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on Wednesday at exclusive Whisper Rock

  • December 1, 2017 7:20 PM PST

    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Jersey . -- Phil Mickelson is going ahead with his Phoenix Open title defence after testing his ailing lower back on Wednesday at exclusive Whisper Rock. "I had a good practice session, though I didnt go full speed for much of it," Mickelson said in a statement. "I feel fine. I expect to play and play well." He first felt soreness two weeks ago in Abu Dhabi, and then withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open on Friday after making the cut at Torrey Pines. He flew to Georgia to see back specialist Tom Boers and was told his facet joints locked up. Last year at TPC Scottsdale, the former Arizona State star opened with an 11-under 60 and matched the Phoenix Open record of 28 under. He was set to make his 25th start in the event that he also won in 1996 and 2005. Mickelson lived in the Phoenix area for 12 years. "If it was any other tournament Id skip it," Mickelson said this week. "But Im defending, its my second hometown and I love the event." Lefty also said he expects to play next week at Pebble Beach, where hes a five-time champion. He is skipping Riviera and the Match Play Championship because his oldest daughter has spring break a week earlier than his other two children. On Thursday at TPC Scottsdale, the 43-year-old Mickelson was scheduled to open play on the 10th tee in a morning group with Bill Haas and Ryan Moore. While Mickelson now lives near his hometown of San Diego, Torrey Pines winner Scott Stallings is setting up a winter base in Scottsdale. He also is joining Whisper Rock, the club where Mickelson and other tour players are members. "My wife and I are renting in Scottsdale at Grayhawk, so we are five minutes away from here," Stallings said. "I have been playing and practicing out of here, actually also at Whisper Rock -- went through the whole process and we are going to make somewhat of a winter home out here. Especially, with the vile weather thats been in the South, I dont miss that at all. We miss our families, but I dont miss that weather at all." Stallings won Sunday in San Diego for his third tour title. "That venue and that event was very special and a huge stepping stone in my career," he said. Stallings is getting over an illness that also hit his wife and son. "Honestly, if you asked me yesterday, Id say there is no way Im playing in the tournament," he said. "The Mayo Clinic and the tournament got me hooked up with some good doctors and nurses, all kind of IVs and fluid and stuff like that. Im a completely different person than I was yesterday." Patrick Reed is coming off a victory two weeks ago in California in the Humana Challenge. Riding a self-described "putting coma" at La Quinta, Reed opened with three straight 9-under 63s and closed with a 71 for a two-stroke victory. "The greens, when I first saw them, there were a couple brown spots on them, and I thought that meant it was going to be not rolling very true, but I didnt see any putts really hop," Reed said about TPC Scottsdale. "Whenever you have greens like that that are just really pure, just like they were at Humana, Im excited." Lee Westwood is making his first start in the event. He also played last week at Torrey Pines, in part because of the tours new wraparound schedule. "Normally, I would go play the Middle East swing. I would go and play Abu Dhabi, Qatar, and Dubai or two of those three," the Englishman said. "I decided not to go this year and wanted to play a few more events in the States. "If you dont play these, then youre giving up a big start, because they have played six before the season, so it started last year. So its like a quarter of the schedule gone if you dont start until Pebble or L.A., so it makes sense to play a couple of these." Mickelsons decision to play cost Ryo Ishikawa a spot in the field. The Japanese player tied for seventh last week at Torrey Pines, but didnt get into the Phoenix Open as a top-10 finisher because the field was full before that entry category. Sheyi Ojo Jersey . Now he can be had by any team willing to pay his salary. According to a report from ESPN, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are shopping the veteran CB and plan on releasing him Wednesday if they cant find a trade partner. Daniel Sturridge Jersey . -- Claudio Bieler hadnt scored since early September, and not from the run of play since mid-July.MIAMI -- Over the last 10 seasons, only one NBA player has been part of more wins than LeBron James. His name is Tim Duncan. Their numbers over that decade are incredibly similar. Duncan has appeared in 622 regular-season and playoff victories, James has played in 621. Duncan is shooting 50.2 per cent from the field, James is shooting 50 per cent. Duncan has won two championships with San Antonio during this 10-season stretch, James has two with Miami. Plus, when facing each other in the NBA Finals, both has won one, lost one. Here comes the tiebreaker -- a Finals rematch that will have high expectations. Miami and San Antonio are the leagues last two teams standing for the second consecutive year, their next chapter starting on the Spurs home floor Thursday night. The Heat won a wild series last season for their second straight championship, needing a frantic rally to avoid elimination in Game 6 and then riding the strength of a 37-point, 12-rebound effort from James to top the Spurs in Game 7. "I think our guys, they actually grew from the loss last year," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "I call it fortitude. I think they showed an unbelievable amount of fortitude. If I can compliment my own team humbly, to have that tough loss, especially the Game 6 and not have a pity party and come back this year and get back to the same position, I think thats fortitude." Its the leagues first Finals rematch since Chicago and Utah played in 1997 and 1998. The teams have actually played three times since last seasons classic series ended, twice in the regular season, another being a preseason meeting in Miami where the Spurs acknowledged that the pain of losing Game 7 on that floor was still real. Then again, its almost like they wanted to feel that hurt at times. Popovich showed the Spurs clips of Games 6 and 7 early in training camp this season, not so much to open old wounds but rather speed up the healing process. "We were just trying to put it away, just get over that part of it, learn from it, and move forward from there," said Duncan, a champion in 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007. Move forward, they did. San Antonio won 62 games in the regular season, the best record in the league. One of those wins was a 24-point romp over Miami, on the same floor where this series will start on Thursday. The Heat know whaat wanting revenge feels like. Steven Gerrard Jersey. They lost the 2011 NBA Finals to Dallas, then opened the following season on the Mavericks floor and simply blew them away. Heat forward Chris Bosh called it "extra motivation" for the Spurs. "Its just something that we have to deal with, and we know that theyre going to be very passionate, and theyre going to play some good basketball," Bosh said. "So whoever we play, we just have to continue to keep our approach the same and play good basketball." While the Spurs were punching their ticket by ousting Oklahoma City from the West finals on Saturday night, the Heat were getting a day off. James was taking his kids to see X-Men. James Jones went to a home-improvement store for some supplies. Bosh insisted he was going to do as little as possible, and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra isnt summoning his team to practice again until Monday. By then, James will be locked in on the Spurs. "It hasnt really hit us that much yet because I think were in it," James said Friday night after Miami beat Indiana and clinched its fourth consecutive East championship. "I think it will once were done and were able to look back at what we were able to accomplish as players, as a franchise. I think thats when it will really hit us. We definitely dont take it for granted to be in this position." So for the next few days, all the highlights of last years finals will be played over and over again. The shot by Tony Parker -- who missed the second half of Saturday nights game with a left ankle injury -- to win Game 1 in Miami for the Spurs. James twirl-on-the-rim dunk as the Heat pulled away in Game 2. San Antonio sharpshooter Danny Greens Finals-record 3-point display. Boshs rebound that led to Ray Allens shot that saved Miamis season in Game 6. The yellow rope, the precursor to a Spurs celebration that never happened. All made for an epic series. The encore could be even better. "Obviously we are very happy and pleased with the season we have had so far, but we are not by any means satisfied," Green said. "We know we have a lot of work to do against a very good team. There is a reason why theyre back there and are two-time champs. We have our work cut out for us, but we are happy with going back -- just not satisfied." Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '