License to sensate: magic Phil Mickelson has shown that he is far from over the hill at Pebble Beach
License to sens: Phil Mickelson has shown that he is far from over the hill with his performance on Pebble Beach – and his remarkable comeback can send him to the US Open to his credit
- Phil Mickelson finished third on Sunday at the PGA Tour event the Pebble Beach
- A return to form has given new life to the career of the newly cut American at the age of 49
- The former world number two left the top 50 for the first time in 26 years last year
- Mickelson will avoid an exception at the US Open, but could qualify on merit
Phil Mickelson failed on Sunday in his attempt to win one of the oldest events on the PGA Tour, the Pebble Beach pro-am, for the sixth time.
The disappointment of the left was felt after the failure to win one Tiger Woods victory for the most wins ever achieved by a player in their home state of California.
Eventually Mickelson had to settle for third place, five strokes drifting from the winning score placed by Canadian Nick Taylor, while he unraveled in the gusts of wind, after a clear start of his final round. Mickelson closed two battles with four holes to play, but credits Taylor for surviving a mid-round crisis to claim his second win on the PGA Tour.
Phil Mickelson narrowly failed in his fine attempt to win the Pebble Beach pro-am for the sixth time
The veteran ended five strokes shy of the victorious total managed by the Canadian Nick Taylor
As for the man who won no less than 44 times, the sense of deflation certainly did not last longer than was necessary to steer his private plane back along the coast to San Diego.
For nearly a year, the man who was lovingly known as “Phil the Thrill” had clearly looked over the hill. Without as much as a top ten in all that time and his 50th birthday in June, it was not surprising that the sporting obituaries were being prepared.
Now, after successive top three finishes, we wonder if we were perhaps too fast. Is the man who earned his nickname because of his remarkable Houdini escapades around the greens ready to make his greatest magic trick of all?
He looked five years younger than his age after losing 30 pounds. The comeback started eight days ago at the Saudi Invitational, where he finished third.
One-off? Mickelson immediately flew halfway around the world – and he said he “played like a stallion” during Pebble Beach for the first three days.
The American had undergone a form and confidence crisis that made him fall out of the top 50
Mickelson’s new faith in the meat of the season was illustrated by some comments made last week alongside the Monterey peninsula that were just as breathtaking as the scenery.
Asked about last Tuesday’s vanilla Distance Insight report that somehow took two years to prepare for the governing bodies, Mickelson sighed and said, “We must be the only major professional sport that is still ruled by amateurs. ”
If that wasn’t enough for the USGA, Mickelson had just started. At the moment, he is not in the field for their pride and joy, the US Open, the only major that he has not won and where he finished six times in second place. This year it is staged in Winged Foot, the scene of his most dramatic near-accident, where he took a double bogey on the 18th in 2006 and did not spare himself. “How stupid can you become?” he said.
Mickelson was therefore sure to receive a special exemption that the USGA hands out in such cases. But Mickelson made it clear that they would waste their time.
“I wouldn’t accept it,” he said. “Or I just go out on the field or don’t play. I don’t want a place of sympathy. “With the Mickelson mojo on the rise again, he will certainly make it.
That horrific series last year saw its proud record of 25 consecutive seasons finish in the top 50 of the world.
Now 72nd, this show will bring him back to the top 60 – good enough to earn a US Open spot if he stays there mid-May.
Meanwhile, the Australian Min Woo Lee won the Handa Vic Open during the European Tour with two hits from New Zealand’s Ryan Fox. In addition to running, an LPGA event was claimed by South Korea’s Hee Young Park.
Mickelson has rediscovered the class, allowing him to win every major US Open