Phil vs. Thomas: Majors vs. a 59

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Four years ago at this tournament, Phil Mickelson came excruciatingly close to joining golf’s exclusive 59 club.

So what does he think about being grouped in the first two rounds of the Waste Management Phoenix Open with Justin Thomas and Adam Hadwin, the two guys who have carded 59s in the last month?

“Yeah, they’ve both shot 59. I’m envious of that. I really am,” Mickelson said Wednesday at TPC Scottsdale.

But in typical Mickelson fashion, he wasn’t quite done talking.

“But I have won this tournament three times and they haven’t, he added with a smile. “We both have something to be jealous about.”

Lefty went on to talk about the challenge of finishing off a tournament when you spend a round chasing golf’s magic number, which he did in 2013, winning the WMPO by four shots.


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“After you shoot a round like that, much like what Justin Thomas did in Hawaii when he shot 59 in the first round, the expectation is to win, and anything less than that is looked at as a failure,” Mickelson said. “I think that’s one of the things I’m most proud of, looking at that win in 2013, is being able to finish it off.”

As for Thomas? It’s safe to say he expects some friendly banter on Thursday.

“I will just ask him how many times he shot 59 in a competitive round, and then he will probably say something else about all the other majors he’s won and I won’t have anything to say,” he laughed. “There are not many things I have on Phil, but that’s one of them. I will be sure to remind him.”