Putting is so important in major championships, and Phil Mickelson was on fire today as he stormed to a stunning comeback win in the British Open. He birdied four of the last sic holes and said in the interview above that it’s the best he’s ever putted.
Meanwhile Lee Westwood faded and Tiger Woods was good but not good enough again. Think about it – Tiger hasn’t won a major in 5 years! He used to be well ahead of the pace set by Jack Nicklaus but know the two are pretty close. Passing Jack is no longer an easy task for Woods. There are plenty of young golfers who have emerged in the sport, and Mickelson continues to be a force in the game as well.
I guess we can put a stop to those stories about whether Tiger can come back. Today’s win was vintage Tiger Woods, and now he has momentum heading into the US Open in a couple of weeks.
Dust off the Tiger Woods highlight reel and add another jaw-dropper, this one near the very top. From a downhill lie, to a green running away from him, and with a wall of water lurking if he went long, Tiger Woods hit a flop shot into the hole for birdie on the par-3 16th hole, one of the most amazing shots of his career, and went on to record his 73rd victory on Sunday.
The win at the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village ties Woods with tournament host Jack Nicklaus for second place on the career victories list, trailing only Sam Snead (82), and gives Woods a surge of adrenaline heading into the U.S. Open at Olympic Club, which begins in 11 days.
“That was one of the most incredible golf shots I think you’ll ever see played,” Nicklaus said on the CBS telecast of Woods’s chip-in. “It wasn’t just the pitch shot. It was where he had to land it, and what he had to do, and what the penalties were if he didn’t make it. Unbelievable.”
Meanwhile, Phil Mickelson dropped out of this invitational tournament after playing one lousy round. Things change quickly . . .
[Masters chairman Billy] Payne couldn’t have scripted it any better. Instead of a disgraced adulterer winning with his wife nowhere to be seen, the tournament ended with a married couple hugging. Perfect. Right out of the 1950s. Just like Augusta. The bubble remained secure.
Unfortunately for Woods, it’s time to leave that bubble and join 2010 again. It’s a world that may include drunken hecklers, catcalls, fans taking photos during his swing, more airplane banners, TMZ cameramen, unsubstantiated rumors and media troublemakers starting trouble just for sport. It’s a world where my wife watches two people hugging and hates Tiger Woods because of it. It’s a world where, if he slips and drops an F-bomb during a tournament, the moment will be replayed again and again. It’s a world where Phil Mickelson is now the most popular golfer in the world, hands down, nobody else coming close.
Simmons also noted that Augusta does such a good job of controlling its crowd that Tiger didn’t have to deal with much in the way of heckling this weekend. That could change in upcoming weeks, however.
They’re already calling this the golf shot of the year, and it propelled Mickelson to the Masters title. It was on the 13th hole of Sunday’s final round, and he had to hit it between the trees and over the water. This is proof positive that Mickelson is daring.