Highlights Tours Uncategorized

The Open 2024: Brian Harman Gets Very Lucky – Ball Takes Bridge Over Creek

Brian Harman is an outstanding golfer, there’s no question about that. But even a defending Open champion sometimes needs a bit of luck. And he deserved it in the final round at Troon. The tee shot on the third hole with a driving iron rolled out so far that it came dangerously close to the small stream that divided the fairway. If it hadn’t been for the small bridges over which the players also cross the burn, the ball would have landed in the water. But as luck would have it, Harman’s ball arrived dry on the other side.

Watch Open Championship: Brian Harman gets lucky

Highlights Tours

The Open Championship 2024: “Lefty” Robert MacIntyre Saves Par Righthanded

After his victory at the Scottish Open, Robert MacIntyre is being celebrated as a new national hero in his home country of Scotland. The 27-year-old is also being celebrated at the British Open, which is being held at the Royal Troon Golf Club on the west coast of Scotland. Not least because “Bob” combines sporting excellence with entertaining qualities. In the third round of the British Open 2024, MacIntyre had to decide on the 18th hole whether to take a baseball swing from the bunker, simply chip over the bunker onto the fairway or try a right-handed swing with his “backhand”.

The left-handed Ryder Cupper opted for the most spectacular option and positioned himself on the wrong side of the ball and showed an excellent full swing. The fact that the ball flew into the stands did not detract from the aesthetics. In any case, he saved the par with a dream shot to the tap-in from the not particularly good situation that followed his show.

The Open Championship 2024 Video: Robert MacIntyre Plays “The Wrong Way Around”

Highlights Tours

The Open Championship2024: Justin Thomas 14 Shots Better Than On Friday – On the Front Nine

How different can the results be on one and the same golf course on two different days? Every golfer can probably think of at least one story about this. Justin Thomas has had a new one in store since the third round of the Open Championship. The 31-year-old from Kentucky tore himself apart on the front nine at Royal Troon Golf Club on Friday and needed 45 strokes to complete the front nine. On Saturday, the two-time PGA champion redeemed himself and played 14 shots better than the day before. With five birdies and four pars, Thomas set the record straight again.

Disaster on one day, brilliant performance on the other

Par-bogey-bogey-bogey-double-bogey-bogey-par-par were the scores on the first eight holes on Friday, before Thomas brought the series of mishaps to a climax with a triple bogey. After finding a bush with his tee shot, he tried unsuccessfully to chop the ball out, only to drop it a little later. On the back nine of the second round, he saved himself for the weekend with a significant improvement in performance.

Justin Thomas’ scorecards at the British Open 2024 (Photo: Screenshot Golf Post)

Against All Odds: Woods and Timberlake Get Their Bar in St Andrews

“Slàinte mhath”, says the Scotsman, when toasting with good wishes: In St Andrews, the Home of Golf, there will soon be a new meeting place for this. Despite massive opposition from local residents, who even submitted a petition against the project, superstars Tiger Woods and Justin Timberlake have been given the green light by the relevant authorities for their sports bar T-Squared Social. The branch of the pub chain is to be built in the “Auld Grey Toon” cinema: The New Picture House has been in existence since 1930, but has been operating at no more than ten per cent capacity for years and can barely exist independently, according to the current owner.

Nevertheless, the residents are attached to their old film theatre and do not want any newfangled stuff; over 10,000 people signed the petition against the project. The luxury bar in the historic building, less than a kilometre from the Old Course, is to be equipped with large screens and golf simulators, have a bowling and darts alley and create 40 to 45 new jobs. This is the promise of the new operator Nexus Luxury Collection, whose shareholders include the two superstars. The remodelling for T-Squared Social is expected to begin within the next three years; the branch in New York, for example, is doing very well.

Highlights Tours

Olympic Games: Dutchman sues his way into golf tournament, but…

After the Dutch National Olympic Committee (NOC) refused to allow three qualified athletes to take part in the Paris Games, DP World Tour pro Joost Luiten successfully appealed against his exclusion. The 38-year-old announced this on Instagram on Wednesday. Golf Post spoke to Luiten about the events after his first round at the BMW International Open and the Dutchman explained his situation in detail for the first time.

“I basically sued the National Olympic Committee”, Luiten told Golf Post. “I didn’t agree with the way it went down. I didn’t agree with the rules they had in place. Halfway through the qualification year, they changed the rules. So it was all one big mess and then, you know, I didn’t meet their criteria. But if they would have started those criteria from the start, I would have qualified straight away in two events.”

According to the rules of the International Golf Federation (IGF) and the IOC, the top 15 in the Olympic Golf Ranking (OGR), which is based on the world golf rankings, qualify – with a maximum of four athletes per country. The 60-strong field will then be filled with the best outside the top 15, with a maximum of two participants per country. In the case of the Netherlands, these are Darius van Driel and Joost Luiten for the men and Anne van Dam and Dewi Weber for the women. However, the Dutch Olympic Committee had its own criteria for golf, which Luiten and others did not fulfil after they were implemented. However, this only happened after the IGF qualification process had long since begun.

As obliged by the court, the Dutch NOC nominated Luiten in time for the tournament at Le Golf National near Paris. But now there is a new problem. “There’s another bit of trouble because now all of a sudden there are 61 people in the field, not 60, because the IOC gave my spot away already. So now it looks like I could go from one court case to the next, but that’s not what I want. Hopefully they can sort the issue”, says the young family man, fearing for his eligibility to compete.

Luiten’s dissatisfaction with his National Olympic Committee goes far beyond the refusal to nominate him: “The whole problem in Holland is that if you let some people that only know the traditional Olympic sports, swimming, athletics, and stuff like that, if you let them make the rules on golf, you get some silly rules. And that’s what basically this is all about. Showing them that they had no clue what they were doing and that it had nothing to do with golf. Unfortunately I had to go to court for it, but at least now hopefully it will open their eyes.”


Edoardo Molinari: “Many Amateurs Overestimate How Far They Hit the Ball”

Edoardo Molinari has been an integral part of the DP World Tour for almost two decades. Now that his active career is coming to an end, as he says himself, he is also focussing on other things. The Italian began keeping his own statistics early on in his career. He now advises numerous top golfers and helps them to use the numbers to their advantage. He has also become a secret weapon for Europe’s Ryder Cup team. In this interview, Molinari talks about complex Excel lists, his collaboration with Arccos and provides insights into his role at the Ryder Cup.

Interview with Arccos Chief Data Strategist Edoardo Molinari

Golf Post: Edoardo, the so-called Chief Data Strategist and Leader Ambassador at Arccos, you got into the business with statistics with your own company, the Statistics Golf Service, and quickly earned some fame for your platform, which is used by loads of world-class professional golfers. Now it’s called the Arccos Pro Insights. What do players find on the platform, and why do they like it so much?

Edoardo Molinari: Yeah, so I started doing this basically for myself many years ago. I have an engineering degree, so I always liked the numbers and the stats and the data side of golf. I found it very useful. Then, a few years ago, some players asked if I could help them. They were using a different company at the time, and I started almost as a hobby, a part-time job. It became very popular with the players, and now it’s become quite a big thing.

I think the unique aspect was that they could speak to someone who understood golf at the highest level but also understood the numbers and could help with them. A lot of them mentioned that it was great to talk with someone who understood the game, not just someone behind a computer. Combining the two things was key to the success so far.

Regarding Arccos, they first approached me two or three years ago, but at the time, I was just starting and didn’t know what I was doing. Then Sal Syed, the CEO, spoke to me again at the end of last year. We developed a very good relationship, having similar views on many things. I needed help to develop further because I had limitations with time and coding capabilities. They put their team at my disposal to help develop my product further. It’s been a successful and enjoyable relationship so far, and we’re developing new things for amateurs and pros. It’s going to be an exciting few months.

Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an

Ein Beitrag geteilt von Arccos Golf (@arccosgolf)

Edoardo Molinari on How He Started Keeping Track of His Game

Golf Post: How did you get into statistics as a hobby? Was it all Excel sheets in the beginning?

Edoardo Molinari: Yeah, in the beginning, it was Excel sheets. I started recording my own stats back in 2002, so over 20 years ago. It began with simple spreadsheets—fairways, greens, number of putts, birdies, bogeys—very simple. Over time, I added more things. Up until a few years ago, it was still an Excel spreadsheet, probably one of the most extreme and complex ones you’ve ever seen. When I showed Sal what I was doing in Excel, he couldn’t believe it was possible. It was very rewarding. I was proud of it, and many developers were amazed by it. When you need something and have to make it work, you find ways.

Golf Post: Your approach to statistics was praised by Sal Syed, one of the founders of Arccos, and many others. What’s so different about your way of using statistics and drawing conclusions?

Edoardo Molinari: I think it’s the unique combination of understanding both the numbers and golf. We have some KPIs and indicators that haven’t been seen before and are quite useful, like how aggressive you are into the greens, whether you’re too aggressive or too conservative, and similar insights for putting. It’s not only about your game but also about strategy and optimizing your game.

For example, seeing how you’ve played the last couple of months and figuring out the best way to play certain holes on a new course. It’s about combining usual stats with course management. For amateurs, it’s easy to see what they’re doing wrong and provide simple tips that could save them shots each round.

Golf Post: What could one of these tips for an amateur be?

Edoardo Molinari: The most important thing for an amateur is to keep the ball in play off the tee. Amateurs lose many shots due to penalty shots and OB (out of bounds) off the tee. The key to lowering your handicap is keeping the ball in play, feven if it means aiming for the rough instead of risking OB. Respect the hazards and penalty areas. Many amateurs overestimate how far they hit the ball, often missing short, which costs them a lot of shots.

“Strokes Gained is Great, But There Are Improvements to be Made”

Golf Post: Your work was compared to the invention of the Strokes Gained Method by Mark Brodie by Lou Stagner. Do you see a transformation in the use of statistics coming as well?

Edoardo Molinari: First of all, I’m very proud to hear that from Lou. I respect him a lot. Mark Brodie revolutionized the world of stats in golf, making it take a massive leap forward. In the last 10 to 12 years, we’ve stayed with Strokes Gained, but I think another leap forward is coming. Strokes Gained is great, but there are improvements to be made, especially for the highest level and even for amateurs. New stats and methods will likely emerge in the next two to three years that will make us look at golf differently.

Golf Post: Like what?

Edoardo Molinari: For example, in short game, comparing shots using Strokes Gained, the baseline is the same regardless of the situation. But different situations require different baselines, like the amount of green you have to work with. The same goes for putting. A six-foot putt uphill is different from one on a 3% slope. These subtle differences can make a big impact. In my work with pros, we use different baselines for different scenarios, which will improve and get better over time.

Golf Post: Where do your work with the pros and Arccos for amateurs meet?

Edoardo Molinari: It’s the same ideas and foundations. What I do for pros is extremely detailed and precise. For lower pros and elite amateurs, it’s simplified but still detailed. For amateurs, it’s even simpler. The approach is the same, focusing on course management and optimization. With the right foundation, even amateurs can see significant improvement, saving several shots per round.

Vice Captain Edoardo Molinari Checks Bethpage Golf Park

Golf Post: You recently visited the Bethpage Golf Park with Captain Luke Donald. How did that go?

Edoardo Molinari: It was great. We spent two full days in New York. Luke looked at the hotel and facilities, while I focused on the golf course. Being an away match, there’s less to organize compared to a home match. Bethpage is a great course, having hosted majors and big events. It’s a modern test—long with elevated greens and quick greens. It might be less spectacular than some courses, but it’s probably tougher, making for an exciting Ryder Cup.

Golf Post: Your role in last year’s winning Ryder Cup team has been praised by many. Can you give us insights into what you did there?

Edoardo Molinari: It wasn’t all about numbers. We had many conversations with all 12 players to ensure they were comfortable. We combined the numbers with what the players felt comfortable with. My first time doing this, I thought it would be easy, but it was complex. Different players use different balls, and moving one player affects others. It was great fun. From announcing the team to the practice trip in Rome, we had many discussions and developed a plan, which worked perfectly.

Golf Post: It definitely did! One last question. You’re advising other players, playing a role in the Ryder Cup, and still a professional golfer. How do you manage it all?

Edoardo Molinari: It’s a lot of time management. I’ve cut out social media and TV shows to the bare minimum. I spend a lot of time talking to players, practicing my game, and keeping time aside for Ryder Cup and Luke. It’s busy but enjoyable. Being towards the end of my career, it keeps me excited about events and playing with top players. I enjoy it, so it doesn’t feel heavy—it’s a pleasure.

Golf Post: Thank you so much for taking the time. It’s been really fun following your path, and we’re excited for everything to come. Thanks a lot.

Edoardo Molinari: Thanks, Tobias. Bye.

Highlights Tours

Xander Schauffele Wins First Major at PGA Championship 2024

Xander Schauffele wins his first major title at the 2024 PGA Championship 2024. The 30-year-old withstood all attacks and defended his lead against the closely bunched chasing pack. Bryson DeChambeau finished one shot behind in second place, while Viktor Hovland, who was also a long-time candidate for victory, finished third.
View final result of the PGA Championship 2024
The PGA Championship leaderboard couldn’t have been tighter before the start of the final round of the PGA Championship. The top ten were within four strokes of each other, but Schauffele had been the hunted since the first day. And so the Tokyo Olympic champion also managed to fend off his opponents on Sunday at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, USA. Even though he had to make a birdie on the last hole to avoid a play-off against Bryson DeChambeau. The 30-year-old Texan had set the best mark at 20 under par and then waited on the driving range to see whether Schauffele would beat his score.

Xander Schauffele Wins First Major Championship at PGA Championship 2024

Schauffele made things tense. His tee shot on the last hole landed just outside a fairway bunker. Even though the par-5 18th was the easiest hole in the tournament and almost a must-win birdie, Schauffele’s stance in the bunker with the ball clearly above his feet was anything but promising. In the style of a champion, he took a risk and mastered the approach to the right side in front of the green. The chip to two metres from the flag was enough to sink the ball with the decisive putt. With 21 under par, Schauffele wins his first major title.

PGA Championship 2024: Xander Schauffele Interview

Amanda Balionis: Xander, we always knew the ability was there. What did it take to turn that ability into a record-setting major championship-winning performance?

Xander Schauffele: Yeah, I was actually kind of emotional after the putt lipped in. It’s been a while since I’ve won, and I really just — I kept saying it all week, I just need to stay in my lane. Man, was it hard to stay in my lane today, but I tried all day to just keep focus on what I’m trying to do and keep every hole ahead of me. Had some weird kind of breaks coming into the house, but it’s all good now.

Amanda Balionis: It’s never easy. You used words this week to describe your mental state as resilient, as patient. What words would you use to describe that final stretch to get across the finish line?

Xander Schauffele: Yeah, I mean, I think I’d probably be a little bit less of a patient person if that putt didn’t lip in, but I really didn’t want to go into a playoff against Bryson. I’m assuming we probably would have played 18. It would have been a lot of work. I just told myself, this is my opportunity, and just capture it.

Amanda Balionis: Your family is never far away. I know having them close by and their support through wins and losses is everything to you. What is it like to have them with you celebrating in maybe the biggest moment of your career?

Xander Schauffele: Yeah, actually my mom is back at home in San Diego and my dad is currently in Hawai’i and I was able to call him. I had to hang up pretty quickly because he started to make me cry. He was sitting on the phone bawling.

It means so much to have my wife, my brother here. I’ve got close friends, as well, that came down from New York. They make me feel very special, and I’m just happy to win this one for my team.

Highlights Tours

Scottie Scheffler After PGA Championship 2024: “Hectic Would Probably Be a Good Description”

Scottie Scheffler finishes the 2024 PGA Championship 2024 with a strong round of six under par. Although the Masters champion had little chance of winning the title after a 73 on Saturday, the 27-year-old will be glad to be leaving Valhalla Golf Club after all the excitement of the last few days. Scottie Scheffler became a father just a few days ago, and on Friday morning he was detained by the police on his way to the second round and was subjected to identity checks. On Sunday, he proved his class again on the par-71 course. With a round of 65, he improved into the top 10. Read here what Scottie Scheffler had to say after the final round of the 2024 PGA Championship:
View final result of the PGA Championship 2024

Scottie Scheffler Interview After Finishing the 2024 PGA Championship

Question: Scottie, with everything that’s happened this week I’m sure it’s been a tumultuous time, but can you just even try to put this week into words?

Scottie Scheffler: (Laughing). Yeah, I’m not really quite sure. I think “hectic” would probably be a good description. Overall right now how I’m feeling, I’m fairly tired, definitely a lot more tired than I have been finishing some other tournaments. But I’m proud of today how we went out there and fought. I got off to kind of a slow start and I was able to kind of get some momentum and post a good round and give myself some good momentum.

Yesterday obviously was quite frustrating and a bit of a different day, but overall proud of how I fought this week. Was fortunate to be out here competing, doing what I love.

Out on the golf course the support this week that I got from the fans was tremendous. The support I got from the players and caddies and everybody inside the ropes was tremendous. So I’m very grateful to have the community that we have out here on the road and to have their support.

Question: How much of yesterday’s round do you ascribe to the circumstances or how much of it was just golf and a bad day?

Scottie Scheffler: I mean, it’s hard to tell. I think I would attribute it mostly to a bad day. I think when you come out here to compete, you’re out here competing, you’re doing what you can throughout the course of the round to post a score and I wasn’t able to get that done yesterday. Did I feel like myself? Absolutely not. Was my warm-up the way it usually is and the distractions were they normally are? Absolutely not. But I’m not going to sit here and say that’s why I went out and played a bad round of golf yesterday.

I got arrested Friday morning and I showed up here and played a good round of golf, as well. So I’ve been good throughout my career or I’d say that I’ve gotten better throughout my career of leaving the off-course distractions at home and kind of keeping a pretty quiet personal life, and this week obviously that was not the case. I’m not going to sit here and say that I played poorly yesterday because of what happened on Friday. I just had a bad day out on the course and was proud of how I came out here and bounced back today.

Question: Was there a moment where kind of the gravity of what happened on Friday and the strangeness of what happened on Friday finally started to sink in?

Scottie Scheffler: Yeah, probably Saturday morning. I think it finally hit me what really happened. Friday most of the day I didn’t really even eat. I came up here and had a couple bites of some eggs and a piece of bacon and went out and played. We were sitting at home, and I realized that I hadn’t even eaten dinner yet and it was almost 9 o’clock at night, and I wasn’t hungry. As somebody who’s a pretty big eater, that was a strange feeling, so obviously my body was a bit off with what had happened in the morning.

But like I said, I did my best to leave that behind me and come out here and compete and do what I love, and the support I got from the fans was amazing. I think they were cheering extra loud for me this week, and I got a lot of support from the players and caddies as well. A lot of people showing their support, a lot of players telling me how much they love me and stuff like that, and like I said, I’m really grateful to have the community that we have out here and the support of the people inside the ropes for sure.

Question: Have the “free Scottie” chants gotten old yet after the last two days?

Scottie Scheffler: I mean, I think when you’re out there inside the ropes, I don’t really hear too much of it. It’s nice to hear your name. I heard a lot of “Scottie” chants. I didn’t hear too many of the “free Scottie” chants, but I definitely heard a lot of “Scottie” chants.

Like I said, it’s great to have the support of the fans. Being able to play out here in front of them week in, week out is one of the greatest joys of my life for sure. So being able to do that this week and play another major championship, it was fun. Obviously the results weren’t what I was hoping for at the beginning of the week, but overall I’m proud of how I fought this week.

Question: As you walked off 18, kind of signed your card and whatnot, what is your, can you describe how you’re feeling, is there a sense of relief or is there a sense of what might have been this week. I know you took a long look at the scoreboard on 18.

Scottie Scheffler: At the moment, you know, I put my head down on the scorer’s table and I think I about fell asleep, so I’m just kind of just wondering what time bedtime is. I’m trying to figure out how quickly I can get home from here and, yeah, that’s pretty much it. I think I’m just fairly tired and ready to get home.

Question: As a quick follow, you’re on a list to play next week. Do you know what your plan is and do you have to come back for that Tuesday thing or is that something your lawyer can handle?

Scottie Scheffler: I think it’s all up in the air. I’m not really sure what the next days have in store. I think I’m able to get home tonight, but we’ll see when I leave here. I haven’t really had much chance to assess the situation off the course. I signed my card and then came straight over here. So we’ll see, but hopefully we’ll be able to get home tonight.

Question: Having Ted back on the bag today, how much did that help?

Scottie Scheffler: I think having Teddy out is always helpful. I’ve talked a lot about how great is he for me out there on course and keeping me in a good head space. Obviously yesterday was a bit of a different day, but it’s up to me to come out here and hit the shots and execute, and yesterday I wasn’t able to do that, and today I got off to the slow start, but we did a good job of staying patient and coming out and having a really, really nice back nine to have a decent finish to the week.

Question: If I could just clarify, are you unsure if you are required to be here Tuesday or is it a choice, and also, either way, are you planning to play next week?

Scottie Scheffler: I mean, as of now I’m planning to play next week. As far as the off-the-course stuff goes, I’m not really sure.

Highlights Tours

Rory McIlroy: “I’m Feeling Good About My Game”

Rory McIlroy finishes the 2024 PGA Championship 2024 in a tie for twelfth place. Even though he failed to win the PGA Championship again ten years after his last major victory, the Northern Irishman’s final round was at least conciliatory. He returned to the clubhouse at Valhalla Golf Club with a 67. Once again, the back nine of the par-71 course, which had already been weaker than the front nine during the course of the tournament week, caused him problems. Nevertheless, the 35-year-old turned his score into the red on Sunday after two late bogeys. In an interview, he spoke about the challenges of the tournament week.

PGA Championship 2024: Rory McIlroy Interview

Question: The whole week, has it been a case of some steps forward and then back and forward and back and it just wasn’t enough?

Rory McIlroy: Yeah, I think so. Obviously started the week well, and then I’ve obviously played decent over the weekend. As I said, that sort of six-hole stretch on the back nine yesterday, not being able to hole any putts, I’ll probably rue that. Then the 71 on Friday, as well, was obviously not what I was looking for. Obviously put myself too far back.

Overall playing solid, game is in good shape, and I’ve got a week off and then another busy stretch coming up.

Question: The sense that you’ve turned your season since the team win in the Zurich with Shane, obviously last week running away on that final day at Wells Fargo when you found your vintage game, that whole feeling, you must feel like you have to keep it going, certainly for the majors season. How are you feeling about that?

Rory McIlroy: Yeah, I’m feeling good about that. I’ve been on a big stretch of golf here. I think this was my sixth event in seven weeks. I’ve got a week off and then I’m playing another four in a row. I’m feeling good about my game. I feel like things are sort of clicking more, especially after the win in New Orleans. Obviously played well last week in Charlotte. Have a week here to sort of reset and try to get going again.

Highlights Tours Uncategorized

PGA Championship: Major Debut at 61 After 20 Years Without Playing Golf

40 years ago, he was considered one of the greatest golf talents in the USA, won national junior championships and wanted to become a tour pro. Then he got injured and the dream was over. But things got even worse for Tracy Phillips: Yips meant that he didn’t touch a club for 20 years, although he continued to work as a PGA Pro. Now, at the age of 61, he is taking part in a major for the first time at the PGA Championship. A truly crazy story.

A slipped disc halted his young career, reports in a detailed story about the man who not only topped the US amateur rankings as a junior, but also later went to university on a golf scholarship. After an eight-month injury break due to a herniated disc, he had lost his “natural swing”, says Phillips. With a lot of work and training, he wanted to get back to his old level, but it was at a pro-am in Wyoming that he felt for the first time that something was wrong. “The first hole was a par-5 and there was an in-course out of bounds to the right and there was an out-of-bounds pasture to the left. I stepped up and proceeded to hit a driver on the range, hit a driver out of bounds left and then finally just hit a 7-iron down the fairway just to get it in. I think at that time, it was just like, it was obvious — I was just toast.” quotes Phillips as saying.

At 61: Playing the PGA Championship for the First Time

The search for his old form had tired him so much that at some point he no longer felt like playing. Yips, those uncontrolled muscle twitches that all golfers fear, were the reason. They usually occur when putting, but the now 61-year-old experienced them time and again with the driver. Not only did this make a career on the tour impossible, it also made it impossible to even put a ball in play.

Like his father, who was a golf teacher for 40 years, he concentrated on his pupils. And didn’t play golf himself for 20 years. It was only the persuasion of a few friends that convinced him to return to the golf course. While he enjoyed playing with his buddies again, he also steadily improved. A few qualifying tournaments later, he had already qualified for the US Club Pro Championships again and competed there for several years. Even though he missed the cut more often than he made it, his passion was rekindled.

Philipps has already played several majors on the senior tour in recent years (and made cuts), even if he doesn’t regularly compete against Bernhard Langer and co. He has now made it into the field of a men’s major for the first time via the qualifying tournaments of the PGA of America. At the age of 61 and after a 20-year break. “The very thing that took me out of the game for 20 years is kind of my strong suit.,” says Phillips, delighted with his renewed love for his driver.