Antler spray and a record-setting day among biggest headlines in pro golf


We are just past a month into the new year and five tournaments into the 2013 FedEx Cup season, and we have already had interesting moments in the world of professional golf. These past couple of weeks alone saw moments varying from bizarre, off-the-course drama to historically impressive play. About a week after his admission to using deer antler spray, which apparently contains a substance banned by the PGA, Vijay Singh had a meeting with PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem on Wednesday over possible sanctions for using the banned substance IGF-1, which is similar to human growth hormone. Singh admitted that he had been using deer antler spray openly and frequently since last November, but had no knowledge that it contained any banned substance. He said he even read the ingredients when he first received the spray to make sure there were not any substances he was not allowed to use. Singh is listed to compete in this week’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am despite withdrawing from the Waste Management Phoenix Open last week due to back problems.

Lefty’s Back

On the actual golf course, history was almost made last week during the Phoenix Open by a name many have come to be familiar with over the past decade. Phil Mickelson could not do wrong at TPC Scottsdale in Arizona, as he was just two shots off the PGA Tour record of 254, set in the 2003 Texas Open by Tommy Armour III. Mickelson shot a 256, to finish with a score of 28-under-par, which was good enough to earn him the victory by a margin of four strokes over runner up Brandt Snedecker. Mickelson rode a phenomenal opening round, posting an 11-under-par score of 60 after just missing a birdie putt on the final hole of the round. Sinking that putt would have given him a 59, a feat which has only been achieved by five players on the PGA tour. Mickelson launched himself comfortably into the lead and he never looked back, scoring a six-under-par in round two, followed by a seven-under-par. He closed the tournament out with a four-under-par, making it a closer affair than what was expected after his first round performance. This victory marked Mickelson’s 41st PGA victory, putting him in sole position of ninth place in the all-time list of PGA victories, with four victories needed to tie Walter Hagen for the eighth spot. This was also Mickelson’s first victory since his lone 2012 win at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, the same title he looks to defend this upcoming week.

Upcoming : AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

If Phil Mickelson is able to keep the ball rolling going into this week, he looks like a sure shot to win back-to-back tournaments for the first time since April of 2006, when he won his second of three Masters championships. Mickelson is also the defending victor of the Pro-Am, held annually at the famed Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. Dustin Johnson, winner of this season’s first event, is also a favorite coming into the tournament. Snedecker will be looking to get his first tour victory of the season after finishing in the top three spots in three of this season’s first five tournaments.

FedEx Cup Standings

Snedecker currently sits atop the FedEx Cup standings with 782 points, despite being the only top five player to have yet won a tournament. Human Challenge victor Brian Gay stands at second and 200 points back. Mickelson is in the third spot at 236 points behind the leader. Hyundai Tournament of Champions winner Dustin Johnson is in fourth place, 266 points behind Snedecker and one point ahead of Sony Open winner Russell Henley. Tiger Woods, currently in seventh place, is the only winner of a 2013 PGA tournament not in the top five.