Publish date:

Big Play

WHO: PhilMickelson

WHAT: 285-yarddrive in the fairway

WHERE: 399-yardpar-4 13th hole at Pebble Beach

WHEN: Final roundof the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

Mickelson hasrevamped his driver swing since Winged Foot. His lower body used to be too softand active; his legs and hips would slide toward the target during thedownswing. Now his lower body is rock-solid while he quietly but powerfullyrotates back and through. The new swing is more accurate without sacrificingdistance (he ranked fourth in both driving distance and accuracy last week) andholds up better under pressure.

STEVE'S TIP

Swing Pigeon-toedTo Stop Sliding

To practicefirming up your lower body like Phil, tee up a ball, take a normal stance witha mid-iron and turn your toes in. Keeping your heels on the ground throughout,try to take a full swing (you'll likely only go three fourths of the way backand through). The resistance you feel on the insides of your thighs is what youwant to replicate when you return to your normal stance.

Steve Bosdoshteaches at the Members Club at Four Streams in Beallsville, Md.

... AND ANOTHERTHING

"TigerWoods's skipping Riviera is a disappointment. The Nissan gave him his firstexemption, and he owes it to them to play."

GOLF MAGAZINE TOP 100 TEACHERS POLL

Rank the Monterey courses:

1. Cypress Point

2. Pebble Beach

3. Spyglass Hill

4. Spanish Bay

5. Poppy Hills

"Cypress Point is the Sistine Chapel ofgolf."

--DON HURTER, CASTLE PINES GOLF CLUB

The Pepper Mill

by DOTTIE PEPPER

THE OLD rivalry between Annika Sorenstam (right) andKarrie Webb (left) will have its second coming during the 2007 LPGA season,which kicks off this week at the SBS Open in Honolulu. Karrie has just come offimpressive back-to-back wins at the MFS Women's Australian Open and ANZ LadiesMasters. The last time this happened was 2000, and that season Karrie went onto win seven LPGA titles and player of the year. As for Annika, despite subtlemutterings about retirement, she's not ready to give up her reign as the queenof women's golf. I expect her to come out firing. I also think she'll have morethan just Karrie to deal with. Look for Lorena Ochoa and Cristie Kerr to gettheir first majors and also to be in the mix for POY.

THE LPGA has strengthened its pace-of-play policy andit's terrific! Each week officials will set a "time par" that denoteshow long it should take players to reach the end of each hole, a policy usedsuccessfully by the USGA in 2006. Coupled with stiff penalties (the first slowtime costs $2,500; each additional time takes a $1,000 toll), this should be areal winner. There's nothing worse than slow golf--trust me. I used to bereally slow. My play improved and my enjoyment of the game increased when Iquit trying to be perfect and picked up the pace. The PGA Tour should followsuit.

SEEMS THAT the FedEx Cup hasn't quite caught on yet,but give it time. Players and the media still reference the money list insteadof the points. A Tour official told me that they'll know they've got theplayers on board when someone makes a schedule change because he couldn't passup the points opportunity or notes that he had a "big points week." Ihaven't heard anything like that yet, but I believe you will after thecompletion of the first WGC event, the Masters and the Players, all of whichoffer elevated points distributions.

Dottie Pepper, a 17-year veteran of the LPGA tour andnow an analyst for NBC and Golf Channel, welcomes questions atdottie@siletters.com.

PHOTO

COURTESY OF CBS (MICKELSON)

TWO PHOTOS

ERICK W. RASCO (BACKGROUND, BOSDOSH, 2)

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DAVID WALBERG (PEPPER)

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STEVE HOLLAND/AP (WEBB)

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DARREN CARROLL (SORENSTAM)

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FRED VUICH (FEDEX HAT)

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PREMIER AERIALS LLC/WIREIMAGE.COM (CYPRESS POINT)