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Phil Mickelson is among the Tour leaders in dispensing autographs, but following the final round of the Phoenix Open, he beat a hasty retreat from the TPC of Scottsdale. "My plane is leaving in 15 minutes," Mickelson said moments after a closing 64 that would leave him tied for ninth place. His destination? The Super Bowl, which was being played in his hometown of San Diego. No word on the size of his wager.
More Mickelson: The noted know-it-all explained his considerable paunch by saying, "Just genetics. I've got subcutaneous fat. There's nothing I can do about it. It just lies underneath the skin as opposed to underneath the muscle. And, as long as I feel better and get stronger, then I can't really worry about, you know, body fat."
How are LPGA players spending their long off-season? Watching golf, apparently. Natalie Gulbis, Grace Park and Marcy Newton were spotted in the gallery at the Phoenix Open, as was Pat Hurst, who followed Scott McCarron, a friend and former teammate at the mixed-team JCPenney Classic. Says McCarron, "It's more fun to keep up with the other tours when you know the players. Every time I look in the paper, I check to see how she's doing, and I'm sure she does the same with me."
Clint Begay recently parted ways with his girlfriend, LPGA standout Dorothy Delasin, but he has found another steady relationship—caddying for older brother Notah. He will take over the bag from Rusty Uresti, Omar's older brother, once the Tour reaches Florida.
The long-term health of the PGA Merchandise Show remains in question, but event organizers hit a home run on Jan. 22 with the inaugural Demo Day. An estimated 3,000 club pros and media members attended, pounding more than a quarter-million balls with clubs provided by 50 manufacturers.
Vijay Singh's victory in Phoenix marked the third straight week that a major-championship winner has finished atop the field. The last time that happened in the first three Tour events of the year? In 1963, when Arnold Palmer (L.A. Open), Gary Player (San Diego Open Invitational) and Billy Casper (Bing Crosby National Pro-Am) hit the trifecta.
Eye-popping stat of the week: The field averaged 301.3 yards per drive during the Phoenix Open.