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November 09, 2011

Truth & Rumors: Mickelson won't 'bite' on Stevie

Almost three years before caddie Steve Williams made his ill-advised comments about his former boss Tiger Woods in Shanghai, Williams took a shot at Phil Mickelson, calling him a “prick” while at a function in New Zealand in December 2008. However, journalists were not able to get Mickelson to talk about Williams at the Barclays Singapore Open, where Mickelson is playing this week. The Times of India has the story:

Mickelson, who was famously described as a "right prick" by Tiger Woods's former bagman and ridiculed about his weight, first tried to dodge the question and then flatly refused to answer.

"I think it was a very sly way to draw me into that and very well done on your behalf. But I'm not going to bite," he told journalists ahead of the Singapore Open.

Mickelson, who hasn’t played competitively since the Tour Championship in September and has fallen out of the top 10, said he is looking forward to playing this week, according to CBS Sports.

"I've been back home practicing and playing for about a month, and I've been itching to play because I feel I've been playing well and shooting some low scores," Mickelson said on Wednesday. "I'm excited because I feel like I have some really good golf ahead of me."

Matt Kuchar says Greg Norman was a key mentor

For Matt Kuchar, playing in the Australian Open this week will bring back memories. In 2000, Kuchar played his first professional tournament here, and Greg Norman was one of his mentors. The Sydney Morning Herald has the story:

Norman has done so much for Australian golf but, on this occasion, he carved the path a certain way for the young American, who just before he turned pro was, like the Great White Shark, a Florida resident.

''I was spending a bit of time with Greg,'' Kuchar said. ''That was a really cool experience. Greg was great at giving back to the up-and-comers. He was great to me. And when I came down and made my debut down here [in the 2000 Open], I remember playing practice rounds with Greg. It was fun to watch, fun to be a part of, a learning experience.''

And while Kuchar will be playing for Team USA against his old mentor’s International Team at next week’s Presidents Cup, he doesn’t expect any bad blood.

''I saw him [on Tuesday],'' Kuchar said. ''We crossed paths. We stopped and had a nice chat.

''I don't think there is going to be any coldness between us. In the sport of golf you want everybody to play well. You want your best to be hopefully better than their best.''

Y.E. Yang says YouTube is his new swing coach

Y.E. Yang, one of the quirkiest and funniest guys on tour, said that he’s not working with a coach anymore. Instead, he’s watching swing videos on YouTube to improve. And he admits that might be the reason he hasn’t won this year. Here’s more from Agence France Presse:

 "I've tried to put a lot of methodology into it," Yang told journalists before the Singapore Open. "I've researched quite a few players, tried to emulate some of the good things that I see on YouTube. The swing plane, how I grab my club... those are probably the biggest changes.

"I've put more focus on the technical aspects of my game whereas previously I've been more of a feel player."

Yang said he was happy with his progress despite being on course for his worst season since 2008, the year before he made history by winning the 2009 PGA Championship.

"Throughout probably a year-and-a-half now I've been self-taught. I have no coach right now," he said. "Maybe it's because I've been teaching myself that I haven't had as good results as 2009, but I'm still confident and very satisfied with where I'm heading to."

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