Antler spray and a record setting day

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We are just beyond a month into the New Year, and with five tournaments into the 2013 FedEx Cup season, we have already have had interesting moments in the world of professional golf. These past couple of weeks alone saw moments varying from the bizarre off the course to the historically impressive on the course. About a week after his admission to using deer antler spray which apparently contains a substance banned by the PGA, Vijay Singh had a scheduled meeting with PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Fenchem on Wednesday over possible sanctions against Singh for using the banned substance IGF-3 which is similar to human growth hormone, or HGH.  Singh had admitted that he had been using deer antler spray openly and frequently since last November, but had no knowledge whatsoever that it contained any banned substance of any kind and that 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 still 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 last week as he came only within two shots of 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. Phil rode a phenomenal opening round, posting an 11-under par score of 60 after missing his final birdie putt of the round which would have ended the round with a 59, a feat which has only been achieved by five players on the PGA tour. Mickelson launched himself comfortably into the lead where he never looked back scoring a 6-under par in round two followed by a 7-under par and closing the tournament out with a 4-under par making it a closer affair than what was expected after the round one performance.  This victory marked Mickelson’s 41st PGA victory of his career, 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 eight spot.  This was also just Mickelson’s first victory since his lone 2012 victory in last year’s edition of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am held on Feb. 12, 2012, 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, where the latter was 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 in to the tournament along with back to back runner up Brandt Snedecker who will be looking to get his first Tour victory of the season and is currently in the top spot of the FedEx Cup standings thanks to finishing in the top three in three of this young season’s first five tournaments.

FedEx Cup Standings

Brandt Snedecker, out of Nashville, Tennessee currently sits atop the FedEx Cup standings with 782 points despite being the only top five player to have yet won a tournament. Brian Gay (Humana Challenge victor) 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 and 266 points behind Snedecker and one point ahead of Russel Henley (Sony Open Champion) who closes out the top five. Tiger Woods is on the outside looking into the top five at seventh place and the only winner of a 2013 PGA tournament not in the top five.