Phil Mickelson lights up Ozarks National in PGA Tour Champions debut

Phil Mickelson may have second thoughts on how much he plays on the PGA Tour Champions after lighting up Ozarks National for 11 birdies in (...)

Phil Mickelson lights up Ozarks National in PGA Tour Champions debut

Phil Mickelson may have second thoughts on how much he plays on the PGA Tour Champions after lighting up Ozarks National for 11 birdies in his 50-and-over debut on Monday.

Mickelson carded five birdies in a row, beginning at No. 13, en route to shooting 10-under 61, the lowest debut in PGA Tour Champions history, and grabbing a one-stroke lead over Australian David McKenzie in the first round of the Charles Schwab Series at Ozarks National in Ridgedale, Missouri.

It was a spectacular start for Mickelson, who is trying to match Jim Furyk, who earlier this month won the Ally Challenge in his Champions Tour debut.

“The expectation is there. If you play well and win, well, you’re supposed to do that. If you don’t, it’s like, ‘What happened?’ ” said Mickelson, who is attempting to become the 20th player to win in his PGA Tour Champions debut. “I wanted to make sure I was playing well when I played in my first one.”

Mickelson, who became eligible for the Champions Tour when he turned 50 on June 16, expressed little interest in playing against the round bellies earlier this year, but the 44-time PGA Tour winner changed his mind after he missed the cut at the Northern Trust Friday and was eliminated from the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

Mickelson made birdie on his first hole, drove the 350-yard par 4, third hole, and was 5 under through his first seven holes. A bogey at the par-5 ninth hole proved to be a temporary setback for Mickelson, and his lone dropped shot of the day.

“I was a little nervous going in and it feels great to get off to a good start, especially when you’re only in a three-round tournament, you don’t have that extra round,” he said. “You’ve got to come out and get off to a good start so that you’re not playing catch-up.”

Mickelson finished tied for second at the WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational last month, and is trying to get sharp for the U.S. Open next month at Winged Foot, the site of one of Mickelson’s six runner-up finishes in the national championship in 2006.

On Sunday, Davis Love III, who won on the PGA Tour at age 52 but has yet to win on the senior circuit, had this advice for Mickelson on what it takes to succeed on the Champions Tour: “Phil’s going to find out that he’s going to have to putt really well to win out here. He’s not just going to come out here and be the long hitter and all of a sudden win.”

Mickelson rolled the ball beautifully in the opening round, getting back on the birdie train at No. 11, and then heating up with a 20-foot birdie putt at 13. That was the first of five birdies in a row, including a 40-footer at 15 and a 30-footer at 16 that dropped dead center in the hole. He hit 17 of 18 greens and took 29 putts.


Eamon Lynch: Mickelson doesn’t really want to play with the old guys, but needs them more than he’ll admit


Mickelson, who opened with 73 on Thursday at the Northern Trust and only made seven birdies in his two rounds at TPC Boston, tied his record for birdies in a single round on the PGA Tour with 11.

Mickelson leads McKenzie, who shot a career-low 9-under 62 at the Coore-Crenshaw layout. K.J. Choi, another 50-year-old newcomer, is among a group of four that signed for 64. Another rookie, Mike Weir, is part of a half dozen players at 65, including World Golf Hall of Famers Ernie Els, Vijay Singh and Bernhard Langer. Former PGA Championship winner Rich Beem, celebrating his 50th birthday, also made his debut, but after a birdie on the opening hole he managed only one more in shooting 1-over 72. McKenzie expressed the sentiment of many on Mickelson’s arrival to the senior circuit.

“Anytime you can have someone who’s still competitive on the main tour as Phil is, it’s always fun to see how he comes out and see how you compete against him,” McKenzie said.

Source : Golf Week More   

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2020 BMW Championship odds, predictions, picks and PGA Tour best bets

The BMW Championship boasts a 70-man field as the FedExCup Playoffs roll into Round 2. Dustin Johnson enters the week as the (...)

2020 BMW Championship odds, predictions, picks and PGA Tour best bets

The BMW Championship boasts a 70-man field as the FedExCup Playoffs roll into Round 2.

Dustin Johnson enters the week as the betting favorite at +800 following his 11-stroke victory at the Northern Trust last week. He moved to No. 1 in the FEC standings and No. 7 in the Golfweek/Sagarin world rankings. Below, we look at the betting odds to win the 2020 BMW Championship and make our PGA Tour picks and best bets.

2020 BMW Championship Betting Picks – Tier 1

Collin Morikawa reacts as the lid falls off the Wanamaker Trophy as he lifts the trophy to celebrate winning the 2020 PGA Championship. (Kyle Terada – USA TODAY Sports)

Odds provided by BetMGM; access USA TODAY Sports’ betting odds for a full list. Lines last updated Monday at 3 p.m. ET.

Collin Morikawa (+2000)

Morikawa slipped from No. 2 to No. 5 in the FedExCup standings with a missed cut at The Northern Trust at TPC Boston last week. He’ll be looking to move back up and regain those all-important starting strokes for next week’s Tour Championship.

The winner of the 2020 PGA Championship just three weeks ago, Morikawa is eighth by the odds to win the BMW Championship. He’s second on Tour this season in Strokes Gained: Approach, 17th in SG: Off-the-Tee and 24th in Birdie or Better Percentage.

He’s the first golfer on the odds board offering a 20-1 or better return on investment. Ignore last week’s shaky result and back someone with two wins in his last five events at a recently-inflated price.

Looking to place a bet on the 2020 BMW Championship? Get some action on it at BetMGM. Bet Now!

2020 BMW Championship Betting Picks – Tier 2

Gary Woodland during the second round of the 2020 PGA Championship. (Kyle Terada – USA TODAY Sports)

Gary Woodland (+6600)

Woodland enters the week 39th in the FEC standings and needs a top showing to qualify for next week’s playoff finale. The 2019 US Open champion has no wins but six top-10s this season.

He missed the cut last week while losing 1.28 strokes per round putting, according to Data Golf. He’s 14th on Tour in SG: Approach and 29th in Birdie or Better Percentage. Expect a better result with a more neutral performance with the flat stick.

2020 BMW Championship Betting Picks – Long shots

Cameron Smith during the second round of the 2018 Tour Championship. (John David Mercer – USA TODAY Sports)

Cameron Smith (+11000)

Smith tied for 18th last week. While losing 0.46 strokes per round putting, he gained 1.84 strokes tee-to-green and 1.62 strokes on approach per round. He opened his 2020 season with a win at the Sony Open but doesn’t have any other top-10s in the calendar year. He’s 26th in the FEC standings and just barely holding onto his ticket to East Lake.

Get some action on the 2020 BMW Championship by signing up and betting at BetMGM. If you’re looking for more sports betting picks and tips, access all of our content at SportsbookWire.com. Please gamble responsibly.

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Source : Golf Week More   

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