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tributary of ] Rae’s Creek. We walked up, and
there was an island of grass about the size of
a Frisbee right in the middle of Rae’s Creek,
and the ball was sitting in the middle of it in a
perfect lie that you could hit driver off of, and
Phil almost chipped it in for eagle. We said,
“Hey, maybe this is our week.” Making that
par at Troon was a little like that.
henrik stenson, on his birdie at the 17th,
which gave him a one-stroke lead entering the
final round: Walking off 18, Phil said, “Henrik,
that was a pretty sporty birdie.”
rich beem I asked my boss at Sky if I could
go with them again the next day, but he was
having none of that. I just knew how special
it could be. And it was. I spent most of the
round sneaking peeks.
DAY 4: DOWN TO A TWO-MAN DUEL
After rounds of 68-65-68 (12-under par),
Stenson leads Mickelson by one (63-69 -70) and
third-place Bill Haas by six.
ken brown, BBC commentator and former
Ryder Cup player: I was out on the course
really early on the Sunday morning. At the
time the wind was blowing around 30 miles
per hour. It was really tough. Grant Moir of
the R&A was out there. I asked him if the pin
positions were going to be a little easier. He
said they weren’t quite sure what the wind
was going to do, so yes, they were. If you look
at the pin sheet for that day, I don’t think
there were any less than four yards from
the edge of any green. Compared to most
Opens, they were “easy”. Which made perfect
sense. Had the wind stayed as it was and
the pins had been really tough, the players
might still be out there. Then, of course, the
wind died down, so the course played easier
than it could have. None of which is meant
to demean the way Stenson and Mickelson
played. They were magnificent. No one else
played the way they did that day. As a result,
we had an Open that everyone was talking
about. It was fantastic. So you have to wonder
why they don’t do that every year. Why do
they deliberately set up the course so that it’s
less enjoyable for everybody?
phil mickelson I had a nice warm-up and
really started hitting it well. I knew it was
going to be a good day. It kind of all clicked.
It was just a rhythm thing. I was getting a
little quick from the top, and I was quieting
everything down going back.
jim mackay Phil and [Australian instructor]
Andrew Getson had figured something out,
and from the first swing, he had it.
pete cowen Twenty minutes before Henrik
teed off, we were talking about technique,
which was bizarre. But I know him so well;
it was all just banter. The last thing I said to
him was, “It’s been a long journey. Just go out
and do it.” That was it. I walked him over the
bridge from the practice ground. Then I went
right and he went left. I jumped in my car
and drove back to Yorkshire. I listened to it all
on BBC Radio 5 live, which was annoying at
times. The reception was a bit in and out.
tim barter, Sky Sports: For the first time
in my experience, when I asked [Stenson]
for a pre-round interview, he said no as he
was walking to the range. He very politely
declined, saying, “Mind is on the job. I’m
going to skip it today.” He’s normally
very approachable and affable. That
On the first hole, Mickelson makes a birdie
and Stenson three-putts for a bogey, the swing
giving Mickelson a one-shot lead.
david feherty, NBC/Golf Channel: “I think
what happened there actually galvanised
Henrik. Like he said, No. F--- no. Not this time.
He turned into Clint Eastwood.
pete cowen I shouted, “You silly prat!” at
the radio when Henrik three-putted the first
green. I was just happy he was out there with
the [correct] number of clubs in his bag. I was
coaching Woosie [Ian Woosnam] in 2001 when
he got done for the extra club in the final
round of the Open at Lytham. I was on the
range with Woosie. His caddie, Myles
[Byrne], was there, too, of course. I said to him,
“ What’s the yardage at the first?” The shot was
a draw with a 6-iron. So I told Woosie to hit
a few of those. He hit them all perfectly. At
which point I said, “That’s my job done, and
Woosie’s, too. It’s all down to you now, Myles.”
“Don’t worry about me,” he said. “I can do my
job.” But of course he didn’t. [Laughs.]
jack nicklaus I happened to watch the first
hole – I turned the TV on [at home in Florida].
I sat down and watched the whole thing, and
I never do that. I usually try to watch some
of the golf, the Majors. But this was one
occasion where I couldn’t stop watching.
colin montgomerie It was amazing what
was going on, from Phil’s first shot into the
first green to Henrik’s three-putt. Then Henrik
switched to another gear, and so did Phil.
jim mackay Phil’s chip on 2, I don’t know
how it missed. Big lip-out. And he stiffed it
on 3 but missed. Henrik poured them in the
middle for birdies on 2, 3 and 4.
tim barter, Sky Sports: It was like
prizefighters exchanging blows.
jim mackay Phil had to make eagle on 4 just
to keep up.
phil mickelson I knocked that in, and we’re
back to square. That’s when I knew it was a
two-man race – we were both so far ahead,
and nobody was doing anything in front of us.
henrik stenson Walking to the fifth tee, I
said to Phil, “We’ve got a pretty good better-
ball going on here.”
Both players birdied the par-5 sixth to get to
steve stricker We were in the third-to-
last group, and all J.B. [Holmes] and I were
thinking was that we had no chance. You
could hear the commotion. It was surreal
going around the course knowing some-
thing like that was going on behind us and
not seeing it. We were playing for third
place, and that’s a hard thing to do. Yeah,
you’re trying. You want to finish as high as
you can, but at the same time you’re get-
ting beat by 100, so it’s not a lot of fun.
jim mackay A funny note about Stricker: we
played with him Sunday the month before
at Memphis, and he and Phil tied for second.
They’re longtime friends. We’re in the scoring
tent, signing the cards, and this tour official
comes in and says, “Mr Stricker, it’s my job to
inform you that you are now exempt for the
Open Championship.” Strick says something
like, “I’m not sure what I’m going to do.”
Phil’s like, “You’ve got to go; are you kidding
me? Go play in the Scottish.” Strick enters
the Scottish, they stay in a castle, and there’s
a cook and all this stuff, and they’re hooting
and hollering. Strick then goes to the British
and gets the bad end of the draw but finishes
fourth. So amazing playing, and he gets in
the  Masters [where he ties for 16th].
tim barter On the seventh hole when
Gareth Lord lit a cigarette, Henrik told his
caddie to enjoy it because it was his last one.
[In 2015, they had made a bet that if Stenson
won a Major, Lord would give up smoking.]
That told Gareth the playful side of his boss
was still there. But from then on, he was in
phil mickelson, on Stenson making a
20-foot birdie putt on the 123-yard eighth,
the famed Postage Stamp: That was a big
turnaround. No.8, he had struggled with
throughout the week [par-par-bogey in the
first three rounds], and I had played very
effectively [birdie-birdie-par] in difficult
jim mackay Phil almost holed it on Friday.
phil mickelson A little more sauce on it,
and it would have gone right in. I just love
that hole. Hit a good shot to about eight feet
on Sunday. That was really my opportunity to
pick up one or two because the potential for
a catastrophe there is pretty great. If you try
to get close to that hole and go down in the
bunker, you’re looking at 4 to 6 pretty quick.
He hit a good shot, but it was still 25, 30 feet.
And he ended up making that putt first. That
put a lot of pressure on me to hit a good one.
That was not my best putt there.
gareth lord From three to six feet is not his
favourite. Never has been.
’I SAT DOWN AND
WATCHED THE WHOLE
THING, AND I NEVER
DO THAT ... I COULDN’T
– JACK NICKLAUS
Perhaps a “Play & Stay” break at Portsea Golf Club conjures up images of a leisurely sleep
in, followed by breakfast on the deck overlooking the moonahs and ti-tree, and the lush
fairways to Port Philip Bay in the distance. That would be appealing, as the well-appointed
guest rooms offer a tranquil retreat after a round of golf on the course which is set amongst
sand dunes and coastal vegetation, and is kept in superb playing condition all year round.
However, Portsea’s Head Teaching Professional, Greg Cusack considers mornings to be
the best time of day and is up early to enjoy the spectacular sunrises. Having spent twenty
years as a teaching professional, mainly on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast Greg has always
been attracted to the Mornington Peninsula and now calls Portsea Golf Club home. Greg
says “Portsea rivals the best aspects of some exceptional courses from around the world”.
We are offering a unique experience to improve your game and take full advantage of
your time at Portsea by offering the opportunity to spend a day with the “Pro”:
• Meet and greet overview of the course and information about the club over coffee.
• Initial assessment of your game.
• Tuition session – individual or in small groups.
• On course playing lesson so you can experience the attraction – and challenges - of the
course first hand.
• Review of the day and coaching tips in the members’ bar – maybe sample local wines
and the chef’s specials.
We can tailor the day to suit your needs and experience, and cater for novices through to
PLAY AND STAY
Contact: Greg Cusack
Head Teaching Professional
Address: 46 London Bridge Road,
Portsea Vic 3944
Portsea Golf Club
23/5/17 11:26 am
31/05/2017 3:33 pm
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