Arnie defends Mickelson

mulligan, 22 June 2006, Comments Off on Arnie defends Mickelson
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After Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson questioned Phil Mickelson’s play on 18 at the U.S. Open (see here), Arnold Palmer has weighed in on Phil’s side.

“Sure, he could have used a hybrid club off the tee, a 2-iron, whatever, and then hit another iron into the green. But I have to say this. When I was playing, when I was in the middle of a round, I was playing the game the way I wanted to play it. What I learned over the years was that when you start thinking you’re not good enough to pull off a shot, well, if you’re thinking that way, that’s not necessarily a good thing. Phil’s a tremendous player. He’s won a lot of golf tournaments, and I have no question at all that he’ll bounce back.

“He’s young enough, and this will get him in a mind-set that the next time it happens, he’ll know exactly what to do. It isn’t easy to get over. If you dwell on it, it’ll take you down. And it could’ve taken me down. But I used it as a learning curve, and it helped me. I took it with me as a positive rather than a negative.”

“You can’t play the Open and hit only two fairways. The last few holes caught up with him and ended up beating him. But I’ve been there. I’ve been in the same position, and I’ve screwed it up just as bad as he did.”

Palmer said he tried to call Mickelson but wasn’t able to get him on the phone. He did send him a note with a simple message. “I told him it’s just another golf tournament. Sure, it’s a big one, but it’s just a golf tournament. Get on with it.” (More from Pittsburgh Tribune Review)


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