Phil Mickelson’s blunder on the 72nd hole of the 2006 U.S. Open will go down as one of the biggest gaffes in golf history.
Needing a par to win or bogey to force an 18-hole playoff with Geoff Ogilvy, Mickelson opted to take the circuitous route to the green. After his drive caromed off a hospitality tent and back into play, Mickelson caught a tree with his second shot, found a fried-egg lie in a greenside bunker for his fourth, and failed to chip-in for bogey to keep his tournament hopes alive. The double-bogey prompted Mickelson to label himself an “idiot” after the calamitous chain of events.
With the U.S. Open returning to Winged Foot in a few weeks, memories of Mickelson’s meltdown come bubbling to the surface. Luckily for Mickelson, he appears to have moved on from the nightmare.
At least that’s how it comes off in a new Callaway advertisement where Mickelson pokes fun at what transpired 14 years ago at Winged Foot. In the brief ad spot, Mickelson discusses Callaway’s U.S. Open promo, where recreational golfers have the opportunity to win a free Mavrik or Big Bertha B-21 driver through Dick’s Sporting Goods or Golf Galaxy if the Callaway Tour staffer they select wins the 2020 U.S. Open.
“Come on, we all know who it’s going to be,” Mickelson says at the end of the ad. “When have I ever let you down at Winged Foot?”
Thanks to the USGA’s tweaked exemption categories, Mickelson will have a chance to make history on the West course. If he does manage to complete the career grand slam, it would be the second time he’s won a major the same week as a driver promo.
In the run-up to the 2010 Masters, Callaway offered to refund those who purchased a Diablo Edge, FT-Tour or FT-iZ driver if Mickelson went on to win at Augusta. His third green jacket triggered the fulfillment of an estimated $1 million promotion for those who purchased a driver prior to the tournament.
A third green jacket is nice, but this win would carry slightly more significance for Mickelson if he were to come out on top at Winged Foot.