Will Phil Mickelson's poor showing hurt him at Masters?
HUMBLE, Texas – Last year, Phil Mickelson came to the Shell Houston Open to check out the Augusta-like setup at Redstone Golf Club’s Tournament Course. Admitting that it was more important to prepare for the following week than it was to win the Houston tournament, Mickelson had a respectable showing here, tying for 23rd.
This year, in a rain- and wind-delayed SHO, Mickelson never got untracked, missing the cut after posting rounds of 77-76. Not trying to win is one thing; not coming close to playing the weekend is another.
Shortly after his second round Saturday, Mickelson was on the range hitting shots in front of his coach, Butch Harmon. Using a shaft in the ground as a swing plane guide, Mickelson put in some work.
“It was really good that I played here because I made some mistakes during the first two rounds that you just can’t do competitively,” Mickelson said. “I drove two balls in the water off the tee for stroke and distance. Stuff like that I needed to get out of my system here.”
That’s really the only way Mickelson can look at it; otherwise he wouldn’t be feeling too confident about his game going to Augusta National next week.
For what it’s worth, Mickelson finished fifth at last year’s Masters, six shots off the winning score of 8-under par posted by winner Trevor Immelman. What effect Mickelson’s performance, if any, had on his showing at Augusta last year is anyone’s guess.
Perhaps Mickelson is right, though. Maybe this week’s tournament will serve as a wake-up call. After all, he’s been playing well the rest of the year.
Harmon didn’t like Mickelson’s set-up and alignment here. Both can be attributed, perhaps, to viewing the Houston stop as a practice tournament and can be easily corrected.
Meeting Harmon here had actually been planned for a couple of months, Mickelson said, so it wasn’t like Harmon responded to an emergency call. Plus now Mickelson can just work with Harmon for a day on specifics without having to worry about playing a tournament.
“It doesn’t feel like my game is far off,” Mickelson said. “I’m not overly concerned with what the numbers showed.”
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I'm really a big fan of Phil's and have always kept hope that he could sincerely be a legitimate rival to Tiger, but that was ridiculous what he displayed in Houston, and an embarrassment to him and his fan base.
Unfortunately for fans of Phil, having to accept his brain cramps are just part of the package. For whatever reason he won't use logic to counter balance his attempts, that brawn outweighs brains with a golf club. There's times when i wish he'd throw his driver in a trash bin, as to most of his undoing's generally always start when he drives a shot into the unknown.