His wife, Amy, gave birth to the couple's second daughter. The family moved to Phil's hometown of San Diego. All of those things contributed to Phil not playing competitively for five months. And then he wins his first time out in 2002!
What a shot on the 72nd hole. Sitting at 29 under par, Phil knew he needed birdie on the par-5 18th at PGA West. His second shot drifted left and put him in a precarious position in the rough. But Phil pulled off a magical flop shot that left him just a short putt for four. To even try the shot is incredible. To pull it off is just awesome.
Behind Phil was David Berganio, Jr. He needed birdie to force a playoff with Phil and reached the par-5 in two. But his eagle putt came up way short. What a pressure-packed situation. David had never won on the PGA Tour. His best finish, a tie for third in Hartford last year. Seven feet for birdie and a playoff awaited. He drained it. The place went nuts. Time for extra golf.
We know by now that Phil won on the first extra hole. David never challenged after hitting his second shot in the water. Something I'll always take away from the playoff, though, occured just after David hit his fourth onto the green. Phil was an L-wedge away in the fairway. He lined up to hit his third and then backed away. All of sudden he asked David to mark his ball up on the green. That's how good and precise Phil is with his L-wedge. He needed a ball that was some 80 yards away marked so he could hit a perfect shot to about six inches to win the tournament!
Phil Mickelson is amazing.