Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Phil the Thrill one shot shy of fab 59 in Arizona

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Phil Mickelson missed out on a 59 by a fraction of an inch Thursday in the first round of the Phoenix Open.

Mickelson had a chance to become the sixth player in PGA Tour history to break 60 with a 25-foot birdie attempt on his last hole, the par-4 ninth at TPC Scottsdale. The putt looked good all the way, and Mickelson pointed his putter at the cup as he prepared to celebrate.

Right at the end, though, the ball caught the right edge of the cup, curled 180 degrees to the other side of the hole and stayed out.

"Six feet to go, it was in the centre," Mickelson said. "Three feet to go, it was in the centre. A foot to go, it was in the centre, and even as it's approaching the hole, I couldn't envision which side of the hole it could possibly miss on, and it ended up somehow just dying off at the end, catching the lip. At that speed, to lip out as much as it did is very rare.

"I'm excited to shoot 60, but to see that last putt lip out the way it did and not go in, it's crushing because you don't get that chance very often to shoot 59."

His caddie, Jim Mackay, fell to his knees and stayed there several seconds.

"He could not have hit a better putt," Mackay said.

Playing partners Jason Dufner and Rickie Fowler thought it was going in, too.

"Unlucky. He was walking it in," Dufner said.

"I thought it was in," Fowler said. "I was pulling for him, trying to stay out of his way."

Mickelson settled for an 11-under 60, matching the tournament record he already shared with Grant Waite and Mark Calcavecchia.

"Well, 60 is awesome," Mickelson said. "Last time I shot 60 here in '05, I birdied like the last three or four holes just to do that, and I was ecstatic, and I'm ecstatic to shoot 60. But there's a big difference between 60 and 59. Not that big between 60 and 61, there really isn't. But there's a big barrier, a Berlin Wall barrier, between 59 and 60."

-- The Associated Press

PGA Tour Canada in Winnipeg July 18-21

OAKVILLE, Ont. -- The Times Colonist Island Savings Open will be the first event on the inaugural PGA Tour Canada season.

The tournament from June 6-9 will be played in Victoria, one of seven confirmed events on the tour's 2013 calendar.

"We are delighted to announce the inaugural schedule of PGA Tour Canada," PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said Thursday in a release. "This Tour presents a tremendous opportunity for the growth of the game in Canada and we're excited about the future of this tour in the coming years."

Other tour stops include Calgary (June 20-23), Saskatoon (July 4-7), Fort McMurray, Alta., (July 11-14), Winnipeg (July 18-21) and Ben Eoin, N.S., (Sept. 5-8). The PGA Tour Canada season will wrap up Sept. 12-15 with the Tour Championship, at a venue to be determined.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 1, 2013 C4

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