Phil is “The Man”

Four years ago my heart was broken when Tom Watson lost the Open after hitting two perfect shots on the last hole.  Last year Ernie soothed some wounds and last Sunday Phil Mickelson made me realize more than ever that golf is a game of fate, and when it is your time, you can’t stop whatever is going to happen from happening.  A month removed from a crushing defeat at Merion, Phil came from 5 back on Sunday to win going away.  After his bogey on #11 he was still four shots back – then the wheels fell off everyone else’s train and he didn’t miss a shot.  Birdie at #13 after a perfect tee shot, birdie at #14 with a long putt, then a fantastic up and down on #16 when a pitch hit just a hair heavy would have left the ball back at his feet.  The guy has nerves of steel.  Then, by his own admission, two of the best 3-woods he had ever hit to the 17th, setting up a 2-putt birdie.  It was all over, except it was Phil.  Would he go all Winged Foot on the 72nd?  No.  A pure hybrid off the tee, then an iron that came five feet from landing in a bunker, but instead bounded up 15 feet from the hole. It was the bounce Tom Watson wanted in 2009.  Then, like Watson on the 72nd at  Pebble in 1982, Phil rolls the putt into the dead center of the cup.  He was the Champion Golfer of the year, and his exploits will now live alongside those of the greats, so dramatic was his charge on the closing holes.  That is what makes the game so great and why I love it’s history so much.  Champions rising to the occasion and forgetting past mistakes.  Good for you Phil.  Well done!

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