Big Play With Tom Patri

May 20, 2007

WHO: PhilMickelson

WHAT: 48-yardwedge to four feet for a birdie

WHERE: 535-yard,par-5 11th hole at TPC Sawgrass

WHEN: Final roundof the Players

WHY
Shortening the driver swing should be easier for Mickelson because of his wedgegame. Mickelson has unrivaled feel and distance control with his wedges becausehe perfectly manipulates the length of his swings. He demonstrated that withhis low punch at 11 to set up the birdie that gave him a two-shot lead. Nowwith Butch Harmon's help, Mickelson simply has to transfer his wedge skill tohis driver swing. Mickelson's driver swing looked more compact, but the realtest of his progress will come during the U.S. Open at Oakmont.

TOM'S TIP

Dial in YourDistance Control

To gain distancecontrol, hit practice shots with quarter-, half- and three-quarter-lengthbackswings (below) and note how far the ball travels with each. To make sureyour swing length is accurate and consistent, stand facing a mirror or, withthe sun behind you, use your shadow--don't trust your instincts--until you geta feel for each position.

Tom Patri teachesat Friar's Head in Baiting Hollow, N.Y.

... AND ANOTHERTHING

"If you don'tbelieve--or try to believe--the things Rory Sabbatini has said recently aboutTiger Woods, you can't compete on Tour."

GOLF MAGAZINE TOP100 TEACHERS POLL
If your choices to win the U.S. Open were Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, whichwould you choose?

Tiger... 76%

Phil ... 24%

"Your heartsays Phil, but your head has to say Tiger."

--JIM MURPHY,SUGAR CREEK COUNTRY CLUB

[This articlecontains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

LPGA Rock Stars

The pecking orderof tournaments on the PGA Tour goes like this: major championships, top-tierevents (like last week's Players Championship) and second-tier competitions(hello, PODS Championship). A similar division exists on the LPGA tour, andlast week the ladies played one of their marquee nonmajors, the Michelob UltraOpen at Kingsmill, in Williamsburg, Va., which Suzann Pettersen (above) wonover Jee Young Lee in a playoff. Like the girls who play them, thesetournaments rock, so we've ranked the LPGA's top nonmajors on a tourwide scalethat employs, well, rocks.

Event Purse Selling Points Rocks
ADT Championship $1.55M Limited to 30 players; exciting format 5
Ginn Open $2.6M Big $; Orlando location puts it in the heart of golfcountry 4 1/2
Michelob Ultra Open $2.2M Fantastic course; four-round event; loaded field 4 1/2
Safeway International $1.5M Prime date as mainland kickoff; storied history;exciting course 4
HSBC Match Play Championship $2.0M Top 64 in the world; match-play quirkiness 4
Evian Masters $3.0M Big bucks; field of 76; no cut; internationalflavor 4
Ginn Tribute Hosted by Annika $2.6M New, but serious $ and superstar's name on it 3


RATINGS KEY

5 Almost a major;4 Gets Michelle Wie out of class; 3 Bigger than a Nationwide event; 2 Nothingfor Morgan Pressel to cry over; 1 Not even on Golf Channel

PHOTOCOURTESY OF NBC (MICKELSON) PHOTOERICK W. RASCO (BACKGROUND, PATRI 4) PHOTOERICK W. RASCO (BACKGROUND, PATRI 4)Quarter PHOTOERICK W. RASCO (BACKGROUND, PATRI 4)Half PHOTOERICK W. RASCO (BACKGROUND, PATRI 4)Three-quarter PHOTOJONATHAN ERNST/GETTY IMAGES (PETTERSEN) PHOTOCHRIS CONDON/PGA TOUR/WIREIMAGE.COM (WOODS) PHOTOBRENDAN MCDERMID/EPA/CORBIS (ROCK)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)