Take a mulligan: Phil Mickelson got what he deserved

mulligan, 20 June 2006, Comments Off on Take a mulligan: Phil Mickelson got what he deserved
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One hole — that’s all it takes in golf to go from near legendary status (joining Tiger and Ben Hogan with 3 majors in a row) to goat. Phil had the chance to lay claim to being the No. 1 golfer in the world and true rival to Tiger. Instead, Phil let it all slip away, on one hole.

After Monty was out, I was rooting for Mickelson to close the deal. But the self-proclaimed “idiot” Phil chose to hit driver on 18, and it cost him dearly.

That was the stupidest decision Phil made — even more stupid than Phil trying to hit his 4-wood out of thick rough from only 147 yards away, only to whiff the ball about 1 foot. Before the 18th hole, Phil had sprayed his driver all over the course, hitting only 2 of 13 fairways. For all of his weeks of meticulous preparation, Phil played wild and reckless in the final round. Phil admitted that he “couldn’t hit a fairway all day,” but then, amazingly in the same breath, thought driver was the club to hit on 18 because he thought he could hit his “bread and butter” cut fade. The illogic in that reasoning should’ve been apparent to someone in the Mickelson camp, like how about Bones, his caddy. Bones should’ve told Phil that his “bread and butter” was toast.

True, there’s no guarantee that Phil would’ve found the fairway with his 4-wood (he didn’t have a 3-wood in the bag) or even an iron. Remember the Ryder Cup when Phil, playing with Tiger, sliced his 3-wood so far left on the 18th hole that he left Tiger with an unplayable lie along the fence? Still, Phil should have played the percentages because he had the lead; anything but driver would’ve been safer and smarter on the final hole.

And, even after Phil got a lucky bounce off the hospitality tent to stay somewhere in play, Phil went for broke attempting to hit a huge slice 3-iron through the trees. Before he hit, my sister asked me: “Why doesn’t he just pitch out? He can still make a playoff with a bogey.” I had no good answer other than: “This is the tournament. If he hits a tree, he’s dead.” Sure enough, he did. Game over, man.


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