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January 31, 2011

Truth & Rumors: Bones says Phil’s layup was ‘no-brainer’

Posted at 1:21 PM by Mike Walker | Categories: Barack Obama, Bones Mackay, Ian Poulter, Phil Mickelson

Golfweek’s Jim McCabe talked to Phil Mickelson’s caddie Bones Mackay about Mickelson’s decision not to go for the green in two on the 18th hole Sunday, even though an eagle would have gotten him into a playoff with Bubba Watson:

“As we walked to the ball, we saw a lot of it and thought we got the break of the year,” Mackay said.

Now no one on tour is more aggressive than Mickelson — “he was itching to go for it,” said Mackay — but everything in the lie said no. The situation called for a “pronounced cut and there was a lot of grass so it would have been really hard to curve the ball,” Mackay said.

Mackay finds it comical to think people will debate the decision to lay up for days, especially since the decision process between caddie and player “lasted less than 10 seconds,” he said. “It was a no-brainer.”

The layup led to some great entertainment as Mickelson walked up to the green and then asked Mackay to tend the pin on his 72-yard shot.

“I would say conservatively, Phil hits the flagstick on the fly 6-10 times a year,” Mackay said. “And he was only 72 yards away, his bread and butter.”

And Phil being Phil, guess what? He nearly pulled it off. With Mackay holding the flagstick, Mickelson hit a splendid shot near the hole, landed it on the slope, then watched it roll back.

President Obama might play golf with House Speaker Boehner

According to The Hill, White House adviser David Axelrod said that chances are “good” that President Barack Obama will play a round of golf with Republican House Speaker John Boehner.

Obama's been an active golfer since becoming president, and Boehner's known to enjoy some time on the course, where he's reputed to have a relatively low handicap.

A trip to the golf course would be a way to improve the personal relationship between the president and the Speaker. While both maintain that their relationship with the other is "fine," neither are reputed to be especially close with one another, as President Clinton had been for sometime with his GOP adversary at the time, Speaker Newt Gingrich.

I’m still waiting for the all-President foursome of George Bush Sr, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Obama. Maybe it will happen if Clinton hosts the Bob Hope Classic.

Monty: I’ve got thick skin about Poulter’s course criticism

Colin Mongtomerie shrugged off criticism of the Monty-designed Volvo Championship course in Bahrain from always-classy Ian Poulter, who called the greens “sh--” and “embarrassing,” according to The Scottish Daily Record.

But after making an eight-foot birdie putt at the last to make the Bahrain cut yesterday, Monty said: "Some of his comments are slightly over the top but that's Poulter.

"He's a character and he's entitled to his opinions. It's just they're not the opinion of the majority of the Tour.

"But don't worry because I can handle Ian Poulter, believe me.

"He did a great job at the Ryder Cup where he was super but he's entitled to his opinions."

Stray Shots: Things we saw while checking if there are still seats available on the Jhonny Vegas bandwagon....

* I watched the Ryder Cup with Cigar Guy, I knew Cigar Guy, Cigar Guy was a friend of mine, and Tuxedo Guy, you’re no Cigar Guy. (Via Ryan Ballengee’s ProGolfTalk)

* It didn’t take long to get our first nominee for Worst Media Question of the Year. This early contender is from Bubba Watson's post-victory press conference at Torrey Pines on Sunday when a reporter asked if Watson asked his father, who died last year, to intervene in the tournament and make Phil Mickelson miss his final shot:

Q. Did you ask your dad to influence that wedge shot by Phil?

BUBBA WATSON: No. All I thought about is in the scoring tent, why hasn't he hit yet? He's taking forever to hit. Could somebody tell me what's going on? Then I thought what are we going to do? Are we on 18? And I had to think about playing 18 again, and then he missed. So I did not have to worry about that anymore.

* I never thought any golf course could be colder than Royal Birkdale during the 2008 British Open, but Ice Tee Golf Tournament on Lake Wallenpaupack has the edge. (Via The Pocono Record)

* Peyton Manning takes the top spot from Tiger Woods in Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2011 list of the 100 most powerful athletes. I guess no one at Bloomberg Businessweek watched the Colts this season, or the NBA the past five seasons because Shaquille O'Neal is ranked sixth.

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