This Butch Harmon guy can teach golf; just ask WGC Doral winner Phil Mickleson
The measure of success is results, and Butch Harmon’s results continue to impress.
Sometimes the big-name teachers get a little too much credit. But in the case of Harmon, it’s apparently all deserved. Pretty much everybody this guy has worked with has excelled.
This week’s WGC CA Championship at Doral Golf Resort & Spa is yet another example. Not only did his guy Phil Mickelson win, but also one of his other guys, Nick Watney, battled him the entire weekend to the end. It was, for the most part, a tournament of the Harmon pupils.
And though Mickelson and Watney weren’t perfect, they were clearly better than the rest of the field.
Beyond mechanics, though, Harmon seems to instill a sense of invincibility in all his students, which was evident at Doral. Lefty didn’t even let heat exhaustion over the weekend derail him. (He spent a couple of hours in the hospital after round 3, taking in fluids intravenously.)
Midway through the final round, Watney had one of the most remarkable pair of holes I’ve seen in recent memory. After airmailing the green on the par-3 ninth, he holed out the most unlikely of pitch shots from behind the TV camera tower for birdie. Then he followed that with a textbook eagle on the par-5 10th to draw even with Mickelson.
And I don’t care what Johnny Miller says, that right-handed shot that Mickelson hit on 12 underneath a palmetto was pretty cool and gutsy. It did hit a palm tree, as Mickelson’s caddie suggested it might, but it also gave him a chance at par. He wound up making bogey, but not many guys could have hit that kind of opposite hand shot. (You could definitely tell Mickelson is a natural righty on that one.)
Then at the end, on the famed 18th hole at The Blue Monster, both guys gave it their best shot. Watney was a putter rotation short from making birdie and forcing a possible sudden death playoff. Mickelson, with the pressure on, nearly hit the pin on his cut approach shot. To steal a phrase from Miller, “That’s golfin’ your ball, folks.”
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