When Phil Mickelson fired a sparkling first-round 64 at Quail Hollow earlier this month he told his brother and caddie, Tim, that he was sure he was ready to win again.
Those words probably seemed rather hollow during the days that followed. The veteran left-hander stumbled to rounds of 75-76-76 to finish a miserable 69th, a result perfectly in keeping with his seemingly inexorably deteriorating status.
But within a couple of weeks Mickelson was proven correct in spectacular and historic fashion by claiming his sixth major title in the month prior to his 51st birthday.
Victory in the US PGA Championship at Kiawah Island on Sunday made him golf’s oldest major winner.
And now the 50-year-old is dreaming and perhaps believing he can become just the sixth player to complete the career Grand Slam at next month’s US Open in his home town of San Diego.
Regardless of whether he succeeds, Mickelson has emphatically demonstrated golf’s unique capacity to reward players of all ages. He succeeds Collin Morikawa, 27 years younger and one the sport’s most exciting young talents, as PGA champion.
“I believed for a long time that I could play at this level again,” Mickelson insisted after Sunday’s victory. “I didn’t see why I couldn’t, but I wasn’t executing the way I believed I could.”
And that belief was tested to the limit during the tumultuous and dramatic final round that unfolded in an unforgettable 103rd PGA Championship.
Phil Mickelson and his brother and caddie Tim
The importance of a strong caddie was in evidence again this week as Tim helped Phil to a historic major win
Indeed, it took a largely unseen intervention from the champion’s caddie to keep his title quest on track.
There was a point when Tim Mickelson wondered whether if his sibling might be about to fade from contention, despite holding a one-shot lead after 54 holes and enjoying a perfect warm-up to the final round.
Heading to the seventh tee, the brothers were fearing the worst. Phil was still in front and had gained momentum by pitching in from the sand for birdie at the par-three fifth, but something was not right.
“I made some uncommitted swings the first six holes,” the player admitted before crediting his closest confidant for making a crucial contribution.
“He pulled me aside and said, ‘If you’re going to win this thing, you’re going to have to make committed golf swings’,” Mickelson said.
“It hit me in the head, I can’t make passive [swings], I can’t control the outcome, I have to swing committed. The first one I made was the drive on seven.”
An old head on an old body suddenly played with the verve of youth and to a level beyond his main and younger rivals, Brooks Koepka (31) and Louis Oosthuizen (38).
And by the end Mickelson was the central figure in what felt like a lockdown coming-out party. Thousands of fans defied the US PGA Championship’s Covid-19 protocols and thronged around the closing green, with the champion the absolute focal point.
Koepka was swallowed up by the crowds, angry and discomfited as his fragile knee was banged as he too was swamped on the closing hole.
Such scenes were as unimaginable in the dark days of spectator-free sport as it was to envisage a player who had slumped to 115 in the world ever again lifting one of golf’s big four prizes.
But, in truth, it was only when he gingerly lifted the Wanamaker Trophy that Mickelson truly seemed his advanced age. The giant silver cup is one of the heaviest prizes in sport and Mickelson struggled to raise it beyond shoulder height.
“This is maybe his greatest win because of the golf course, the venue, the odds against him,” said the player’s long-time agent Steve Loy.
The manager had texted his client earlier in the day, saying: “Phil, I’m getting too old for this, but you aren’t. Let’s get it done.”
After the victory, Loy added: “This is, I don’t want to say, the final finale. It ain’t, he thinks he’s 25 years old again.”
That is one of the reasons why Mickelson is now turning his concerted attention to Torrey Pines and his 30th attempt to secure the US Open, the one major he has never won. It starts on 17 June, the day after his 51st birthday.
Before last week, he needed a special invitation to be eligible for the year’s third major. Now he is exempt for the next five and the invite – that some found questionable – has been rendered redundant.
“I believe that if I stay sharp mentally I can play well at Torrey Pines,” Mickelson said. “I’ll take two weeks off before that and go out to Torrey and spend time on the greens and really try to be sharp for that week.
“I know that I’m playing well and this could very well be my last really good opportunity to win a US Open. So I’m going to put everything I have into it.”
Tim Mickelson believes completing the career Grand Slam is an achievable goal next month. “I don’t see why not,” said the caddie when assessing his brother’s chances in their home city.
Regardless of whether more history is achieved, Mickelson has already given golf another massive injection of interest. Kiawah Island was supposed to be the longest course in major history but it demanded far more than brute force.
The champion’s composure and craft around the greens has delighted golfing purists. General sports fans will be captivated by his mammoth hitting from a long, flowing swing that protects an arthritic body from injury and helps him go for broke.
“My desire to play is the same,” Mickelson stated. “I’ve never been driven by exterior things.
“I’ve always been intrinsically motivated because I love to compete, I love playing the game. I love having opportunities to play against the best at the highest level.
“That’s what drives me. The belief that I could still do it inspired me to work harder.
“I just didn’t see why it couldn’t be done. It just took a little bit more effort.”
Those endeavours paid off in spectacular style. And think about this – Kiawah Island, as a golfing challenge, is not far removed from another Pete Dye design, Whistling Straits, the home of this year’s Ryder Cup.
Mickelson is back in the frame for Wisconsin and a record 13th successive appearance in the American team. This would previously have been an extraordinary and fanciful prospect in the eyes of most observers, but Mickelson might be less surprised.
After all, he was pretty sure something good was about to happen after Quail Hollow a couple of weeks ago and such confidence was quickly proven extremely well founded.
Tokyo Olympics: Simone Biles reunites with boyfriend back in Texas at NFL practice
Simone Biles reunited with boyfriend Jonathan Owens back in Texas as she attended his NFL team’s practice in Houston.
The Olympic great on Thursday arrived back in the United States from Tokyo, where she won a bronze medal in the beam after pulling out of a string of other events to concentrate on her mental health.
Ms Biles was greeted by her family and hundreds of cheering fans as she arrived back at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport from the Tokyo 2020 games.
She spent the day at the training camp and even posted a picture of their pair together on Instagram
“Morning with bae,” she wrote on on e social media post, while on another she said, “open practices aka bring your girlfriend to work day.”
Ms Biles lives near her parents and currently dates Mr Owens, a defensive player who is on a two-year contract worth $1.39m with the Texans.
“He would say I slid into his DMs,” Ms Biles told The Wall Street Journal.
“I saw him and I was like, ‘Oh, he’s pretty cute,’ so I said hi … and then I saw that he was in the Houston area, so we started chatting a little bit, and then we went to hang out a week or two later.”
Her sister eventually interrupted a FaceTime call and invited Mr Owens on a lake house trip, to which he brought his English bull dog Zeus, and Ms Biles took along her French bulldog, Lilo.
Mr Owen has told Texas Monthly that he did not know who Ms Biles was when they first met, despite her international success and fame.
Ms Biles, 24, won four Olympic gold medals at Rio 2016 in the team event, the individual all-around, the vault, and the floor exercise, as well as a bronze medal in the balance beam.
Gymnasts have described the predicament as a mental block where the athlete’s body feels disconnected from their brain and they do not know where they are in the air.
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All The Celebrities Who Went Wild Over Jennifer Aniston & Brad Pitt’s SAG Awards Reunion
Fans weren’t the only ones who went wild over Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt’s Screen Actors Guild Awards reunion.
Celebrities all over social media also expressed shock and excitement after photos of the famous exes chatting and embracing at the gala spread through the internet.
As RadarOnline.com readers know, Aniston’s Friends co-star and best friend Courteney Cox liked a series of social media posts about the reunion, including a comment posted by a Twitter fan that read: “They still love each other, no doubt.”
Fans know that while the actors divorced in 2005 after seven years together, they recently rekindled their friendship following Pitt’s split from Angelina Jolie. The Ad Astra actor, 56, even attended his ex’s 50th birthday party, and referred to her as a “good friend” in an interview before their SAG run-in.
While both have denied romance rumors, photos of Pitt holding Aniston’s hand and gazing lovingly at her while backstage at the awards show renewed fans’ hopes of a romantic reunion.
“This is my ‘Do not break our hearts again, Brad’ face,” Michelle Monaghan captioned an Instagram selfie.
“Kelly Kapoor losing her sh**,” comedienne Mindy Kaling captioned a photo of Pitt and Aniston’s reunion, referencing her character on The Office.
Various other stars, including Jamie Lynn Spears, Rumer Willis, Morgan Stewart, Jordin Sparks, Stephanie Shepherd and Brooklyn Decker reacted to a post about the reunion shared on E! News’ Instagram.
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“WE WILL BE TELLING OUR GRANDKIDS ABOUT THIS. THATS sic HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS,” Spears, 28, wrote, clearly thrilled.
“My tender heart can’t take this,” Willis, 31, joked.
“I’m not emotionally prepared to handle this at this stage in my life,” Stewart, 30, wrote, possibly referencing her recent split from husband Brendan Fitzpatrick.
“Omg,” Sparks, 30, commented along with a crying emoji.
“I AM NOT OKAY,” Shepherd, 30, admitted.
“Is that a finger UNDER a lapel?!?” Decker, 32, asked.
“Oh,” Modern Family star Sarah Hyland wrote, seemingly speechless.
“AHHHHHHH,” Bachelorette star JoJo Fletcher commented.
Even Blink-182 got in on the action, writing, “Fell in love with the girl at the SAG show,” twisting the lyrics of their 2001 song “The Rock Show.”
At the ceremony, Aniston, 50, won the award for outstanding female in a drama series for her role on The Morning Show, while Pitt took home the SAG Award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a supporting role for his part in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Pitt went backstage to watch Aniston give her acceptance speech on a TV nearby. He got emotional while cheering her on in silence. When E! News shared the clip on Twitter, celebrities and fans could not contain their delight.
Scarlett Johansson Just Talked About Ex Husband Ryan Reynolds For The First Time In Years
Once upon a time Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson fell madly in love and got married. The two were very private about their relationship, and there are little to no photos of them online and they rarely talked about each other in the media. Their marriage ended eight years ago and it’s been pretty quiet, but recently Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds’ marriage was talked about for the first time in a while.
Johansson discussed her first marriage with Reynolds in an interview with Vanity Fair.
When asked about her experience with divorce, she shared what she’s learned from it, and didn’t mention Reynolds by name.
She said, “I mean, the first time I got married I was 23 years old. I didn’t really have an understanding of marriage. Maybe I kind of romanticized it, I think, in a way. It’s a different part of my life now. I feel like I’m in a place in my life, I feel I’m able to make more active choices. I’m more present, I think, than I’ve been before.”
The actress didn’t say more about Reynolds but kept her answer short and sweet.
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Johansson was also married to Romain Dauriac for three years, which ended in 2017. They share daughter Rose who’s five-years-old.
She talked about her child right before discussing Reynolds.
The Avengers star told Vanity Fair, “The idea of building a family, making a family, and having that work, I like that idea. I think that would be wonderful. I’ve always wanted that. I wanted that also in my marriage to my daughter’s father as well. It just wasn’t the right person.”
Now 35-years-old, Johansson is engaged to Colin Jost from Saturday Night Live. Incidentally, that’s the same show that Reynolds made a surprise appearance on last weekend.
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Reynolds has been happily married to Blake Lively since 2012, and they share three daughters together, one of whom was born earlier this year.
The couple loves to have fun in Instagram photos, are often spotted going out for date nights, and even roast each other on social media.
Golf: Phil Mickelson shows off dramatic body transformation
Phil Mickelson used to get shredded by the media and golf fans about his portly appearance — now he is shredded.
The five-time major winner affectionately known as Lefty used to be one of the larger players on tour, prompting one scribe to write this about Mickelson in 2009.
“One of the reasons I love to watch athletes is that besides their talents, they are awesome physical specimens to behold. Even though Phil Mickelson seems to be a nice guy and a pretty good golfer who can eke out a win when Tiger’s home with the family rehabbing his knee. He has got man boobs,” the scribe wrote.
“Mickelson is not even really fat. He just suffers from male pattern boobness. Guybags. Senor snubes. Mister Titster. He-man Hooters. Boyzoombas. Cock ‘n Knockers. Mancans. Chesticles with Testicles. Papa Tatas. Mickelson Mogambos.
“Now as snarky as this sounds, I am not even saying his daddy dumplings turn me off. I am just saying that when Mickelson strides down the fairway, he looks like a breasty shift manager at the local Best Buy who cannot say ‘no’ to doughnuts in the break room, not a kick ass world class athlete.”
Mickelson was even forced to address it himself a decade ago when his commitment to winning was questioned. “I have put on some weight,” Mickelson told Golf magazine in 2010. “I tend to fluctuate with my wife, Amy. When she’s pregnant, I seem to put on weight. When she’s not, I seem to lose it with her. The weight fluctuations are an emotional thing, I guess …
“I wish I had visceral fat instead of subcutaneous fat. When I gain weight I gain it underneath the skin rather than beneath the muscle.”
Chelsea Manning reacts to Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover amid Grimes romance
Chelsea Manning doesn’t care if she’s on Elon Musk’s Twitter “ban list.”
When a follower tweeted at the famed whistleblower Monday that she should be “careful” because she is “first on his ban list,” Manning responded, “who cares?”
The Tesla founder purchased the social medium for $44 billion earlier Monday and tweeted that he hoped even his “worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means,” so perhaps Manning stands a chance.
If not, she told the aforementioned follower that she will “just play minecraf [sic].”
Manning’s blasé attitude toward the history-making deal comes after Page Six broke the news that she is dating Musk’s ex Grimes.
“They’re getting serious. They U-Hauled it,” an insider told us in March of the fast-paced nature of the relationship. “They’ve been living together in Austin.”
While neither has publicly addressed their romance, Manning, 34, has been engaging sarcastically with the new Twitter owner, 50, since he announced his interest in buying the tech company.
Enlarge ImageElon Musk waves
Twitter accepted the Tesla founder’s $44 billion bid Monday.
“If our twitter bid succeeds, we will defeat the spam bots or die trying!” Musk tweeted last week, to which Manning responded with a meme about “occupying a billionaire’s mind rent free.”
Red State deputy managing editor Brandon Morse called out Manning over the tweet, writing, “You’re dating HIS ex, using a platform HE’S about to buy and commenting on HIS tweet after he hasn’t mentioned YOU one time. You’re living in his head? Seems you’re living in his world.”
A former US soldier, Manning made headlines in the early 2010s for leaking hundreds of thousands of documents to WikiLeaks. She was sentenced to 35 years in prison after being found guilty of 20 crimes, including six violations of the Espionage Act.
Grimes, meanwhile, announced in March that she and Musk had broken up again. The singer, 34, and the billionaire have two children together.
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