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Phil Mickelson returns to site of most crushing defeat

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Phil Mickelson returns to site of most crushing defeat

The scene of the crime awaits this week at Winged Foot.

The elephant in the room will be a 50-year-old, slimmed-down Phil Mickelson, who’s 14 years older than he was the last time the U.S. Open was played at the venerable Westchester golfing cathedral and still without a U.S. Open victory on his résumé.

The 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot will live in infamy — for all the wrong reasons for Mickelson, who famously blew a one-shot lead on the 72nd hole thanks to a drive that bounced off a hospitality tent and an even worse second shot that clipped a tree.

Mickelson’s shocking double bogey left Australian Geoff Ogilvy as the accidental-tourist champion and afterward these were the words “Lefty’’ said to reporters in one of the most baring-of-the-soul interviews you’ll ever encounter: “Well, I am still in shock that I did that. I just can’t believe that I did that. I am such an idiot.’’

He went on to say: “This one hurts more than any tournament because I had it won. I think the biggest reason why this is so disappointing is that this is a tournament that I dreamt of winning as a kid, that I spent hours practicing — I mean, countless hours practicing. I came out here weeks and months in advance to get ready and had it right there in my hand, man. It was right there and I let it go.’’

That U.S. Open was the fourth of the record six U.S. Opens in which Mickelson has finished runner-up. It came after 1999 at Pinehurst, 2002 at Bethpage Black and 2004 at Shinnecock Hills and before 2009 at Bethpage and 2013 at Merion.

Cruel?

Absolutely.

But don’t feel sorry for Mickelson.

He doesn’t need anyone’s pity, doesn’t want it.

Phil Mickelson in 2006 at Winged Foot.
Phil Mickelson in 2006 at Winged Foot.AP

He’d be fine living without a U.S. Open victory, despite the fact that he’s been on record since he was a kid swatting balls onto the green his father, Phil Sr., had built in the backyard of their San Diego home, saying that it was his most coveted title.

And he’ll be fine dying without a U.S. Open title, if that turns out to be the case.

What Mickelson has accomplished in his career — 44 PGA Tour victories, including five major championships — speaks for itself.

Sure, a U.S. Open victory would complete the rare career Grand Slam, something only five other players have done. But it would not change Mickelson’s life or make him any better of a player than he’s already been in his brilliant career.

“It doesn’t bother me at all,’’ Mickelson insisted to reporters when asked at last week’s Safeway Open if talking about his calamity at the 2006 U.S. Open bothers him. “It’s part of the deal. It’s part of playing golf. I’m to the point where I can laugh at it now.’’

He, in fact, has done some of that lately, poking fun at himself in a commercial in which he promises a free driver to the contest entrant whose favorite Callaway golfer wins the U.S. Open.

“Come on, we all know who it’s going to be,’’ he says in the commercial. “When have I ever let you down at Winged Foot?”

Last week when he caught wind that someone had bet on him to win the U.S. Open at 75-1 odds to potentially win more than $3 million, Mickelson took to Twitter and posted: “Heard someone placed 45k on me to win the open at 75-1 (pays 3.3 mil). Hoping for both of us I have a 3 shot lead on 18 tee.”

In 2016, when his brother Tim, who now caddies for him, was about to play in the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball at Winged Foot, Mickelson joked to him that he would give him advice only on the first 17 holes.

Mickelson is as adept at self-deprecation as he is dropping those high-degree-of-difficulty flop shots inches from the cup.

He, too, is one of the most resilient athletes I’ve ever encountered, which is as a big a reason for his success as his otherworldly talent, the reason why he keeps coming back and knocking at the door for more.

Can Mickelson this week exorcise the demons of 2006 at Winged Foot, finally win a U.S. Open and complete the career Slam?

The 75-1 odds in Vegas tell you it’s not highly likely. But bet on this: It’s going to be fun watching him try.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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REPORTS: Chargers Team Doctor Punctures Quarterback Tyrod Taylor’s Lung

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REPORTS: Chargers Team Doctor Punctures Quarterback Tyrod Taylor's Lung

The Los Angeles Chargers suffered their first loss of the season against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. This was their first game at the state-of-the-art SoFi Stadium. A major surprise before the game could kick-off was the inclusion of rookie Justin Herbert in place of quarterback Tyrod Taylor.

It was reported that the veteran shot-caller suffered an injury while warming up. However, NFL insider Adam Schefter revealed a new angle on the whole incident. To be honest, it doesn’t look pretty for the Chargers at the moment.

ALSO READ- “Cam Newton Has Worked Really Hard” – Coach Bill Belichick Lauds Veteran Quarterback

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Tyrod Taylor a doubt for Week Three encounter

NFL insider Adam Schefter was the first to reveal Taylor’s injury, which is worse than what was previously assumed. Schefter said that a Los Angeles Chargers medical personnel ‘accidentally’ punctured Tyrod’s lung just before the game while administering a pain-killer.

Previously, reports claimed that Taylor did not feature in the game against Kansas City Chiefs with a last-minute injury. Multiple reports suggest that Taylor’s legal team is planning to take legal action against the Chargers for this unfortunate incident.

However, this tweet indicates that their attempts to sue might not be successful.

There were also reports that he was rushed to the hospital from the SoFi Stadium on Sunday before the game even began. Taylor was expected to feature in the Week Three game against Carolina Panthers.

Justin Herbert starred in Taylor’s absence against the Kansas City Chiefs

Sep 20, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) throws a touchdown pass to wide receiver Jalen Guyton (not pictured) against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second quarter at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

In his absence, rookie quarterback Justin Herbert made his NFL debut. The youngster put in a strong performance but could not prevent a loss as the Chiefs secured a 20-23 win in their first away game of the season.

Herbert went 22-off-33 and threw for 311 yards with one passing TD and one interception. Lynn was happy with Herbert’s display against a strong Chiefs defense on Sunday. However, he revealed that Tyrod Taylor is still his first-choice quarterback for the ongoing 2020 NFL season.

However, following this chain of horrific developments on Wednesday, it remains to be seen whether Taylor makes the roster for Sunday’s game against the Panthers or not.

ALSO READ- “We Weren’t Supposed to Win That Game” – Ezekiel Elliott Still In Disbelief After Epic Win

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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From a Rookie to an Icon: Jimmie Johnson Completes Two Decades With Hendrick Motorsports

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Jimmie Johnson

Jimmie Johnson enjoyed a long and illustrious career in NASCAR. On September 22nd, 2000, he signed a deal with the Hendrick Motorsports team to race in the Winston Cup Series. 20 years down the line, the 45-year-old is set to close a chapter in his NASCAR book.

Who would have thought that the fresh-faced rookie in 2000, would soon become a 7-time Cup Series winner? Now in 2020, Jimmie Johnson is still loyal to Hendrick Motorsports. Since joining the team, he delivered all seven NASCAR Cup Series titles for the #48 car.

The Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports was a match made in heaven. It was even on par with the Dale Earnhardt-Richard Childress partnership and the Richard Petty-Petty Enterprises partnership.

ALSO READ- How Would NASCAR History Change Without the Dale Earnhardt-Richard Childress Partnership?

Jimmie Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports through the ages

Over the years, the Hendrick Motorsports team has driven with different car numbers and different drivers. However, when Johnson joined the team, all the way in 2001, he practically made the number 48 his own. So when he finally hangs up his boots at the end of the season, it will be hard to see any other driver in that #48 car.

To this day, Johnson has only ever switched numbers on one occasion. To be precise, he adopted the No. 5 as part of a sponsorship promotion for the non-points 2011 NASCAR All-Star Race.

Who knows, maybe the team could try and retire the number and ensure that he is always immortalized as the #48 driver. However, that is practically wishful thinking, even though Johnson is a legend.

He is also one of the few drivers who never changed teams during his career. Ever since the Hendrick Motorsports team recruited him, he has kept the faith in them through thick and thin.

Now, after 20 long years, 7 Cup Series titles, 83 wins, 36 poles, and 373 Top-10s later, he is all set to hang up his boots. Admittedly, his legacy will be immortal. All this in spite of the fact that he has missed out on overtaking Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Former Warriors Star Hails Top NBA Draft Prospect LaMelo Ball

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Former Warriors Star Hails Top NBA Draft Prospect LaMelo Ball

The 2020 NBA draft is almost here! There are several talented prospects lined up, and it will all unfold in November. One among the projected top picks is LaMelo Ball, who’s already proven his talent in a professional Australian league. He’s extremely skilled, and here’s a former Golden State Warriors star’s assessment from playing against LaMelo in the NBL.

LaMelo will land in the Top 3 picks, and it will be surprising to see if he drops below that. His possible landing destination remains a mystery. However, it is a story that’s already made the rounds. But not every day do we get to see a scouting report of LaMelo, especially from a #1 draft NBA draft pick!

We’re talking about Andrew Bogut, who was picked first in the 2005 draft by the Milwaukee Bucks. Though Bogut did not leave a lasting impression on the league, he won the 2015 championship with the Golden State Warriors. 

He moved to the NBL in 2018, and in the subsequent season, LaMelo Ball came in as a rookie and signed with the Illawarra Hawks. Naturally, Bogut met Ball as an opponent, and here’s what to say about the young talent from their brief meetings in the NBL:

“He has a chance to be a very good pro,” Bogut told Wes Goldberg of the Bay Area News Group. “His playmaking ability, when we played him, he seemed to make the right decisions every time down the floor.”

Ball won NBL Rookie of the Year, owing to his impressive averages of 17.0 PPG, 7.6 RPG, and 6.8 APG. He’s a talented youngster, but Bogut feels he’s yet to sharpen his defensive skills. 

Can the Golden State Warriors benefit from a player like LaMelo? 

The Warriors have the priceless #2 pick in their hands, hoping to land a talented star in the draft. Andrew Bogut spent four years with the Bay team, winning a ring during the process. Here’s what he had to say about LaMelo’s skills on the defensive end. 

“He obviously is very talented on the offensive end, just needs to step up defensively, but that’s probably just being a kid that’s never been taught defensive principles at 19 years old, so you got to give him the benefit of the doubt on that,” Bogut said.

“With six months to a year in an NBA system with some good coaching, I think they’ll clean up a lot of those deficiencies.”

The Golden State Warriors will have a tough time deciding on whom to pick in the upcoming draft. James Wiseman is a talented center who can stick with the Bay team and thrive under them. On the other hand, LaMelo is a gifted PG who will certainly look to make a mark as a rookie. 

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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