As Phil would describe, his relationship with links golf courses is somewhat love-hate. After Phil’s victory at Muirfield on Sunday, however, I’d like to think he’s in for the long haul.
Above: A thumbs-up from Phil an American can actually endorse!
As the 54-hole leaders played the first nine holes, viewers would see a man by the name of Phil Mickelson slowly, but surely, creep up the leaderboard. Starting the day five shots out of the lead, many experts out there wrote Phil off simply due to the fact that they couldn’t imagine seeing a number as low as 66 posted on Sunday. Well, I’ll be darned, Phil did what Phil does best: hangs around and then makes his move on Sunday. Would somebody just tell Lefty that “moving day” is universally known to be on Saturday? On second thought, don’t tell him. His “Philthy” style of golf always makes for good theater on the weekend of majors. Personally, I think “Bones” is better off always telling Phil he is five back of the leaders, even if he is in the lead. If that were the case—who knows—ole South Paw may have a couple U.S. Opens under his belt.
Now not to brag or boast, but I’m hardly ever right about anything in life, so I’m going to anyways. Take a gander at who ole Goose took to win the Open in my Open Championship preview.
Tiger Woods managed to post two over-par rounds on the weekend, yet again. His ball striking was not too shabby for majority of the week, but it was his putting that let him down—where have you heard that before? At one point in time Tiger got it back to within two shots of the lead after making birdies on holes no. 12 and 14, but made a momentum-killing bogey on no. 15. Tiger will have to wait for the PGA Championship August 8-11 at Oak Hill.
Lee Westwood continues to compete at major championships and continues to struggle on Sunday. After making a great bogey on the par-3 seventh—similar to the great bogey he made on the par-3 16th he made on Sunday—the golfing world sought to believe that would be the defining moment of “Westy’s” first, well-earned major championship. Personally, I’d like to see Lee win one before it’s all said and done. Not saying that he is a Hall of Famer, but his resurgence, dedication and hard work are characteristics of one of the best in the game. He deserves it.
-For the ninth consecutive championship at Muirfield, the Open champion is a current member of the Golf Hall of Fame.
-From 2005-11, Tiger was 60-under par during weekends at majors. Over the last two years, he is 23-over par, 83 shots worse than during his stretch of dominance.
-Nicklaus didn’t win his 15th major until his 67th start at the age of 38. Tiger just completed his 63rd start at the age of 37.
-Phil moves from 5th to 2nd in the Official World Golf Rankings. Déjà Vu?
-He was also the first left-handed Open champion since 1963.
-Three consecutive Open champions have been 40+ years old.