Hey there, Rockheads! This past weekend saw a couple of pretty great golfin’ stories, particularly when it comes to the Pro-Am tournament. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights from the last few days.
First off, Phil Mickelson came through with a great win over the weekend at the Pro-Am AT&T Tournament over at Pebble Beach. This victory marks the fourth time Mickelson has won this particular tournament (he took home the trophy in 2007, 2005, and 1998) and the 40th tour event win in his incredible Hall of Fame career. While a win alone is certainly noteworthy, Mickelson’s performance over the weekend was downright stellar. His bogey-free round of 64 was the lowest of the day. He won by two strokes, beat Tiger by nine, and outshot him by a staggering 11. That being said, Mickelson shows nothing but respect for Tiger and feels that his adversary inspires him to be a better, stronger player. According to ESPN, for Mickelson, this was a very emotional and important victory. “He won it at Pebble, the same place where his grandfather once caddied. Even sweeter, he won it with an overpowering performance that reduced Woods to an afterthought. It wasn’t a major, but on some level, it felt like it.”
Tiger, on the other hand, was not up to par this past weekend (pun intended). This was supposed to be Tiger’s comeback tournament, but it quickly turned into Mickelson’s breakthrough performance of the year. As the LA Times reported (with a touch of tongue-in-cheek) golf’s great finisher can no longer finish. After Woods got himself in prime position to strike on Sunday, with lead-up rounds of 68-68-67, the feeling on the course was that the Pro-Am tour would witness Tiger’s long-awaited comeback. Sadly, until they create a category for best three-round tour players, Tiger’s return was not to be. On the same course where he had once won a U.S. Open by 15 shots, the once great Tiger slowly but surely slipped 11 strokes ahead.
The 18th hole summed things up pretty well for both golfers. This particularly challenging par five has an ocean of rocks along the left hand side designed to punish the gamblers that try to drive it 300 yards. The typical fast and loose Mickelson played it smart and safe. He hit three irons and was six feet away from birdie. Woods, on the other hand, hit driver and fairway wood to the green. Putting for eagle, Woods instead clanked his birdie putt off of the cup and was forced to settle for par. Over the four-day tournament, Tiger’s game face slowly transformed into more of a grimace.
In the end, it was Mickelson who hoisted the trophy (and the $1.152 million dollar check) into the air.
So what say you, Rockheads? Does the weekend’s tournament mean the death knell for Tiger or is it merely the signal for him to tighten up his glove for the next round?