Jay Busbee

  • Henrik Stenson wins magnificent British Open duel with Phil Mickelson

    Jay Busbee at Devil Ball Golf 6 days ago

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    All too often, the British Open is man versus nature, golfers battling swirling winds and sideways rain to hang onto some semblance of dignity and under-par scores. But the 145th British Open at Royal Troon was man versus man, Henrik Stenson versus Phil Mickelson, and the result — a Stenson victory that was in doubt until the final holes — was one of the best duels in golf history.

    This was golf as a heavyweight prizefight, two of the game’s best standing toe-to-toe and delivering their best, hole after hole after hole. In this corner, wearing black slacks and black pullover, the beloved Hall of Fame veteran seeking a major that would certify his career as among the best of all time. In this corner, wearing black slacks and a gray-and-black shirt, the game’s best player without a major, the genial Swede who was seeking to put a line in his biography above “guy who once played a shot in his underwear.” He’s done that.

    STENSON FRONT 9

    MICKELSON FRONT 9

    STENSON BACK 9 

    MICKELSON BACK 9

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  • British Open, final round: What to watch for

    Jay Busbee at Devil Ball Golf 7 days ago

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    The 145th British Open at Royal Troon has reached its final day, and after all the wind and rain and bunkers and gorse, we’re in for a treat. We’ve got two of the game’s finest at the top of the leaderboard, and stars both new and old lurking right on the margins. Here’s what to watch for during Sunday’s final round.

    Heavyweight Showdown: Call it “Brute Force In The Gorse.” In this corner, Phil Mickelson, the all-time great who could put an exclamation point on a signature career with a win. In the far corner, Henrik Stenson, the current Best Player Without A Major, an immensely popular Swede who’s never held a 54-hole lead in a major before. They’re both at least five strokes clear of the field, and Sunday’s showdown will have the feel of a Ryder Cup match play showdown. You won’t want to miss this one.

  • Phil Mickelson stands on the edge of the greatest major win in decades

    Jay Busbee at Devil Ball Golf 7 days ago

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    Nothing Phil Mickelson does comes easy.

    He’ll get himself into trouble and wriggle right back out of it time after time after time. He’s wrung birdies out of certain bogeys. He’s hit balls into galleries and watched them kick off patrons into the fairway. He’s created a Frankenstein putting stroke that’s uglier than a mutt but flows like mercury. He’s even found himself in the crosshairs of the federal government and sidestepped any real punishment. He’s Brett Favre in the pocket, Steph Curry in the backcourt, Bryce Harper with a bat; you have no idea what’ll happen next, but you have to watch.

    Nothing Mickelson does comes easy, which makes this week’s British Open at Royal Troon so fascinating. Mickelson has crafted, quite simply, the finest major of his career to this point, and he’s done it with very un-Phil-like mastery and control. He heads to Sunday’s final round in the final pairing with Henrik Stenson, within sight of his best chance in years to win his sixth major.

    And all was going smoothly until a brutal stretch on the back nine Saturday, when Mickelson’s tournament faced a brief moment of implosion.

     

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  • Rory McIlroy loses mind, snaps club at British Open

    Jay Busbee at Devil Ball Golf 7 days ago

    Your browser does not support iframes. It’s been a rough go for Rory McIlroy at the British Open. Always one of the favorites coming in, McIlroy wasn’t able to get anything going all week. Saturday began ugly in a hurry, with McIlroy bogeying three of the first five holes.

    By the 16th, he’d had enough. After an ugly approach shot, he slammed his three-wood to the unforgiving Scottish turf. The club didn’t survive.

    Click here for the full British Open leaderboard

    ____ Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

  • Bubba, Snedeker, Day hit everything but the green at the British Open

    Jay Busbee at Devil Ball Golf 7 days ago

    Moving Day at the British Open started pretty ugly for some of the biggest names in the game. Most of America slept through some fairly nasty golf, but we’ve got it right here for your perusal. First off, let’s check out Brandt Snedeker, firing a shot straight into a TV tower:

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    Bubba Watson got a lucky bounce from a sprinkler head:

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    But a few holes later, karma evened out the scales as his shot at 11 ended up on the train tracks:

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    And here’s world No. 1 Jason Day, shanking an approach right up to a hospitality tent:

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    It’s not pretty out there, but take heart: you don’t have to play it.

  • Watch all 63 shots of Phil Mickelson's record-tying British Open round

    Jay Busbee at Devil Ball Golf 8 days ago

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    Phil Mickelson came within a whisker of recording the greatest round ever in a major on Thursday. It was perhaps Phil’s greatest statistical round ever, and it’s set him up well for a run at a sixth major.

    Here, thanks to NBC Sports, you can watch all 63 of Mickelson’s shots from his remarkable round. Spoiler: it ends in heartbreak, but it’s a hell of a ride along the way.

    ____ Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

  • Behold the Beef: Andrew Johnston will be your new favorite golfer

    Jay Busbee at Devil Ball Golf 8 days ago

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    Meet Andrew Johnston. He’s from England. After a nice pair of 69s, he’s in the top 10 at the British Open. And he’s about to become your new favorite golfer.

    Johnston has all the hallmarks of a 21st-century sports brand: a strong game, a distinctive visage with his barrel-shaped body and shag-carpeting beard, a cheerful quote repertoire, and a killer nickname.

    “Beef.”

    Here are the facts on Beef, whom you’ll likely be seeing as long as he’s within sight of Phil Mickelson and the top of the leaderboard. A 27-year-old who’s spent most of his time on the European Tour and other smaller international tours, he’s kicked around the English game for a couple decades, turning pro shortly after family tragedy and scrapping and scraping until he started to break through. He’s got one European Tour victory, the Open de España earlier this year.

    Johnston’s embraced “Beef,” using it as his Twitter handle—@BeefGolf—and complying with wacky photo shoot requests. Earlier this month, when asked to pose for photos with a hamburger, Beef happily complied:

  • Important: Darren Clarke drops his gum mid-putt, chews it again

    Jay Busbee at Devil Ball Golf 8 days ago

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    IMPORTANT BRITISH OPEN NEWS: Darren Clarke dropped his gum and then ate it again .

    The 2011 Open champion was putting when the gum dropped from his mouth. After examination, Clarke invoked the R&A’s Rule 5.0 and popped it back in his mouth. Good thing the gum didn’t hit the ball, or we’d have ourselves a hell of a rules mess.

    Never ever forget golf is serious business.

    ____ Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

  • While You Were Sleeping: Day 2 at the British Open

    Jay Busbee at Devil Ball Golf 8 days ago

    The British Open is one of the finest events on the sports calendar, but it’s inconveniently scheduled when most of America is fast asleep. How rude. Anyway, here’s what you missed while you were sleeping on Thursday night and Friday morning.

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    Phil! Phil Mickelson came within a hairsbreadth of carving his name into golf history on Thursday, just barely missing a historic 62.  Mickelson rolled through the opening nine, extending his lead to as much as five strokes on the field, and didn’t make a bogey until the 12th. The early highlight of his round was a near-ace at the wicked Postage Stamp 8th.

    [The British Open leaderboard]

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    One more: You never quite know what you’re going to see at the British Open:

    Keegan Bradley gets up close and personal with a low-flying plane. #TheOpen pic.twitter.com/jfmvqX72QO

  • Phil Mickelson's near-ace highlights strong second round at British Open

    Jay Busbee at Devil Ball Golf 8 days ago

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    Phil Mickelson torched Royal Troon on Thursday, missing an all-time major-record 62 by less than the width of a golf ball. For Mickelson, the question always is, how will he handle prosperity? The answer on Friday: quite well.

    [Complete British Open leaderboard]

    Mickelson controlled his game in a way we haven’t often seen in his career, and carded three birdies on the front nine to push his total to -11 and extend his lead to as many as five strokes over the field. The highlight came at the Postage Stamp, the fearsome eighth, where Mickelson avoided complications entirely by nearly acing the darn thing.

    Mickelson also caught a real break with the weather; rains held off until he made the turn, and winds didn’t well up for most of his round. He probably won’t play as well over the weekend, but he won’t have to, since nastier conditions likely mean no one else will, either.

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