Archive

5 things: Less drive-thru for Lefty

Phil Mickelson, arguably the Tour’s best-known burger connoisseur, announced he has gone vegetarian.

“I know, I know,” he said as reporters laughed.

The reason for the health kick? The world No. 2 revealed this week he is suffering from psoriatic arthritis, which causes the immune system to attack joints and tendons. He implied he made the switch to help cope with his condition. But medication has brought the illness under control, he said.

But what does this mean for his burger habit?

“We’re working on a veggie burger,” he jokingly said.

••••••••••••••

There’s a better chance of an Englishman winning this week’s PGA Championship than there was 10 years ago.

Thirteen Englishmen tee it up at Whistling Straits, compared to just three in 2000. More importantly, all 13 are in the top 100 of the Official World Golf Ranking, with four in the top 10 and six in the top 50. A decade ago, only two Englishman occupied spots in the world top 100.

Lee Westwood is the common denominator – then and now. Westwood, now ranked No. 3, was No. 6 in 2000. (But he won’t even be at the PGA, citing a calf injury.) His only company then was Jamie Spence at No. 93.

••••••••••••••

After grinding it out for seven consecutive weeks on the PGA Tour, Bill Lunde had big plans this week back home in Las Vegas.

“I’d be sitting on a couch right now,” he said, laughing. “My wife had taken a week off from work, and we were going to spend the week together.”

They still will, only it will be in Wisconsin, at the 92nd PGA Championship. Plans change.

Lunde’s wild five-year ride – from quitting the game to working a 9-to-5 job to working his way back out on Tour again – met with an interesting chapter on Sunday, when he shot 66 to win the Turning Stone Resort Championship for his first PGA Tour title.

Tuesday, he was in Wisconsin, ready for eight in a row.

“It’s only the second major I’ve ever played in,” he said. The other was the 2003 U.S. Open, where he missed the cut. “I didn’t really know what to think when they came up to me and told me I had a spot in the PGA. I was like, ‘Really? . . . because I’m OK with going home and everything else.’”

••••••••••••••

This week’s Rolex Trophy on the European Challenge Tour is a chance for the rich to get richer.

The €218,000 is the second-richest tournament on Europe’s secondary circuit, second only to the €400,000 Kazakhstan Open. Played at Golf Club de Geneve, Switzerland, it is the longest-running Challenge Tour event, dating back to 1989. More importantly, it is open only to the top 42 on the money list. With a first prize of €24,400 and €18,100 for second, it’s a chance for those lucky enough to be in the field to leave the pack behind.

Only the top 20 off the money list get cards for the 2011 European Tour, and this week can go a long way to attaining one of those coveted spots.

••••••••••••••

Regardless of how Y.E. Yang fares in his title defense this week, he’ll be a part of golf history at the PGA Championship for the second year in a row.

Last year at Hazeltine, Yang stared down Tiger Woods to emerge as Asia’s first male major championship winner.

This year, Yang forms part of a record Korean contingent in the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits with five players from the Land of the Morning Calm: Yang, K.J. Choi, Charlie Wi, Kyung-tae Kim and teenager Seung-yul Noh.

In terms of numbers, Korea is matched by Japan with Ryo Ishikawa spearheading a quintet that includes Yuta Ikeda, Hiroyuki Fujita, Koumei Oda and Tetsuji Hiratsuka. Two other Asian countries are also represented at Whistling Straits – China (Wen-chong Liang) and Thailand (Jaidee Thongchai).

STORY COMMENTS
Show Hide