Friday, December 23, 2005

Quick hits: Mickelson wants mandatory play, Rubenstein says goodbye to Stan

  • Thanks to Geoff Shackelford for finding Phil Mickelson's comments on the state of the tour. Interestingly, Mickelson seems to be in favour of forcing PGA Tour players to play a certain number of events. Phil's sharp enough to recognize sponsors might actually be willing to pay more if he and Tiger show up in Milwaukee and Toronto every few years. And more sponsor money means more jet fuel for the G5. Mickelson: "Well the Tour needs to be run independent of the players. And run as an entity just like Nascar does with their drivers. They force them to play certain events and you stand up and say, “look, if you don’t play these 12 events, and you don’t play the four majors and you don’t play the Players Championship and the World Golf Championship’s, you don’t have a card next year. You can’t play any of them.” Of course we’re going to play."
  • Lorne Rubenstein writes about Stan Leonard's death. The most interesting comment came from Gary Alles, who caddied for Leonard in 1962 : "Alles chuckled when he remembered Leonard, as do many people, as a feisty competitor who wasn't always easy to be around or to caddy for. One story has it that caddies during a Canadian Open in Montreal were so annoyed with him that they threw his bag into the St. Lawrence River.
    "He was a grouchy bugger," Alles said. "But he could play." Like Al Balding, Leonard often felt his career was overshadowed by a lesser talent, Moe Norman. While Balding and Leonard won on the PGA Tour, Norman's inability to make putts kept him from winning anywhere but Canada. Though he couldn't roll it on the short stuff, Norman became Canada's golfing Rainman and Leonard (and Balding) both felt he was undeservedly given too much credit. Rubenstein's full story is here.

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