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May 10, 2010

Rumors: Phil Mickelson's Burger-gate, Golf Channel's Tiger blooper

When it comes to burgers, Phil Mickelson has always been an In-N-Out guy. Mickelson even said he wanted to serve burgers from the storied SoCal fast-food outlet at the his first Masters Champions Dinner.

However, this week in Jacksonville, Mickelson found a new favorite burger at Five Guys Burgers and Fries, the Virginia-based upscale burger joint that now has 500 locations in 30 states and a host of fans, including President Barack Obama, who got a burger with lettuce, tomato, jalapeno peppers and mustard at a D.C. Five Guys last year.

Here's The New York Times' On Par blog on Phil's new burger love:

Mickelson planned to chew on that mistake — one of only a few he made in a round that created such a stir, fans peeled away from Tiger Woods’s gallery to follow him — during his sixth consecutive day of dining at Five Guys Burgers and Fries. So he had that streak going for him.

“That place is so good,” he said animatedly. “I can’t stop going there.”

Coming from Mickelson, it was high praise. For years he has sworn by In-N-Out Burger, a chain that started in California in the 1940s.

“I grew up on In-N-Out,” Mickelson said. “I thought that was the best burger until I had Five Guys. That is hands down the best burger I’ve ever had.”

However, there may be more to Mickelson's Five Guys endorsement than meets the eye. Responding on Twitter, In-N-Out loyalist Stewart Cink chimed in: "keep in mind PM owns SoCal rights to FiveGuys. Biased argument?"

Five Guys vs. In-N-Out is a debate of the Russel-Chamberlain, Woods-Nicklaus variety, where you can favor one without denying the greatness of the other. Having tried both, I side with Mickelson in favor of Five Guys. Did Mickelson mention Five Guys to garner some publicity for a business investment? Maybe. But I'm inclined to think he liked the burger so much, he bought the company.

I guess we need to find out if he owns a Krispy Kreme franchise too.

When I Got Troubles
The most obvious reason for Tiger Woods's swing problems isn't his coach Hank Haney, but the incredible turmoil he caused himself and his family with his reckless affairs. Karen Crouse of The New York Times talks to a handful of Tour players about playing golf during times of personal stress. Listen to Hal Sutton, and Tiger's swing troubles sound like they are more about his head then his neck or his coach.

Hal Sutton, who won here in 2000, met with reporters earlier in the week. He was asked how hard was it to play good golf when things were not going well at home. It is a subject close to Sutton’s heart; he has been married and divorced four times since turning professional in 1981.

“The most difficult part of being a great player is being able to compartmentalize when to be selfish and when not to be,” Sutton said. The challenge, he explained, is to say: “I’m going to be selfish for five hours, and I’m not even going to think about a soul or a thought or anything. And then I’m going to pick up balance on the 18th green when I turn my scorecard in.”

Sutton added, “That is the toughest thing in the world to do.”

Stray observations
Just a few items we noticed while wondering how Danny Glover got heckled more than Tiger Woods this weekend.

If you haven't seen the Golf Channel blooper during a Tiger Woods' injury report, it's priceless. Hint: Woods has a bulging disc, not a... (From Deadspin.com)

Stephanie Wei at WeiUnderPar.com posts some of Paul Azinger's tweets from the weekend. The best one is Azinger on Tiger's neck injury: "Could this have been prevented with a good Swedish massage?" When can we see Zinger back together with Nick Faldo on TV?

Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Padraig Harrington will receive honorary degrees from the University of St. Andrews at the Open Championship in July. (Of the three, I'd pick Watson to win a round of Celebrity Jeopardy.)

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