Deconstructing Phils 11


Ever since I wrote a column earlier this week defending the gambles Phil Mickelson took en route to making an 11 on the 14th hole at Pebble Beach last Saturday, The Comebackers m-mailbox has been bulging.
Without further ado:
Tom writes: Like you, Im weary of the blood sport known as vilifying Phil, wherein he is ridiculed for every golf course gaffe that he has ever committed. On the other hand, Phils 11 on 14 cant be justified by some burning desire he has to win and only win. Since you evoked Tiger, I believe Tiger has said (often) that you cant win a golf tournament on Saturday, but you sure can lose one. Seems to me that Phil proved the veracity of that philosophy. By going for broke with 23 holes to play, Phil effectively lost the tournament. If he wants to win, he might want to re-think some of his strategic decision-making.
The Comebacker Phil is a lightning rod who cant resist looking for lightning in a bottle at every opportunity. Still, I dont fault him for thinking win even when it might not be the prudent play.
Doug writes: What a beautiful scorecard with two 1s'unfortunately they were in the same square!!
The Comebacker Two aces on the same hole. Hey, The Comebacker has done that.

Ken writes: In the last two weeks, Phil collapsed in the FBR and Vijay collapsed in the AT&T. Both were playing respectable but hardly superstar players. If either one had been going head-to-head with Tiger, and had collapsed in exactly the same way, all the talk on Golf Channel post-game shows would have been about the psychological edge Tiger has over these guys, how he completely unnerves them. I think these cases prove that those assertions are overblown and overplayed. The pressure of competing to win in any golf tournament, whether against Mr. Woods or not, is sufficient to make the almost-best in the world collapse on their own.
The Comebacker Its very easy to be snarky and take potshots at e-mails. And The Comebacker wont resist the opportunity when presented with it. But Kens points are well-taken.

Danny writes: Phil is Phil, Lanny Wadkins is Lanny Wadkins, Greg Norman is Greg Norman, they all look back and say they did it their way while also reflecting how many tournaments they threw away due to poor course management under the guise of going for it.
The Comebacker
Yikes. Phil Mickelson makes an 11 and Lanny gets ripped.

Jon writes:There was a movie with Alec Baldwin and Anthony Hopkins a few years ago in which Baldwins character has a great quote..Never feel sorry for someone who has his own jet...
The Comebacker
Or his own yacht.

Walsh writes:You people in the media will do anything to suck up to these guys, even overlook some other important issues. He (Phil) should have been blasted by you folks for being the idiot that he is. He threw away the potential for world ranking points and he threw away FedEx points. Now you tell me, wasnt that just stupid. It was also disrespectful to the thousands of fans who bought tickets for Sunday to see Phil..
The Comebacker Never feel sorry for somebody who has Sunday tickets at Pebble Beach. Seriously, though, well be talking about an 11 at 14 a lot longer than well be talking about a T33.
Craig writes:Loved your explanation of Phils 14th hole fiasco'up to a point. I can admire him for going for it on his first tee shot. It goes in the water, oh well, he tried and you pointed out, thats apparently more than a lot of the Tour would do. But who does he think he is, Kevin Costner!? His second attempt was just as foolhardy, just as mind boggling, just as amateurish as his follow-up at Winged Foot.
The Comebacker
Roy McAvoy would have been proud.

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