PITTSFORD, N.Y. – The tale of two weeks was palpable – Phil Mickelson some three dozen autographs into his post-round signing session and some 30 minutes removed from his closing-round 72 at the PGA, and Jason Dufner, one off the lead and nearly three hours away from teeing off, brushed past each other in front of the Oak Hill clubhouse just past noon on Sunday.
One was headed back to Southern California to rest and get ready for the FedEx Cup playoffs, the other bound for the final tee time at the year’s final major. The contrast was striking.
For Mickelson, fresh off his defining fortnight in Scotland, the 95th PGA Championship is best forgotten. A third-round 78, which matched Lefty’s highest card in a major, effectively ended Mickelson’s title chances, but he didn’t plan to dwell on it.
“I didn’t play very well the last two weeks,” said Mickelson, who tied for 21st at last week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. “I’m not going to worry about it. I’m going to go home, take a few days off, get my short game sharp and start back up in four or five days for the FedEx Cup playoffs. But I’m not going to worry too much about it.”
Although his putting statistics were not the best, the world No. 2’s driving is what cost him at Oak Hill. For the week, he hit just 30 of 56 fairways and was particularly wayward on the weekend after putting his “driver” – a 2-wood hybrid dubbed the Phranken-wood – in play on Saturday.
Mickelson – who finished at 12 over and was tied for 73rd when he left Oak Hill – told GolfChannel.com that he plans to keep the Phranken-wood in play for The Barclays, the first of four playoff events in two weeks in New Jersey.
“I want to forget these last couple of weeks. I’ll look at some film from the events I played well and just try to do the same thing I did there,” Mickelson said.