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Phil: Football tossing contributed to double bogey

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – If you didn’t catch Phil Mickelson at the 16th hole Saturday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, then you’ve likely missed your chance to ever do so in the future.

And by “catch Phil” I mean “catch a football with Phil’s signature on it.”

Mickelson, whose brother Tim is the golf coach at Arizona State University, brought out ASU footballs that he had signed and sent them soaring, spiraling into the stands. 

The crowd loved it. But Phil didn’t.

“I think it’s the last time I’m going to do that,” Mickelson said. “Mentally I was thinking about throwing it a couple holes prior. … It took me out of my element.”

Mickelson missed the green at the par-3 16th, which was playing just 128 yards, saw his first pitch come up short and roll back into a bunker, blasted on and two-putted for a double-bogey 5 en route to a 1-over 72. He sits at 3 under through three rounds, 12 shots back of leader Bubba Watson.

“I hit the worst shot imaginable on that 16th hole, and then I followed with four other terrible ones. … I thought it was going to be fun, and it kind of took away my focus.“