The Golf Blog: Phil Mickelson adds drama to final round of British Open

mulligan, 18 July 2011, Comments Off on The Golf Blog: Phil Mickelson adds drama to final round of British Open
Categories: Uncategorized

The Golf Blog says: It’s Monday and we’re still marveling at the first 10 holes Phil Mickelson played yesterday at the British Open at Royal St. George. Phil was an improbable 6-under for 10 holes. To that into perspective, the best round of the day was only 2-under par–eventually shot by Phil and Sergio Garcia. Had Phil parred in from the 11th hole, he would have lapped the field three times over in terms of low score of the day, under windy and intermittently rainy conditions.

Phil looked like he was unstoppable. He tied Darren Clarke momentarily for the lead, at -5. But then on the 11th hole, Phil missed a short 2-footer that looked pretty much straight in. Phil pushed and jammed it left. It was a costly mistake. During the television coverage, Paul Azinger basically called it before Phil missed the putt, noting how quickly he was putting out (instead of marking). Afterwards, Phil confessed: “Well, the putt at 11 was just a stupid mistake. There was nothing to it. It was just a dumb mental error. I just lost focus there, and it hurts to throw shots away like that when I’m behind.”

But that wasn’t the only mental mistake. After the yip on 11, Mickelson seemed to be flustered and pressing his shots. After the round, Phil said he thought he “needed to make birdies” to stay in sight of leader Darren Clarke, who was not giving up shots to the field. For someone who’s won 4 majors, Phil’s comment is a bit mystifying. He should have known the back 9 was playing a lot harder than the front 9–in the final round, by 3 shots. To post a score of 5-under, the number Mickelson was at after he yipped his putt on 11, still would have given Clarke (then at 7-under, but 3 groups behind) something to think about. It turned out Clarke finished at 5-under (after he was essentially playing out the clock), so there was at least a possibility that Phil could have forced a playoff by not pressing for more birdies. But that’s what Phil, the gunslinger, sometimes does. And he’s pretty much never been in contention at the British Open before, so maybe he was a little bit out of his element. Whatever the explanation, Sunday turned out to be another round at a major that leaves Phil–and us–thinking, what could have been.


You must be logged in to post a comment.

Leave a Reply:

Name *

Mail (hidden) *


Email: thegolfblog [@]

Advertise Here