Dear America: You can't have it both ways.......Sincerely, Phil Mickelson
This morning on ESPN radio’s Mike and Mike in the Morning, host Mike Greenberg remarked that this U.S. Open would be remembered more for Mickelson’s stumble than for Ogilvy’s win. Unfortunately, Greenberg is probably correct. Everyone will spend the next several weeks questioning Mickelson’s decision to hit driver on 18, and questioning “Bones’” decision to actually let him hit driver. In fact Johnny “I once shot 63 on Sunday” Miller called Mickelson’s performance the biggest collapse in U.S. Open history, although he must have meant since last year, when he said at Pinehurst that Retief Goosen was experiencing one of the biggest meltdowns by a great player in major championship history.
Anyone who is criticizing Mickelson for playing the 18th the way he did is forgetting several things, most importantly the fact that this is the U.S. Open, and hitting an iron off of a long par four certainly does not guarantee a par. In fact, Ogilvy was the only one of the contenders to par the finishing hole, and he had to make a fantastic up and down to do so.
Another detail for which Mickelson detractors are developing amnesia is the fact that Mickelson sees himself as the most creative shot-maker on tour, and he has total confidence that he can figure out ways to make par from just about everywhere. Obviously he has been proven wrong, both yesterday and in the not-so-distant past, and I know Phil called himself an idiot, but that is easy to do in hindsight. Had he hit an iron into the rough, made bogey and lost in a playoff, everyone would been calling him the same words that some of our readers use to describe Chris Baldwin.
Mickelson’s all-in on Sunday at Winged Foot was not in the same league as Jean Van de Velde’s 72nd hole debacle at Carnoustie for one simple reason- Mickelson has now won three majors and will be heard from again, while Van de Velde had only one chance. Let’s face it- Mickelson will be upset for a few weeks, but he’ll recuperate rather quickly while cuddling up in his green jacket and admiring himself on all of the commercials he makes these days.
Mickelson is undoubtedly the most beloved player on tour, and the people who are ripping his decision making from yesterday have given up their future right to cheer him when he takes a risk and succeeds. You can’t cheer Mickelson when he shoots 100-under at the BellSouth using two drivers, praise him when he works the ball out of the trees to set up unthinkable birdies, marvel at his ability when he hits a bunker shot backwards over his head, and then thrash his decision making when the same style of play causes him to finish second in the U.S. Open.
Sorry folks, choose one style of play you want to see from Phil, stick with it, and shut your mouths.
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When Phil won his first Masters he was touting his more mature decision-making. And much of the same discussion has followed his wins in the last 2 majors as well. To say now that he is not capable of it is contradictory. It is Phil that is trying to have it both ways to cover up the fact that he choked in his decision-making. Simple case of denial.
I just don't think that punching out into the fairway there and getting up and down was all that simple. I don't know of the exact yardage he had (and the network did a horrific job of covering the situation), but I'm not sure a short iron gets him by the green or gives the opportunity to bend it around the trees as much as he needed to.
Sure, 4wood off the tee gives him enough distance, but that doesn't ensure a hit fairway either, especially the way he was swinging.
Ron Mon- excellent Seinfeld allusion. well done
Mickelson himself said that he had 185 to the front of the green and he thought he could slice a 3 iron onto the green. Even if he's trying to hit a 50-yard slice, it goes to reason that he could've hit a shorter iron straight through to the fairway and leave himself a pitch or flop.
I see your point though. We may be looking at the "Mickelslam" if he had approached the hole differently. But I guess we'll never know.
How stupid is the name "Mickelslam" by the way?
With all due respect to the ACTUAL winner, I remember it more as the event Mickelson squandered. However, to think that those who think Eldrick Woods not making the cut was a bigger story are "blind Tiger fans" is not only false, but also a bit myopic. Phil might be the "beloved" golfer on tour as the writer stated, but Tiger has been the most dominant. And Im sorry, I dont care how much of a Phil fan you are, thats not to be denied. How many cuts has Tiger missed? Seriously...how many? That signifcant number ALONE makes it a relevant story.
Bridgestone. I say that word has no place in describing any of Tigers
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