Mickelson calls Ryder Cup defeat 'low' of career

Mickelson calls Ryder Cup defeat 'low' of career

SHENZHEN, China (AP) Phil Mickelson has spent the past month trying to get over the Americans' shocking defeat in the Ryder Cup, calling it ``one of the biggest lows of my career.''

Playing for the first time since the Ryder Cup in the HSBC Champions starting Thursday at Mission Hills, Mickelson says it will take him awhile longer to forget what happened in Medinah.

``I think the first two weeks following the Ryder Cup was a really tough low, one of the biggest lows of my career,'' he says. ``It was one of the biggest disappointments that I've had to deal with.

``That disappointment will last a lot longer than a month. I still feel disappointment from it. I still feel that over the next two years, we'll still have the same disappointment from not winning this year's Ryder Cup.''

Mickelson lost to Justin Rose in the turning point of the competition on the last day, as the U.S. blew a six-point lead and lost by one.

Tired of Europe's ongoing celebrating, Keegan Bradley, whose exceptional play in the Ryder Cup was the one bright spot for the Americans, thinks a victory for one of his countrymen this weekend would be a big morale boost.

``I saw some guys in the airport yesterday and it made me happy just to see the guys,'' he said. ``I think it would be great - a win here anytime is amazing, and I think that it would help all of the Americans and especially myself.''

Mickelson is also trying to look on the bright side - his partnership with Bradley at the Ryder Cup has at least given him new motivation to work on his game.

``I had a great couple of days playing with Keegan as a partner,'' he said. ``And I saw some things where I can improve my game and I have this new kind of excitement and energy that Keegan has, and it's rubbed off on me and I am excited to play and work and practice.''

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Wizards host students from Stoneman Douglas High School ahead of 'March For Our Lives'

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Wizards host students from Stoneman Douglas High School ahead of 'March For Our Lives'

With a march on Washington planned for this weekend following the mass shooting in Parkland, FL, students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were invited by the Wizards to attend their Friday morning practice at Capital One Arena.

About 20 of the kids showed up to watch the Wizards practice, took pictures with players, got a tour of the facilities and walked away with Wizards hats and gear. It was a small break away from what has been a tumultous time ever since the massacre at their school on Feb. 14.

Wizards majority owner Ted Leonsis was on hand to speak with the students, who are set to lead the 'March For Our Lives' through downtown Washington on Saturday.


Wizards guard Bradley Beal met with the media after taking photos with the students.

"For us to be able to take their mind off of it for just a few minutes is always a great feeling," Beal said. "At the end of the day, we're all human beings regardless of our careers are and what our jobs are. A lot of us have families, kids, brothers and sisters. The last thing that you want to happen is what happened to several of those families. You can never imagine."

Beal went to college in Florida and has participated in his own forms of activism. He has found inspiration in the efforts by Stoneman Douglas students. They have taken what happened to their school as a catalyst for what they hope produces change in the ability to protect similar attacks from happening again.


Beal, 24, finds that admirable.

"It's amazing sometimes to learn from the youth on how to do things," Beal said. "It's a testament to where our world needs to lead to, to where we need to get to and to come together as a society. It starts with us as the younger generation. We've gotta come together with love and do things like this. I think what they're doing is awesome. It's spreading positive vibes and it's true humanitarian work that they're doing."

The Stoneman Douglas students are expected to attend Friday night's Wizards-Nuggets game as well.

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Bradley Beal sees Phil Chenier's jersey retirement as something to strive for

Bradley Beal sees Phil Chenier's jersey retirement as something to strive for

The relationship between Wizards All-Star Bradley Beal and Bullets legend Phil Chenier goes beyond your average friendship between a current and former player, or a current player and team broadcaster.

Beal and Chenier are close to the point Chenier often offers advice as a fellow shooting guard who helped lead the organization to some of their most important accomplishments.

Beal is always open ears when Chenier is talking and took great honor in being the one to tell Chenier personally that his jersey would be retired by the Wizards.

The day has come for Chenier's No. 45 to be raised to the rafters and Beal feels a unique sense of pride in seeing a man he reveres to the highest degree finally have his day in the sun.

"It's unbelievable. It's more than deserving," Beal said. "I was happy to be the one who told him about it. It's a special night for him. He's been a mentor to a lot of us for many years."


Chenier was a three-time All-Star for the Washington Bullets back in the 1970s. Following his playing career, he became a legendary broadcaster calling Bullets and then Wizards games for over 30 years.

Beal is now an NBA All-Star himself, having earned the honor for the first time this season. He is a shooting guard, just like Chenier.

Chenier was the color analyst for Wizards games for the first five years of Beal's career and Beal has always seen Chenier as a model to follow both on and off the court.

"It's always motivation for me to get better and I feel like this is the final touch of it, having your jersey retired by the franchise that you played a part in their success," Beal said.


The honor Chenier is about to receive is another goal to strive for. Beal wants to achieve a lot of what Chenier has accomplished in his life from winning a championship to making All-NBA to now having his jersey hang in the rafters at Capital One Arena.

"It definitely motivates me for that to be a goal of mine. Especially with the fact we both play the same position," Beal said.


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For more on Chenier's jersey retirement, check out our in-depth interview with him on the Wizards Tipoff podcast: