Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Another almost for Mickelson at a Major

Phil Mickelson almost did it again. He almost posted an insane number in the final round of a major championship to win. In a round mixed with brilliance and mediocrity, Mickelson had American golf fans watching in awe during his front-nine and then saying "wtf" on the back-nine.

For anyone who missed it, Mickelson began with three birdies and an eagle through the first seven holes. He then lipped out a 10 footer for birdie at the 8th, and left another short birdie putt on the edge of the cup at the 9th. His score very easily could have been 28, but he settled for a 30, putting him in great position to win.

Finally looking like he had truly learned how to play links golf, Mickelson was hitting great shot after great shot with a variety of knockdowns. With a great approach shot at the 10th, he made another birdie, moving to six under for his round.

And then, out of nowhere, he missed a two foot par putt on the 12th, proceeded to make three more bogeys coming in, finished with a back-nine 38, and lost by three to Darren Clarke. It seems hard to explain other than golf is very difficult and it must be extremely hard to keep up that level of play for the entire round, especially during the final round of a major. But really, I don't know how he missed a dead straight two footer.

This isn't the first time Mickelson has done this. At the 2009 Masters, he made six birdies on the front-nine to post 30, but then dumped his tee shot into Rae's creek at the 12th, making the mistake of missing right, which everyone knows you should never do. From there, he shot 37 on the back for 67, and lost by three to Angel Cabrera.

Tiger Woods had a similar round going at this year's Masters in which he shot a front-nine 31, but missed a three footer for par at coincidentally, the 12th hole, which slowed all his momentum. From there, he shot 37 for a 67 and lost by four to Charl Schwartzel.

These are three perfect examples of how hard it is for a golfer, even for two of the top players of all time, to keep all the momentum going for an entire round during the final round of a major championship.