Wow. I'm as devastated and as dumbfounded as Phil Mickelson today...well, almost. Winged Foot 1, Mickelson and Montgomerie a big fat 0.
Barry and I finished our latest podcast and posted it then sat for several hours watching the final round of the U.S. Open. After cheering Phil Mickelson for several hours with the probability of him adding yet another major title to his growing list, something peculiar happened.
Mickelson changed from "Masters Phil" into that golfer that never won a major (affectionately called "Friday Phil" by my coworkers because that's when he always makes his move). He chose a driver on the 18th, knowing full well that he only needed to get the golf ball out onto the fairway and then a possible long iron onto the middle of the green. If he would have missed the green and bogeyed he was sure to get into a playoff as Geoff Ogilvy saved par on both the 17th and 18th greens.
Instead, Phil did what he does best. He made poor club selections and then tried to be a hero by taking a long iron out of the woods and positioning the ball onto the green. He had been doing that successfully all day during the final round, making only a few fairways and continually getting out of trouble, so why not this time?
Well, we all know the outcome. I'll bet that Mickelson won't be taken seriously for a long time to come, no matter how many tournaments he plays and wins. Even if he is victorious in the final two majors of the year, this will be the most memorable for both Mickelson and his fans.
I felt sorry for Mickelson because of the months of work that he put into training for this major tournament. He knew what he did. As Phil stated, "I am still in shock that I did that. I just can't believe that I did that. I'm such an idiot."
Don't worry Phil, everybody makes mistakes...usually at the most inoportune times.
My friend who works at Winged Foot stated that the atmosphere was somber in the dining room as there was a big shindig setting up for Phil's victory with room for over a thousand celebrants.
I'll still keep cheering for Phil...and I hope that he won't be making judgment errors any time soon.
And please remember that not only did Mickelson falter...so did Colin Montgomerie, Jim Furyk, Padraig Harrington, Kennie Ferrie, Vijay Singh...and the list goes on!