AT ABOUT 11 a.m.Eastern on Sunday, Phil Mickelson led the Scottish Open through 12 holes at13¬†under, a charging Ernie Els was a stroke back, and even Sergio García,debuting a new belly putter, lurked in the top 10 at nine under. Had thingsstayed that way, the pretournament hype going into Carnoustie would havereached a fever pitch, with three of Tiger Woods's top rivals throwing down theproverbial gauntlet. Alas, Els and García made quick bogeys to fall out ofcontention (Els finished third, García 19th), while Mickelson alternated fourbirdies with three bogeys over the last seven holes, allowing himself to becaught by Gregory Havret of France, who won on the first playoff hole. Itwasn't all bad news for Phil. Earlier in the week Mickelson protected hisinjured left wrist by taking a drop rather than attempting to hit out of aburied lie in a bunker. On the playoff hole, the 18th at Loch Lomond, Mickelsonhit his drive into thigh-high grass but this time showed no caution, making afull swing from the thick stuff, and seemed to suffer no ill effects. He's nota winner, but he's healthy.
DON'T WORRY thatAlexis Thompson (right) will lose her confidence or never learn how to win.After shooting 76-82 and missing the cut as the youngest qualifier to play inthe U.S. Women's Open, the 12-year-old from Coral Gables, Fla., took her gameback to the teen circuit last week and won the Junior PGA Championship.Shooting a one-under 283 (75-73-66-69), Thompson defeated reigning U.S. Women'sAmateur champion Kimberly Kim, 15, by a shot and became the youngest winner inthe event's 32-year history. Take that, Michelle.
AT THE start of2007 Chris Riley was clinging to the PGA Tour by his past-champion status.Since then he's won the Nationwide's Rochester Area Showdown, putting him at34th on the money list and within easy striking distance of the top 25--and anautomatic PGA Tour exemption for '08. And he's made five of nine cuts(including his last two) on the PGA Tour to climb to 174th on the FedEx Cuppoints list. Should he play PGA Tour events, hoping to get into the top 144 andthe FedEx Cup playoffs, or focus on the Nationwide? It looks as if he'll do alittle of both. As of Monday he was the second alternate for this week's U.S.Bank Championship (he's likely to get in) and is signed up for the Nationwide'sCox Classic the week after that.
WINNING LASTweek's U.S. Public Links was a mixed blessing for Colt Knost. The 22-year-oldfrom Dallas, a recent SMU grad, had planned to turn pro after the U.S. Amateur(Aug.¬†20-26) with the proviso that he'd wait until after the Walker Cup(Sept.¬†8-9) if he made the team. Now, going pro would mean giving up anexemption to the '08 Masters. Tough call. . . . Se Ri Pak won the Jamie FarrOwens Corning Classic, making her, with Mickey Wright and Annika Sorenstam, oneof three LPGA pros to win one event five times.
David Feherty'sFly on the Ball appears at GOLF.com.
Hoist your own claret jug at this English countrysideclub
What: Dunwood Manor
Where: Awebridge, England
Cost ¬£3.25 million
Hook Carved out of 160 acres of English forest,Dunwood Manor includes a period four-bedroom farmhouse, a modern three-bedroombungalow and four cabins. The 18-hole golf course spreads over rolling parklandand winds back to a large oak-beamed clubhouse.
FRINGE BENEFIT When you host your club championship,you can ban all those zany British streakers. Or not.
Majors won by Seve Ballesteros, who announced hisretirement at age 50.
"We're never sure which Sergio is going to showup."--MY SHOT, PAGE G12
SAM GREENWOOD/GETTY IMAGES (BYRD)
By birdieing three of the last five holes of the John Deere Classic, JonathanByrd, 29, became the only American under 30 with three career PGA Tour wins andearned a berth in the British Open.
ANDREW DOLPH/MEDINA GAZETTE/AP (THOMPSON)