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July 27, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Charles Barkley says Tiger won't dominate

Charles Barkley -- Hall of Fame basketball player, Dream Teamer, friend of Tiger, and noted golf victim -- told Golf Channel's Morning Drive that he believes the days of Tiger dominating golf are over. Reid Cherner at USA Today was watching:

"He's back," Barkley said on the Golf Channel's Morning Drive.

"He's won three times. Nobody else has won three times." But he thinks the competition will make it too difficult for Woods to return to his former glory.

"...he's not going to dominate majors like he did in the past," he said. "These young players are so good now and anybody can on any given week can win out there. I think he will win some more majors. I'm hoping for him. I root for him. I'm a big Tiger Woods fan. No disrespect to Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus, but this new generation, they're like Tiger Woods clones."

In other Tiger news, Ryder Cup vice captain Fred Couples said he will keep Woods loose at the Ryder Cup in Chicago this fall, according to The Scottish Daily Record

Couples, who plays in this week’s Senior Open, said: “You’d be an idiot to say that what happened to him wasn’t something he regretted but I don’t talk to him about that. I talk to him about golf. I tell him how great he’s playing and how much fun it is to see him winning again.

“And when he wasn’t playing well I was telling him, ‘Your swing looks terrible. When is it going to improve?’

“So there’s a lot of teasing and a lot of building him up and that’s my relationship with him. “Now in the Ryder Cup, he’s one of our best players again and there’s no reason to worry.

“Anyone would choose Tiger Woods but I feel with my friendship with him, he’s an easy guy to handle and be around.

“When we get to Chicago I’ll get to take care of three or four guys and it will be a lot of fun. It won’t be too serious, golf is golf.”

Phil Mickelson blames missed cuts on lack of focus

Phil Mickelson appeared on CBS This Morning to promote his efforts on behalf of the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy and chatted with golf fan Charlie Rose about his recent struggles. (Mickelson missed the cut at last week's British Open and his play has been uneven since finishing third at the 2012 Masters.

"I've tried to spend these last five days being introspective and trying to figure out what's going on. I think I've identified a couple things. One of the biggest areas, Charlie, is that mentally I haven't been focusing as fine as I need to."

...

"I've been a little lethargic these past two months."

Rose also asked Mickelson what coach Butch Harmon helps him with ("Butch has got such a great eye for the golf swing that he's quick to identify what's wrong and how to fix it") and what was the best swing he's ever seen (Tiger, circa 2000). However, Mickelson added a caveat to the best-looking swing question: "More than having an aesthetically pleasing golf swing it's understanding your golf swing that allows you to take out half the course. ... You can't play effectively if you don't know which side you're going to miss on."

Oh, and Mickelson shared his favorite golf course. No surprise, it's Augusta.

You can watch the full interview here.

Rory McIlroy goes to London Olympics to watch Caroline Wozniacki

Rory_olympics

Rory McIlroy is in London to support girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki at the Summer Olympics. And while this trip was a short hop from Open venue Royal Lytham & St. Annes, McIlroy's good buddy Graeme McDowell suggests that McIlroy's frequent travel might be tiring him out. Devil Ball Golf's Jonathan Wall has more:

Coming off a T-60 at the Open Championship -- his fourth straight major finish outside the top 25 -- he has one final major start to turn things around, but as fellow countryman Graeme McDowell noted during a recent visit on Golf Channel's Morning Drive, his recent struggles may have something to do with the amount of time he's spending in-between starts traveling to watch Wozniacki in tournaments, instead of working on his game.

"There's no doubt, all the travelling is wearing him down a little bit and we are seeing a little bit of fatigue," McDowell said on the Golf Channel yesterday as he co-hosted the Morning Drive show. "But he's a fit kid and he's a young kid and he has all the talent in the world. It is only a matter of time [before he comes back]."

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