Bogey on the 18th at Riviera shows Phil Mickelson's head still isn't there
Phil Mickelson is driving the ball better than ever and the “incident” at Winged Foot only made him wiser for the rest of his career.
At least that’s what he’s telling anyone who asks.
After driving the ball well all tournament, Mickelson missed his tee shot left again on the 72nd hole at the Nissan Open Sunday afternoon, a goof that ended up costing him back-to-back wins in early 2007. Only this time around, the 18th was a dogleg right, not left. He still had a very real shot at par, but his short game of all things failed him.
Then in an “Are these guys really good?” playoff, neither he nor Extremely Average Touring Pro Charles Howell III burned it up. In the end, all Mickelson had to do was make a routine up-and-down - his bread-and-butter and something he did earlier that day from a tougher spot - to win on the second playoff hole. He didn’t, and 75 holes after everyone proclaimed “Phil’s Back!” - we’re now back to ground zero with the Inexplicable One.
So what can we learn about Lefty v.2007? Well, he’s still Phil, really. He’s eternally optimistic, has the skills to be the second best player in the world and the killer instinct still eludes him. He’ll be on top at least half a dozen more Sundays this year. We’ll see if he’s capable of pulling out a squeaker.
How many of us saw this breakdown coming - or at least told a buddy “uh oh” as he stood on the 18th tee with a one shot lead? He’s a top five talent and should be invincible to this kind of early-season pressure. He should have closed it on the 18th but instead went into overtime. 60 Minutes was delayed far too long because of you, Phil - and Andy Rooney is pissed.
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