PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – For all the memorable moments that came from Phil Mickelson's second-round 66, one of the most telling was hardly noticeable.
Standing on the tee at the par-5 14th, driver in hand, Mickelson began his address, then backed off and asked Jim Mackay for his 4-wood. It was only Friday afternoon, but there is no such thing as a good time to make a mess – we've seen quite a few at the 14th already this week.
Mickelson's exercise in restraint left him with a very manageable third shot into a diabolical green complex, which he executed. Sometimes, greatness isn't measured by the ability to hit shots no one else can hit, but your willingness to think clearly and proceed with prudent caution.
In Lefty's case, we might refer to it as a new leaf.