Different Strokes: Tiger and Phil look Southern Hills bound

Woods gave his strongest indicator yet that he will play in year’s second Major

If you were a betting man, then you’d mark a docket with the names of both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson to play at the US PGA Championship at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in just three weeks time.

Woods gave his strongest indicator that he will play in the year’s second Major when he paid a visit to the venue last week – where he was given the inside track on the course setup by Cary Cozvy, the director of golf, who served as the player’s caddie during the reconnaissance visit.

Mickelson, the defending champion, hasn’t been so public in his planning but Lefty – who hasn’t played anywhere since the Saudi International in early-February – has at least officially entered to defend his title while also posting an official entry for the US Open and requesting a release from the PGA Tour to play in the inaugural Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf tournament in London next month.

According to his agent Steve Loy, Mickelson has filed those entries and release request in order to “keep all options open.”


The field for Southern Hills will be finalised on May 9th, following the completion of this week’s Wells Fargo Championship.

Word of mouth

"I've been chasing this one for a while and to be able to come through here, in my home (course) with my family and friends watching (is unbelievable)... (getting inside the world's top-50) is a target of mine this year we had a target set. I feel like I belong there, so I'm looking forward to moving up". Adri Arnaus after his win in the Catalunya Championship on the DP World Tour. It moved the Spaniard from 84th to a career best 52nd in the official world rankings.

Walsh aiming for Major date

Lauren Walsh’s playing schedule is already choc-a-bloc for the weeks and months ahead, but the Kildare player – currently ranked 29th on the women’s world amateur standings – is aiming to add a Major date to her diary.

Into her final year of college at Wake Forest, Castlewarden member Walsh – who has been selected for the Britain and Ireland Curtis Cup team for the match against the United States at Merion Golf Club outside Philadelphia next month – is competing in the US Women’s Open qualifying at Mid Pines Inn and Golf Club today (Tuesday).

There are three places and two reserve spots on offer at the sectional qualifier for the championship which takes place at Pines Needles on June 16th-19th. The Curtis Cup takes place the previous weekend, from June 10th-12th.

Walsh will also have to pack in a likely appearance in the US collegiate championships with Wake Forest before planning any trips back to this side of the pond.

By the numbers

15: In demonstrating the international appeal of the championships, no fewer than 15 countries will be represented when the Flogas Irish Women's and Girls' Amateur Open Championship takes place at Co Louth Golf Club on May 6th-8th and the Irish Men's Amateur Open Championship takes place at The Island Golf Club on May 12th-15th.

On this day

In 1992, a decade after playing in his first PGA Tour event, and three years after securing his full card on the circuit, Fred Funk finally eked out a breakthrough win in the Shell Houston Open where his four rounds total of 16-under-par 272 earned him a payday of $216,000.

The win came out of the blue, having struggled in the weeks prior to the event, but he found the form of his life in a week which included a course-record 62 on the Woodlands TPC course as he moved into the winner’s position for the first time.

“A couple of weeks before (the tournament), I was probably as low as I could get confidence-wise. I didn’t think I was going to go any further and, then, out of nowhere, I won that week. That kind of got me going,” confessed Funk of the first of eight career wins on the PGA Tour.

In the bag

Jon Rahm at the Mexico Open Driver – Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond LS (11 degrees) 3-wood – Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond T HL (15 degrees) 5-wood – Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond T (18 degrees) Irons – Callaway X Forged UT 2021 (22 degrees), Callaway Apex TCB (4-PW) Wedges – Callaway Jaws Forged (52, 56 and 60 degrees) Putter – Odyssey White Hot OG Rossie S Ball – Callaway Chrome Soft X

Twitter twaddle

My friend's parents had their coveted @landRover_UK Defender T762 BRV stolen from their driveway in Fleet, Hampshire last night. They'd driven all over Africa in George. Please keep your eyes open for him Justin Rose doing a bit of his own crime watch endeavours in seeking the recovery of a stolen landrover.

TBH….I really dislike the course sooooooooo much….I detest the greens. So I figure….Why go there if I'm going to be driven crazy from that….Time better spent at home #golflife 'JustSayn #ItHappens #Brutal Scott Hend brutally honest in responding to a query on Twitter as to why he didn't enter the British Masters at The Belfry this week.

Great Course setup these last two weeks on @DPWorldTour. That's how it should be every week! High rough and the greens as firm as nature allows! Bernd Wiesberger praising the get tough policy on course set-ups on the European Tour.

Know the rules

Q: In strokeplay, a player's ball in a bunker moves due to his removal of a loose impediment in the bunker. He replaces the ball on its original spot. What is the ruling?

A: As the moved ball was at rest in a location other than the putting green, the player gets a one stroke penalty under Rule 9.4b (Penalty for lifting or deliberately touching ball or causing it to move). There is no penalty for moving the loose impediment.

Philip Reid

Philip Reid

Philip Reid is Golf Correspondent of The Irish Times