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Mickelson, Stricker Among 11 Tied for Second Behind Seamus Power

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Both Phil Mickelson and Steve Stricker shot 4-under 66 on Thursday in the St. Jude Classic and have vaulted into an 11-player tie for second place behind Seamus Power of Ireland.

“Oh, it was a great start for me,” Mickelson said (h/t ESPN). “I ended up finishing off the round. I had a nice little stretch there in the middle where I went birdie, eagle, and I was able to finish it off with some pars after some poor tee shots.

“It’s a good start. It’s not like you’re trying to win the tournament on Thursday. But it’s nice not to put myself too far behind so I’m playing catch-up. So another good round tomorrow will put me right in it for the weekend.”

“I still feel like I should play out here. I belong out here. I’m trying to stick with that,” said Stricker.

“If you don’t make any, you don’t lose too much ground and you can make it up quick,” Mickelson said.

“It’s just a course that’s hard to go really low on. That’s something I’ve picked up on this golf course over the years. There’s a lot more big numbers on this course than you think. Water comes into play. There’s just some challenges. So I ended up eliminating the big numbers and fortunate enough to salvage par on No. 9 and 12 in today’s round.”

 

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European Tour Suspends Thorbjorn Olesen

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Thorbjorn Olesen

The European Tour has officially suspended Thorbjorn Olesen pending the investigation into his recent arrest on charges of being drunk on an aircraft a and assaulting a female passenger while she slept.

Olesen was arrested at Heathrow Airport on July 29th upon his return from the World Golf Championships event in Tennessee, and he is set to appear in court on August 21st to face charges of sexual assault, being drunk on an aircraft and common assault, according to Metropolitan Police in London.

The European Tour issued a statement saying that Olesen has been suspended pending the outcome of his case, adding that they would not make any further comments on the matter while the legal process moves forward.

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USGA Announced Amateur Champs Can Turn Pro, Play in US Open

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USGA

The USGA announced on Monday their decision that, starting with this year’s tournaments, the reigning U.S. Amateur and U.S. Women’s Amateur champions will be able to utilize their exemptions in the following year’s U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open even if they decide to turn pro, according to ESPN’s Mark Schlabach.

Prior to the new rule, the amateur champions received exemptions in the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open only if they maintained their amateur status.

“We believe this change gives our champions an important option as they choose whether and when to embark on their professional careers,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA managing director, Champions. “Given the significant purses awarded at the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open, we realize how important it is for players to make the most appropriate decision for his or her career, and the positive impact it could have at the outset of their professional careers.”

“Given the opportunities afforded the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Women’s Amateur champions, we want to make sure they are able to take advantage of as many as possible,” Bodenhamer said. “We feel strongly that our reigning champions have earned their places in the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open, regardless of their amateur status.”

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Tiger Woods Commits to Playing First Two FedEx Cup Playoff Events

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Tiger Woods has officially committed to playing in the first two events of the FedEx Cup Playoffs taking place next month, according to ESPN’s Mark Schlabach.

Woods, 43, skipped the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational that took place in Memphis last week, and has played only four times since winning the Masters for the fifth time back in April of this year.

Woods officially announced that he is committed to playing at The Northern Trust at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey next week, and at the BMW Championship at Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Illinois, which takes place the week after.

It will mark only the second time this season that Woods has played in tournaments in consecutive weeks. 

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