Safeway Classic Rolls Into Portland

The LPGA enters the final stretch of the season after a two-week layoff at the Safeway Classic.

safeway_logo.jpgWith only six events remaining on the official 2005 LPGA tour schedule, the Safeway Classic presented by Pepsi promises to be one of the highlights.

The par-72, 6327 yard Columbia-Edgewater Country Club sets the stage for the 54-hole tournament which includes thirteen of the top money winners this year. This will also be a good scouting opportunity for Nancy Lopez. All fifteen players who are competing for a place on the U.S. Solheim Cup team will be in attendance. Although most of the team has been selected, the two captain’s choice positions will most certainly be filled after this week’s event.

PGA Championship Aftermath

This week’s Thrash Talk dives into a couple different topics including Phil’s win at Baltusrol and the President’s Cup.

Thrash TalkThe PGA Championship has come and gone, but not without causing a stir in the golf world. The positive stories include Phil’s second major championship victory, Tiger’s weekend charge up the leaderboard, and Charles Howell III’s ace on the fourth hole Saturday. The latter story was my personal favorite, but the other two were pretty special as well. The good usually doesn’t come without the bad, however. Did anyone in the last few groups play anything that resembled good golf Sunday? The world’s best golfers were three-putting, duffing pitch shots, and hitting tee shots near the out-of-bounds markers.

Mickelson Prevails at the PGA Championship

Phil Mickelson wins the PGA Championship on the final hole with a clutch up and down birdie.

pgachampionship_baltusrol_logo.jpgIf there were any lingering doubts that Phil Mickelson deserved his single major (the 2004 Masters), they have been dispelled. He kicked the “lucky” monkey off his back by winning the PGA Championship, his second major in two years. After Phil’s great year at the big four in ’04, 2005 was shaping up to be an average year at best. His best finish this year came at the Masters when he finished alone in 10th place.

Mickelson started 2005 with a bang, winning twice in February and once in April. There weren’t many of us who expected Phil to snag a PGA Championship victory as he had cooled off in the second half of the season and had not been a factor at either the U.S. Open or the Open Championship. He surprised us all by leading at the end of every round and calmly walking off the 18th hole after sinking a short birdie putt for the win.

Your Guide To OEMs, Part 2

The golf equipment business is a crowded, cutthroat place. To help you make sense of it, I’m giving you my interpretation of how the top companies in the biz relate to one another.

Bag DropIn the first part of this series, we took at look at the Big Three: Acushnet, Callaway, and TaylorMade-Adidas. This week, we look at a trio of companies jockeying for position and the chance to make the jump to join the Big Three atop the industry. I call these companies the Next Three, and they are Cleveland, Nike and Ping.

Volume Twenty-Two

If you get a chance to pull yourselves away from the Monday coverage of the PGA Championships, take a look at this week’s links.

Hittin' the LinksI hate waiting. I can’t imagine what these guys are thinking having to wait overnight to finish their rounds at the PGA Championship. Waiting will only hurt Tiger’s chances of winning. Do you think he really believes he stands a chance? I don’t. I think -5 will win it.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to hurry up and finish this week’s column so that I can watch the leaderboard on the Internet.

Paula Creamer Sensational in Japan

Japan’s most popular female golfer is held off by teen phenom Paula Creamer at the NEC Karuizawa tournament. Morgan Pressel misses an opportunity to win another amateur tournament.

Paula Creamer added an international trophy to her growing list of wins this weekend after defeating 20-year-old Ai Miyazato at the NEC Karuizawa tournament in Japan. After carding three straight bogey-free rounds Creamer finished the tournament with a 4-under 68 yesterday, three strokes ahead of Miyazato who shot a 69. “I feel great!” said Creamer. “I knew I had to play good golf coming down the stretch. I knew if I just stayed patient and kept giving myself birdie looks everything would be okay.”

Lightning Delays Final Round of PGA Championship

Play was halted just as play was heating up at the PGA Championship.

Mickelson holds a one-shot lead in what could be a very exciting finish to this year’s PGA Championship. Play was halted shortly after a lightning storm moved into the area. Mickelson was getting a read on a par-putt at the 14th hole when lightning struck nearby. “Look, I love this championship,” he said, “but I want to live, man.” And that was reason enough to halt play.

Improving Your Game

The game of golf can be broken down into five components. We’ve done so – and given you our best tip for each – in this week’s Trap Five.

Trap Five LogoGolf can be broken down into all sorts of things – wrist cock, spine angle, short game, long irons, trouble play, mental aspects, rules and their benefits and penalties, and so on. For this week’s Trap Five, we’ve broken the game of golf into five main areas – the mental game, iron play, chipping/pitching, driving, and putting – and ranked them in order along with the single best tip we can think of to help you with that aspect of the game.

Quick, before you look, which order do you think they came in?

Retief Goosen

Goosen isn’t the chattiest Tour player. Most of the time he lets his game do the talking.

ProFilesRetief Goosen has the perfect demeanor for both golf and poker. Getting a read on him is not unlike looking at a book written in Sanskrit. His emotions don’t run too high or too low. His steady-as-it-goes approach that has paid him dividends in golf.

Currently ranked 5th in the world he has just come off a victory at the International proving again to himself and the world that he can win. Any doubt about his ability to win would have never entered the picture, had he not stumbled in the final round of this year’s U.S. Open. Goosen, after all, is Mr. Clutch.