TROON, Scotland – The chance to shoot 62 in a major doesn’t come around very often, so Ernie Els wanted to make sure he ceded the stage to Phil Mickelson.
In a move typically seen on the 18th green Sunday, Els putted out first to give Mickelson more time to read a 16-footer that would have given him the first 62 in major-championship history.
“I said, ‘Let me go. You take your time,’” Els said. “And he said, ‘You sure? You sure?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, make some history today.’ He hit the best putt he could.”
Indeed, Mickelson’s birdie try hit the right edge and spun out, an ending so stunning that caddie Jim “Bones” Mackay fell onto his back (see video below).
Els, who was encouraging Mickelson as they walked down the final fairway, said it was one of the best rounds of links golf he’s ever seen.
“We’ve shared our careers together. We’ve competed against each other. We’ve pulled for each other,” Mickelson said of Els. “We’ve had a lot of moments that we’ve shared together, and that was another one that was really fun. He’s a special guy.”