Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 12th 2013 Contents A43
Friday, July 12, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
INVERNESS---Phil Mickelson eased back
into links golf with a fluent 6-under 66
at the Scottish Open, leaving him omi-
nously positioned behind two Englishman
atop the leaderboard after a low-scoring
first round yesterday.
John Parry, ranked No 471, held the club-
house lead after a bogey-free 64 and Simon
Khan (65) also tamed the Castle Stuart
course in perfect morning conditions in the
Scottish Highlands to sit alone in second.
Mickelson, however, was lurking in a tie
for third with six others after quickly hitting
his stride in the warm-up event for next
week s British Open, finding his range on
and around the greens to card six birdies
and an eagle.
Twenty-one years into a trophy-laden
professional career, the four-time major
winner insists there is still time for him to
"conquer links golf," a style of play that
would hardly come naturally to a player
hailing from sunny California.
And his stylish opening round suggested
a first win in Europe since 1993 could come
either here or a few hours south in Muirfield
Rebounding from three-putting for a
bogey on his first hole that left him mut-
tering to himself, Mickelson made a 15-foot
putt for eagle at No 12, his third hole, and
never looked back. The decision to install
five greens, all with different surfaces, in
his garden to improve his putting is paying
off this year.
Mickelson, fresh off missing the cut at
the Greenbrier Classic last week and the
heartbreak of his runner-up finish at the
US Open last month, felt he still "let a few
shots go" in his first round of links golf
since missing the cut at last year s British
Open. The same can t be said of Parry.
Outside the world s top 600 in December,
Parry is in his first year back on the European
Tour after losing his card in 2011 and his
confidence has been boosted by a surprise
28th-place finish at last month s US Open,
his first major.
Everything went right for him after going
out in the second group at 7.40 am, birdieing
four of his first six holes. Picking up a shot
at the last pushed him ahead of Khan, who
had just finished as part of the first group,
and left Parry with a broad grin on his face.
Shane Lowry, Mikko Ilonen, James Mor-
rison, Kiradech Aphibarnrat all shot 66s
with Mickelson in the morning session.
Thongchai Jaidee and Chris Doak joined the
seven-man group in a tie for third place a
few hours later.
Castle Stuart, criticised for being one-
dimensional and too easy by Graeme
McDowell last month, was left defenceless
in the morning, a sea of red on the score-
board reflecting how gentle the early con-
ditions were. Only 14 of the 78 players
setting out in the morning session finished
over par, and 117 of the 156-man field broke
But with the wind picking up off the
Moray Firth, the afternoon starters, among
them the last two British Open champions,
Darren Clarke and Ernie Els, found things
slightly tougher and no one came close to
threatening Parry s score.
Thongchai missed a short putt for birdie
on No 18 to deny him a tie for second
overnight, after the Thai started with three
straight birdies. England s Chris Wood was
4 under after three holes but finished on
Clarke, who mastered the links at Royal
St George s to win his home major in 2011,
shot 3 under after going bogey-free over 18
holes for only the second time this season.
Els was level par in his last tournament
before defending his Open title.
Mickelson makes ominous
start at Scottish tourney
NEW YORK---The New York Knicks believe a new
home will help Italian forward Andrea Bargnani
regain his old form.
The Knicks acquired the former No 1 overall pick
from Toronto, hoping he can rally from a poor 2012-
13 season and help them remain among the top
teams in the NBA s Eastern Conference.
Bargnani battled an elbow injury last season and
his scoring average dropped to just 12.7 points in
35 games in what was his worst season since his
second year in the league. But the Knicks sent three
players and three draft picks to the Raptors, counting
on Bargnani s outside shooting and hoping for
improvement in his rebounding and defence.
Bargnani was the top pick in 2006 and just three
seasons ago averaged a career-best 21.4 points.
return to form in NY
OMAHA---Peter Jacobsen has withdrawn from
the US Senior Open because of heat-related ill-
Jacobsen was treated by paramedics after he fin-
ished nine holes yesterday. The 2004 US Senior
Open champion started his round on the tenth hole
at Omaha Country Club and shot a 3-over-par 38.
He didn t require additional medical care.
The 59-year-old Jacobsen, who won seven times
on the US PGA Tour and has two career victories
on the Champions Tour, teed off shortly after 7.30
am, when temperatures were in the mid-70s F
(mid-20s C). The high is forecast to be in the mid-
80s (30 C).
Heat illness forces
Jacobsen out of
US Senior Open
Phil Mickelson pumps his fist after making
a birdie putt on the tenth hole during the
first round of the Greenbrier Classic PGA
tour golf tournament at the Greenbrier in
White Sulphur Springs. AP PHOTO
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