Golf: March 26, 2007

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Phil Mickelson drew attention yesterday when he was spotted working with Butch Harmon on the nearby Red Course at Doral before his final round. Mickelson stressed that Rick Smith, who was not here this week, remains his swing coach and that he was merely seeking out Harmon's perspective. -- New York Post

Style and substance be damned, Tiger Woods played the 467-yard 18th at Doral in true defensive fashion yesterday. A 3-iron off the tee, an 8-iron layup, a wedge to the back of the green, then two safe putts for a 1-over-par 73 that completed his work at 10-under 278, two shots clear of Brett Wetterich. -- Boston Globe

Shell Houston Open officials hope that setting up the course similar to the Masters will help draw better fields in the future. Redstone can't re-create Augusta's Amen corner ambience or the ear-popping elevation changes. What Redstone can do ? weather permitting ? is challenge the players with greased-lightning greens and risk-reward shot demands. To that end, Redstone superintendent Roger Goettsch made a careful study of the Augusta setup and course conditions for the Masters. -- Houston Chronicle

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem yesterday addressed the controversy surrounding Sergio Garcia spitting into the cup at the 13th hole in frustration on Saturday. "I'm sure we'll have a conversation about it," Finchem said. "I'm very confident it's a one-(time) situation." "I apologized already," Garcia snapped when asked again about the incident. -- New York Post

After Robert Allenby shot a five-under-par 67 ? yesterday's best round ? he predicted that he might be on the leader board come Sunday at the Masters. "If I can putt like I did today, I'll be in with a chance," he said. "I'm hitting the ball great, and I hit a lot of good shots. I'm confident going there." -- New York Times

Tiger Woods has won six different tournaments at least three times in a row; no other PGA Tour golfer in history can claim to have done that in more than two. -- Boston Globe