Phil Mickelson hit a putt from 78 yards. Here’s what happened next
Phil Mickelson hit a bomb with his driver.
He hit one with his putter, too.
On the 447-yard, par-4 13th hole at Muirfield Village Golf Club, Mickelson mashed a 364-yard drive. It carried 298 yards. It rolled another 66.
The ball kept rolling.
Muirfield was playing fast Sunday during the fourth round of the Memorial. Fast fairways. Fast greens. To at least Mickelson, it was hard to see where one stopped and the other began.
From 78 yards out, or 234 feet out, Mickelson pulled out the putter. A wedge wouldn’t work. It wouldn’t stick. A putter might work. It might just stop.
“It’s a bit of links golf,” analyst Nick Faldo said on the Golf Channel broadcast.
“Trying to find something fun to do today. Well over par,” said analyst Davis Love III, referring to the fact that Mickelson was 5-over for his round at that point and 8-over for the tournament.
Off his left-handed blade putter, the ball rolled 11 seconds and 67 yards, or 201 feet, before settling a few feet short of the green.
“Just got a bad yardage,” Love joked.
Then Mickelson pitched. If you’re doing the play-by-play, that’s drive, putt, pitch. Or, in other words, pure Phil.
Mickelson dropped his pitch in to about 2 feet. Then he putted again. That’s one route for a par.
“So the reason I tried to putt was the fairway prior to the green was pitched more severely right to left, and if I used that slope, it was going to angle and get the ball working over to the left pin and possibly get close, whereas if I hit a wedge shot and flew it on to the front edge or just short, it wasn’t using that extra pitch or contour to get the ball over to the left,” Mickelson said.
“I would have had to settle for a good shot being 12 or 15 right of the hole. I didn’t hit it hard enough, but if I had hit that hard enough or the right speed, I think that ball could have gotten close to the hole to a tap-in, whereas a wedge I didn’t see that being possible.”
Mickelson must have liked it.
On the 173-yard, par-3 16th, Mickelson purposely laid up short of the green, then putted from 43 yards off, or 129 feet. Over the previous three rounds, Mickelson went par-double bogey-double-bogey on the hole. He wanted a 4 on Sunday.
He got it. His putt got within 15 feet. He two-putted from there. Or three-putted the hole.
“So yeah, 16 is a hard hole,” Mickelson said. “I played it eight days. I’m 10-over. So I improved my score .2 today by playing for a 4, and I’ve made four or five doubles on the hole, and it just is a hard golf hole for me. Obviously you can’t go left in the water, and when I go right, usually it’s a hotter shot – like I pull it or it draws and it’s always on the downslope of the bunker, and I just can’t stop it oftentimes on the green.
“So I just laid up to where I have an angle to putt it up the green, so I took a 5 out of play and I was trying to make a 3 and had a 12-footer for it.”