He was at Pebble Beach last week and feels that Phil’s win on Sunday was as important to him as almost any other win in his career because following his start in 2012, there were beginning to be some inner doubts about if he was going to be able to take his game from the practice tee to the course and succeed. The win was particularly satisfying because he won with Tiger in his pairing.
The win said more about Phil than Tiger in his opinion but added that many people will automatically start saying that Tiger is heading for failure and Phil is heading for success and neither are true. Both have been around for a long time and will continue to be around for a long time.
When Tiger started missing short putts on his first nine holes on Sunday, Jason knew that he was not going to win. Having watched Tiger all week, he said that his ball striking was great all week but his putter was only good on Saturday which was the one day that his ball striking was not great. Sunday was a better ball striking day but it was still less than what he did the first two days and that combined with a balky putter equals a final round 75.
Phil’s 40 PGA TOUR wins is the more impressive feat according to Jason because it shows the longevity of his career although both accomplishments are incredibly impressive.
His win last week is a microcosm for his entire career because he has always been streaky and he has always been about momentum. There have been so many occasions where he has entered an event struggling and went on to win and amazingly, the opposite has been true as well.
Another interesting dynamic of the Sunday Tiger/Phil duel was the fact that this was the first time that they played together in the same group and Steve Williams was not on the bag for Tiger Woods. Joe LaCava definitely had a collegial relationship with Bones Mackay and Phil Mickelson which is completely different from the past. Steve Williams would not have even looked at them during the round much less talked to them. During a 15 minute wait on the 6th hole, LaCava was talking to both Bones and Phil.