February 22, 2007

Phil Mickelson has prepared for tournaments in a number of unique ways. He has tossed a baseball around in the parking lot. He has placed golf balls in a circle on the practice green. After his opening-round victory in the Accenture Match Play Championship, Mickelson was asked about his latest pretournament ploy: a driving-range practice session Tuesday with Butch Harmon, Tiger Woods' former teacher. "I'm not going to go there," Mickelson said.-- New York Times

Most pros have tinkered with hybrid clubs, but not all have made the switch, including Annika Sorenstam and Tiger Woods. She has done quite well with a 7-wood in her bag. And for Woods, it was a big deal when he replaced his 2-iron - at some events - with a 5-wood. Some consider it a badge of honor to hit long irons and stubbornly refuse to make the move.-- St. Petersburg Times

Pro golfer Fuzzy Zoeller is teed off over what he calls defamatory statements about him on Wikipedia. But instead of suing the popular online reference site, Zoeller is taking a swing at a Miami company. In a lawsuit filed last week, Zoeller -- suing under the name John Doe -- alleged the statements were posted from a computer belonging to Josef Silny & Associates. Zoeller's attorney added there's no source to suggest any truth to the statements, which accuse Zoeller of abusing drugs, alcohol and his family.-- Miami Herald

In winning the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, which ended Feb. 11, Phil Mickelson hit 82 percent of the fairways. At the Nissan Open, he hit 53 percent. Even in his opening-round match against Richard Green on the wide fairways of the Gallery, Mickelson only hit 6 of 14 (43 percent) and made only two birdies.-- New York Times

While Tiger Woods is pursuing his eighth consecutive PGA Tour victory today in Marana, his niece will be trying to qualify for her first LPGA Tour event. Cheyenne Woods, who won last year's Class 5A state title, is among 31 golfers in the Safeway International Amateur Open.-- Arizona Republic

The second exemption for the Safeway International is being held open for Michelle Wie, who had accepted it and made housing arrangements for the tournament. Wie, who recently injured her left wrist when she fell while running, is expected to return to action for the Kraft Nabisco Championship the week after the Safeway but has asked Safeway tournament officials to hold off for the time being on offering the exemption to another player.-- Arizona Republic

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