Golf Links: Saturday, June 10 news and updates

Jun 2, 2017; Dublin, OH, USA; Phil Mickelson walks off the course after the second round of The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide golf tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 2, 2017; Dublin, OH, USA; Phil Mickelson walks off the course after the second round of The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide golf tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports /

Golf Links connects you to Saturday morning’s major golf news: this morning Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and the future of Olympic golf dominate the headlines.

The ProGolfNow Golf Links column provides a quick way to get your Saturday morning golf news and stay on top of the game, wherever it’s being played.

We’ve made it through cut day at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, the Manulife LPGA Classic, and the Lyoness Open and the pared-down fields are now going to get down to the business of winning the tournaments.

Moving Day in Memphis, Cambridge, Ontario, and Vienna, Austria

In Memphis Chez Reavie, Sebastian Muñoz, and Charl Schwartzel are sharing the lead going into the weekend but Stewart Cink seems to have found a new groove and he’s chasing hard. Is it possible that Cink could pull off a win at the St. Jude? Maybe – the winner of the 2009 Open Championship looks to be having a revival. Maybe it was qualifying for Erin Hills next week that gave him the juice he needs for Memphis.

Boo Weekley, Jim Furyk, Bryson DeChambeau, Rickie Fowler, Davis Love III, Steven Bowditch and Curtis Luck are among those who have the weekend off – some of them are probably already headed north to Erin Hills – but Adam Scott, at 5-under, and Phil Mickelson, at 4-under, are playing on and looking for a miracle opening in the field between them and the leaders. That’s what moving day is all about, isn’t it?

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There’s also a three-way tie at the top of the Manulife LPGA Classic leaderboard going into moving day, but the Lexi Thompson-Hyo Joo Kim-Alena Sharp battle is only one of the unfolding stories at Whistle Bear.

The golf course is giving up so many birdies that I’ve lost count. Perrine Delacour, who set a course record with her 10-under par 62, accounted for 10 of the day’s birdies; and Lindy Duncan, who flirted with a 59 before she stubbed her toe on the 17th and 18th, also put 10 birdies on her card. Brooke Henderson was lamenting the fact that she was only able to put six birdies on her card. Good heavens!

Allie White, our Symetra Tour Monday qualifier, is hanging in there. She made the cut on the number and will play to the finish at the Manulife. Hope you put Allie on your Ladies Dream Golf fantasy team! You go, Allie!

The Lyoness Open leaderboard is a bit more stretched out going into moving day than the St.. Jude and Manulife boards. Filipe Aguilar, going into the weekend at 9-under par, managed to open a two stroke lead over the following pack. Graeme Storm, Johan Carlsson, Oliver Fisher, and Bernd Wiesberger are all threatening and I’m looking for some up and down the board third round action at Diamond Country Club.

Still, the story of Danthai Boonma’s 21 consecutive pars is certainly worth noting!

Mickelson’s Flight Plan

Things may work out for Phil Mickelson, with a little help from the USGA. Daughter Amanda’s graduation is scheduled for 10am West Coast time) Thursday, June 15. Phil plans to depart by private plan by noon, West Coast time, for the 3 hour, 45 minute flight to a private landing field field that’s 15 minutes from Erin Hills, for a first round 2:20pm Central Time tee time.

Do the math. He’s going to be late. But wait – there’s a possibility of a weather delay. Isolated thunderstorms are forecast for the Erin Hills area for Thursday. This is a job for the golf gods.

Olympic Golf for 2024

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The International Olympic Committee announced Friday that golf will be included on the Olympic venue through 2024, and perhaps beyond that date. Whether the 2024 summer games are held in Paris or Los Angeles, the golf venue will be excellent.

In Paris, Olympic golf would be contended at Le Golf National, which is hosting the 2018 Ryder Cup. In Los Angeles, the Riveria Country Club would host the Olympic golf competitions.

Now the conversation about format can get serious. Any number of options to the conventional stroke play Rio competition have been floated: 2-player teams and 2-player mixed teams have both received more than casual head nods.

Tiger Talk

The conversation about Tiger Woods within the relatively closed community of professional golfers is taking a new turn. Paul Azinger disclosed during a Fox Sports interview that Tiger’s peers have been aware of and concerned about his drug use for some time.

"I know firsthand there are some players that think there’s a problem there with Tiger. I don’t, I haven’t been around him much the last few years. But there are some players out there that are saying this has been a problem for a while."

Azinger may be taking a big step in invoking the “A” word, but given Tiger’s long-term chronic pain management, this isn’t a surprising turn in a very tragic tale.

"Tiger’s close to a few people. Not many. And the few people that are around Tiger probably know there’s a problem. And if they don’t intervene, then it’s on them. But addiction’s a big deal, and if he’s addicted, then somebody better intervene."

Tiger’s situation is precarious and personally devastating, but it also provides an opportunity to open our thinking about and our understanding of a problem that goes well beyond one individual. Tiger, like all professional athletes, has pushed his body beyond normal limits. Injury and chronic pain are the consequences. Medical management of injury and chronic pain is necessary, but in the long term it also has potentially dangerous consequences. We need to be talking more openly about those consequences.

Next: U.S. Open betting odds (updated)

Golf Links is the ProGolfNow daily weekend column that keeps you up-to-date on events in progress and breaking news in the world of golf.