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Mickelson magic at No 8

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LEMONT, Ill. – Classic Phil Mickelson moment at the eighth hole Sunday at the BMW Championship.

After hooking his tee shot right into the woods, Mickelson disappeared in search of his ball. The woods, within a hazard, were so thick you couldn’t see Mickelson at all. Jim “Bones” Mackay remained in play, gesturing to Mickelson where he could take a drop.

With the gallery beginning to wonder if Mickelson was lost in the woods, all of a sudden Mickelson’s ball popped out of the trees, through some low hanging weeping willow branches. The ball clipped the branches and fell into the rough where Mickelson had a clear shot into the green. His derring-do got a big reaction from the gallery there, but it left you wondering where he was aiming. The gap he saw couldn’t have looked much larger than a keyhole.

“How’d he do that?” one fan shouted.

“Nothing to it!” another fan answered.

Mickelson marveled, too.

'I couldn't believe I had a swing in there,' he said. 'I had to go through some trees and I needed a little bit of loft to get through some limbs.'

How large was the gap he shot through?

'It wasn't a gap,' he said. 'I just needed to get through some leaves and limbs and was lucky to get out.'

After escaping back into play, Mickelson slashed a terrific wedge out of deep rough to 6 feet, but he missed the putt for par for his only bogey on a strong front nine of 2-under 33, four shots better than Tiger Woods, whom he was paired with.