like we heard and saw at Doral between Phil the Thrill and his right hand man, Jim "Bones" Mackay.
Back in 2000, ABC Sports golf producer Jack Graham got permission from the PGA Tour to mic caddies, but with the stipulation that all players and caddies in the group had to agree to the arrangement. It proved difficult to get that kind of consensus, so the plan had to be scrapped. If the PGA Tour expects to pull this off, it's going to be hard to implement unless they can get buy-in from some of the biggest names in golf. But can you really see Tiger Woods giving Steve Williams permission to be front and center. Heck. Fluff got the boot once Tiger and others thought he was getting a bit too big for his own britches.
I can hear it now, caddies dropping in a plug for their players equipment manufacturer. The conversation between player and caddie would sound something like this.
Player - "what do we have here"
Caddie - "based on how my microfiber ashworth shirt is blowing I sense about a 5 mph wind from the right"
Player - "so you think, maybe a soft 9?"
Caddie - "I actually like a hard wedge, we're hitting this new Bridgestone wedge about 6 yards further than we did the Nike wedge and you are able to keep your ball flight tighter with it......so I like the wedge"
Player - "where do I need to leave this shot, just left of the hole you think?"
Caddie - "Bro, anywhere within 15 feet and you're going to make it, you are making absolutely everything since you picked up that See More putter while on vacation at Harbour Town"
Watch out Johnny Miller......there won't be a need for the ridiculous Callaway informercials he plugs into his broadcasts once the caddies are on stage.
But all joking aside......as a golf nut, I'd love to hear the serious strategy being discussed down the stretch of a major championship. I'd love to get a sense for who is really feeling it and who is feeling nothing but the pressure of the situation.......as the caddie is often the first to sense his player's state of mind and it's sometimes what he says and how he says it that can put his player in the proper frame of mind.
We had a great group of guests for this morning's Back Nine radio show. Adam Frillman and Troy Halterman joined me in studio as we took a collective sigh of relief......Tiger is officially returning effective next week. The Accenture Match Play Championship just got a shot in the arm as the world's greatest golfer is BACK!
After a healthy dose of Tiger talk, we broke down the scoreboard through 36 holes at the Northern Trust at Riveria. Phil had his chance on Friday, starting his second round with a share of the lead with half the field already finished with their 36 holes. But Phil struggled with a Friday, 72, and found himself looking up at Scott McCarron as play started on Saturday morning.
John Hayes, Head Golf Professional at Forest Hills Country Club, has a book on the market. "Learning golf with Manuel" gives readers a glimpse into a series of 106 stories / lessons with one of the games greatest teachers, Manuel de la Torre. John joined us to discuss the book, the challenge of putting the book together and shared some great stories of his 100 plus days with Manuel. Check it out at www.learninggolfwithmanuel.com.....you won't be disappointed.
A few months ago we had the pleasure to make the acquaintance of Casey Jones. Casey is an interesting character, having made a business out of the art of golf. When I say art of golf, I literally mean art of golf. Visit www.caseyjonesgolf.com and you'll see what I mean. Casey spent the last few weeks on the West Coast Swing attending to the PGA Tour scoreboards and had some interesting stories to share about his time out there with the big boys on the PGA Tour. Listen to the segment with Casey and you'll probably share a little concern about Rory Sabbatini like we did.......give it a listen and you'll see what I mean.
The Bogeyman, Dan O'Neill joined us to resurrect a segment we like to call "On the clock".......the ole bogeyman shares his insight / perspective on the hot topics in the world of golf in this quick hitting segment. Dan also shared his take on A. Rod, the St. Louis Blues and Michelle Wie.
If you are a golf nut like I am, you have probably enjoyed the writing of Jaime Diaz for years.......Jaime can be found at Golfdigest.com or in the magazine itself, Golf Digest. Jaime has covered Tiger like very few in the world of golf and was able to put into persepective what Tiger has gone through the past few months. Jaime flat out brought it.....you'll want to spend 15 minutes and enjoy our conversation with him.
James Earle, women's golf coach at the University of Missouri-St. Louis joined us for our final segment this morning to preview the upcoming spring season. It sounds like Coach Earle has a good tandem of players coming in next fall. Visit www.umsltritons.com to follow the Women's golf program at UMSL.
This week's podcast will be up Monday afternoon, so be sure to check it out if you missed it on Saturday. We're looking forward to another great year covering the game of golf and look forward to having you along for the ride.
PS - The Missouri Golf Association is now accepting online registrations for the 2009 schedule of events - www.mogolf.org and the Gateway PGA is also accepting registrations for the upcoming Junior Golf program - visit www.gatewaypga.org.
While many sports fans were enjoying the Oklahoma / Florida championship game Thursday night, many area junior golfers and their parents were attending the Gateway PGA Junior Golf Scholarship Seminar hosted by Carol Fromuth, Junior Golf Program Director. Just in case you missed it and you are a junior golfer or have a junior golfer in the family.......check out our series of articles addressing many of the questions asked by attendees.
Jay Williamson hasn't been to the finals of Q-School since 1998. That same year, the finals were held in the California desert, just as is the case this year.
After a 68 on Thursday, Williamson found himself in a tie for 11th at 9 under par. Tied with Bryce Molder, Mark Brooks, Major Manning and Ted Purdy, Jay W. is in good position to improve his status among those eligible to play on the PGA Tour in 2009.
The PGA Tour veteran who played in the first three events of the PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedEx Cup, fell outside of the top 125 on the money list when missed his last six cuts during the Fall Series. At 137th on the money list, Jay W. will have status on Tour next year, but a good finish come Monday's sixth and final round of Q-School would be a boost to his status.
As Boo is riding his horse from the first tee after striping a tee ball.....you have to wonder does Boo feel any pressure at all? His attitude has been contagious......and his ball striking has been huge this week. His play Saturday afternoon was "Tiger" like, making big putts, hitting laser like iron shots.
That being said, Boo needs to take care of business today against Oliver Wilson. If the American's are to pull this out today, Oliver Wilson can't be part of the storyline for the Europeans.
Match #5 and Match #7 look to be make or break matches for the Europeans should they mount a comeback on Sunday.
Match #5 (Kenny Perry vs. Henrik Stenson)
Match #7 (J.B. Holmes vs. Soren Hansen)
I'm not sure if it is coincidence, that both Kentuckians are involved in these two matches, but should the Americans win both of these matches, I don't see how the Europeans can pull it off today.
On the flip side, should the Stenson and Hansen get it done, it could be the Americans looking for something magical from Ben Curtis and Chad Campbell because the outcome will be decided in the final two matches if Perry and Holmes fall short in the Commonwealth of Kentucky today.
OK, I'll admit I haven't missed a shot of the Ryder Cup. 10 hours on Saturday and the same on Friday.......and yes I'm getting work done - but this is can't miss television in my mind.
Sunday is set to be an amazing day of golf and we're bound to see some strange things transpire. Pressure like this brings out the best and sometimes worst out of players........let's hope for the American's side we see more of the 'best'.
Anthony Kim was the BEST person for Zinger to send out to lead the Americans. He is the American version of Sergio Garcia so it is fitting they are head to head to lead the singles matches. Kim starts birdie - birdie......stiffing both iron shots - he is ready to play. This could be the first upset of the day if Kim can knock of Mr. Ryder Cup in Sergio Garcia.
Putting means so, so much in match play. Paul Casey, for as good as he hits the ball, can't putt with the big boys. Unfortunately, Mahan is equally as streaky with the flat stick so this is one match that may see a lot of halves with par and it will be the person who can stiff a few approach shots or take advantage of the par 5's that wins this match.
So I made post here at the Golfers Network Message Boards earlier this afternoon the moment I saw how comfortable Sergio looked in today. But now, after 12 holes through the final round it's Garcia and Harrington tied for the lead. As comfortable as Garcia has looked throughout the day, you have to wonder what effect it will have on him with Harrington as the player he has to beat to win his first major championship - ?
So I was tired of watching the soap opera we call sports this week with the entire Favre debacle and the baseball trade deadline dominating the headlines on my favorite show, SportsCenter. So I turned the channel to catch up with the world of Letterman and Leno and I thought I'd share what they had to say from last night:
CBS’ David Letterman: “Here's a great story: over in New Jersey, they spotted a 44- pound cat. Did you hear about this? Honest to God, a 44-pound cat. And it had a ball of tin foil (that) weighed 15 pounds. The cat is so big, he puts you out at night. Ladies and gentlemen, if it seems as though I'm walking on a cloud, something very special happened a minute ago – I'm going to be Pamela Anderson husband number four. Pamela Anderson is on the program tonight, ladies and gentlemen, and she, of course, is the reason they invented high def. How about this: maybe some folks (here) from California; they had an earthquake out there in southern California yesterday. A big one, 5.4 on the Richter scale, and Pam Anderson, coincidentally, was in California during the earthquake, and today she had to go in for a seismic retrofitting. But the earthquake was so violent, they found Hugh Hefner under a pile of hookers. The earthquake was so violent, my mom called the ‘Tonight Show’ to see if I was okay. The earthquake in California was so violent, listen to this, Andy Dick was thrown to his feet” (“Late Show,” CBS, 7/30).
NBC’s Jay Leno: “How many still recovering from the earthquake yesterday? Just when you thought banks in California couldn't get any shakier. That's what I love about Los Angeles. Countrywide Mortgage doesn't get your house, boom, the earthquake will level it. Well, did you hear about this? This is one of these stories. Over at Universal Studios, the receptionist dove under her boss's desk for shelter, and by the time the earthquake was over, she had a starring part in his next movie. … If I could get serious for just a minute. When an earthquake like this hits, it really gets your sense of priorities in life. You know, you get them all straight. Like, as soon as the earthquake hit, I immediately called up my wife and said, ‘Honey, would you check on the cars and motorcycles?’ … Yesterday Congress officially apologized for slavery. Not a moment too soon, huh? You hate to see these things fester until there's a lot of animosity. Thank God they nipped it in the bud like that. … Beijing has set up a sex determination lab to test female Olympic athletes suspected of being males. They're testing to make sure the women aren't actually men. And if it works there, they're going to try it on hookers on Hollywood Boulevard. … Disgraced NBA ref Tim Donaghy (was) sentenced to 15 months in jail for giving gamblers inside tips. That was only half the 33 months demanded by prosecutors. You know what that means? Beat the spread. He's still in the game! Actually, the good news for Donaghy, he's so corrupt, today he was offered a job as an Olympic ice skating judge. … There's a restaurant in New York City called ‘The Optional Clothing Diner's Club,’ where the patrons eat naked. I mean, that's a little embarrassing to some guys, don't you think? They go in, sit down, waitress takes one look at you, gives you the children's menu. … California has passed a ban on trans fats from all restaurants by the year 2010. And San Francisco is taking it one step further, they plan to ban all fat trannies” (“Tonight Show,” NBC, 7/30).
LATE NIGHT LAUGHS:
Last night’s Top Ten list was “Top Ten Jerry Lewis Excuses.” CBS’ David Letterman: “Jerry was flying someplace out of Las Vegas Airport last week and they found a gun in his carry-on luggage” (“Late Show,” CBS, 7/31).
10) “Rehearsing for my new film ‘The Nutty Terrorist.’”
9) “I haven’t been myself since Lindsay Lohan went lesbian.”
8) “I’m Batman.”
7) “No shampoo on planes I understand, but guns? What is this, Damascus?”
6) “Was whacked out on some stuff I got from Amy Winehouse.”
5) “Confused myself with Jerry Lee Lewis.”
4) “How else do I open those airline peanuts?”
3) “I was told this was a roast!”
2) “Just found out I’d been seated next to Andy Dick.”
1) “Sorry, I thought I put the gun in my schlamaaaaaaven.”
Our attention turns back to golf today as the circus comes to town for the PGA Tour with Michelle Wie front and center again. Does she make the cut? Heck, does she break 80 and does she finish 36 holes?
A World Golf Championships event isn't the same without Tiger. I think he'll be missed more from this event than he was at the British Open. The dude flat out dominates WGC events. Phil.......hello Phil.........it's time to regain your magic at Firestone.
And don't forget about the U.S. Senior Open and local favorite Jim Holtgrieve who is competing at the Broadmoor in Colorado. This is back to back USGA Championships in Colorado.......the USAPL was contested in Aurora, CO and this week the old guys are at the Broadmoor. Guess the USGA like the idea of hanging out in the mountains for a few weeks. After this week its out to Eugene, Oregon for the U.S. Women's Amateur. As I understand it, Curt Rohe of the Metropolitan Amateur Golf Association is already enroute to Eugene Oregon to work the event for the USGA.