Mickelson just yanked a 9-iron so far right that it came up short, hitting the greenside bank and rolling back into the water.
“I had been kind of pulling my irons this week,’’ he said, “but I hit so many good shots today that I wasn’t worried about it. Usually if I pull it, the ball goes a little longer to the right and carries, but that was really a terrible swing.
“To miss it that far right of where I was aimed was costly.’’
Yes, Mickelson said he was aiming left of the pin, giving himself plenty of margin for error, but given his attacking nature, combined with the vibe he had to be feeling at the time, you have to wonder if he wasn’t feeling a little too bulletproof at the time, and decided to fire at the flag.
The rule on No. 12, of course, is to play it as safe as possible, get your par and go eagle-hunting on No. 13 and 15. If Mickelson got a little reckless, well, it wouldn’t have been the first time.
Still, he had chances to make up for it, but missed a four-foot eagle putt at No. 15 and a four-foot birdie putt at No. 17, all of which made his bogey at No. 18 fairly meaningless.
It was also a reminder that, win or lose, Mickelson is the best show in golf. The catch, of course, is that if Tiger had come to the 12th hole in the same situation, there’s no way he hits the ball in the water.
Perhaps only Mickelson can make a 67 on Masters Sunday feel so unsatisfying.
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