What Phil Did Last - COPIED

By Brian HewittFebruary 13, 2008, 5:00 pm
New golf joke:
 
Q: Whats the only thing worse than making an 11 on No. 14?
 
A: Making a 14 on No. 11.
 
No, nobody made a 14 on the 11th hole on the PGA TOUR over the last four days. But by now the whole golf world knows world No. 2 Phil Mickelson carded an 11 on the par 5 14th at Pebble Beach Saturday.
 
For what its worth, a lot of Monterey Peninsula veteran golf watchers think No. 14, an uphill, dogleg right, with a slight reverse camber to a nasty, split-level green complex, is the hardest hole on the course. Steve Lowery, who beat Vijay Singh in a Sunday playoff bogeyed 14 in the final round. So did Singh.
 
Its just not worth 11 pops.
 
So now Phils critics will come out in force again. Theyll recount all the makeable putts he missed just last week at the FBR Open down the stretch that allowed J.B. Holmes to catch him on the 72nd hole and beat him in a playoff.
 
Theyll remind us of the clutch of sloppy errors Phil made at Riviera last year that opened the door for Charles Howell III to beat him in a playoff there.
 
Theyll re-tell the story of the meltdown at Winged Foot in the 2006 U.S. Open when bad judgment and worse execution on the final hole cost Mickelson that championship and prompted him to label himself such an idiot moments after he had gone down in figurative flames .
 
Some will even think back to the 2002 PLAYERS when he 5-putted the 10th green.
 
What will Phil do next? they will snicker with glee while smugly rolling their eyes.
 
And they will all have missed the point.
 
The only thing Phil Mickelson was thinking about when he reached No. 14 Saturday at Pebble was winning the golf tournament. If theres any part of that you dont understand, read one of Tiger Woods biographies.
 
Mickelson was 2 under standing on the 14th tee Saturday and rightly figured a birdie there and a birdie on the par-5 18th, accompanied by one or two other birdies in between, would have putt him within striking distance of the lead which wound up at 9 under by the time darkness fell over the Del Monte Forest Saturday night.
 
For years now Americas top male golfers have been charged, as a group, with being fat and happy thanks to purses that have made millionaires out of players who never dreamed what the career money list would look like one day.
 
But what most people never realized was this: If you are massively-talented, highly-motivated and financially-secure for life, you can afford to play for first place and take the consequences when that noble goal doesnt work out every time.
 
Money isnt necessarily a disincentive. Ill look forward to coming back next year, Mickelson said late Saturday, not hiding from reporters after the 11 on 14. I always do.
 
And he will return with one thought in mind: Winning.
 
Go ahead and rip Phil for his shot selection at Winged Foot. I suspect nobody, in the cold aftermath of that galling defeat, was harder on Mickelson than Mickelson himself. But if you want to mock him for his 11 on 14 Saturday at Pebble, you just dont get it.
 
The mentality that allows a player to put himself in a position to run the risk of going down in flames, is the only mentality that, if allowed to incubate, will encourage players to beard the Tiger in his own den.
 
And that, after all, is the only thing professional golf needs more than Tiger Woods these days: Players who will truly challenge him.
 
Phil Mickelson likes to say its Tigers world and hes just living in it. But at least hes living in it without surrendering his hubris; without giving in to resignation.
 
Mickelsons crash and burn and missed cut at Pebble Beach was an unhappy accident but it didnt lack for color. In fact, Pebble Beach'where the reds are redder, the greens are greener and the blues are bluer'is a living advertisement for the advantages of HDTV.
 
The flushed face Mickelson wore late Saturday was unmistakable. But at least he came by it honestly.
 
Q: Whats the only thing worse than a making an 11 on No. 14.
 
A: Not having a good explanation why.
 
Saturday at Pebble Beach Phil Mickelson had one.
 
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
 
Related Links:
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    Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

    Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

    Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

    Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

    4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

    4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

    4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

    4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

    4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

    5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

    5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

    5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

    5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

    5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

    6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

    6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

    6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

    6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

    6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

    6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

    7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

    7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

    7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

    7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

    7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

    7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

    8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

    8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

    8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

    8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

    8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

    8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

    9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

    9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

    9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

    9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

    9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

    10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

    10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

    10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

    10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

    10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

    10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

    11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

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    Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

    He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

    “There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

    Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

    “I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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    Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

    Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

    Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

    “I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

    Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

    “It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

    More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

    “I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”

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    After 36, new Open favorite is ... Fleetwood

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 7:49 pm

    With a handful of the pre-championship favorites exiting early, there is a new odds-on leader entering the third round of The Open at Carnoustie.

    While Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner share the 36-hole lead, it's England's Tommy Fleetwood who leads the betting pack at 11/2. Fleetwood begins the third round one shot off the lead.

    Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at golfodds.com.

    Tommy Fleetwood: 11/2

    Zach Johnson: 13/2

    Rory McIlroy: 7/1

    Jordan Spieth: 8/1

    Rickie Fowler: 9/1

    Kevin Kisner: 12/1

    Xander Schauffele: 16/1

    Tony Finau: 16/1

    Matt Kuchar: 18/1

    Pat Perez: 25/1

    Brooks Koepka: 25/1

    Erik van Rooyen: 50/1

    Alex Noren: 50/1

    Tiger Woods: 50/1

    Thorbjorn Olesen: 60/1

    Danny Willett: 60/1

    Francesco Molinari: 60/1