AT&T National Pro Am Final Round Thoughts

First, congratulations to Phil Mickelson for his 40th Tour Victory. My #6 prediction for this year was that Lefty wouldn’t win a tournament this year. I’m happy to be wrong. My reasoning was that the young talent would edge him (and Tiger) out. Not yet, apparently.

It was nice to see Phil and Tiger in a final round pairing. That’s happened far less than most golf fans would like—just nine times. Phil holds the lead in the series, and has won the last five consecutive times the two have had a final round pairing.

Phil looked really sharp, particularly in his putting. When Tiger holed out the sand shot on the par 3 twelfth, Phil’s answer with the 30 foot putt was a definitive statement.

And speaking of putting: Tiger looked positively lost on the greens. After the round, he said “I could not see my lines. I couldn’t get comfortable.” It showed. He was missing putts I never thought he’d miss: two footers; five footers. it was almost as though the pressure had gotten to him.

The Mainstream Golf Media tries to put a nice spin on it, but I think Tiger is a long way from winning. He’s a very good PGA Tour player these days, but he’s not where the main stream media wants him. Faldo agrees. During the CBS broadcast, he said “Tiger’s got a good enough game to get into contention, but not good enough to finish it off.”

Part of it is that I think Tiger no longer intimidates his opponents into making mistakes. Today, it was Tiger making the mistakes. In fact, he hasn’t had that intimidation factor working in his favor since YE Yang backed him down at the PGA Championship.

Phil returns next week. No word on when Tiger plays next.

 

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4 thoughts on “AT&T National Pro Am Final Round Thoughts”

  1. A truly TERRIFIC final round wrap-up GB!

    As my former Tiger-loving roommate put it, “Maybe Tiger’s just over the hill.” We’ll have to see.

    I’d imagine that his next tournament will be the Match Play, which starts on Wednesday, February 22nd (assuming he’s eligible). After that, likely Doral on March 8th, possibly the Tavistock Cup on March 19th and 20th, Bay Hill on March 22nd, and then the Masters on April 5th.

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  2. I disagree – tiger is good enough to finish it off, but he needs to win it on Saturday.  If Tiger was 2 up and 6 on Phil, Tiger wins the tournament. 

    I also think that Phil did benefit from some of the top players not being here.  Webb, Rory, Keegan, Kyle, and Bubba all skipped this event.  Am I surprised Phil won?  No.  I had him picked (tiger too).  Phil was outstanding, playing at a different level than we have seen him in a long time, hopefully this does foretell a strong season for him- but early eons have not meant that for the past couple years.  Then again we usually don’t have a stress free Phil win during the last nine of a tournament.

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  3. Phil benefited from the lack of top talent, for sure. But so did Tiger.

    You’re right about Saturday, though. Tiger has never been able to come from behind. Still, I believe that if Old Tiger had seen a leaders tumble as badly as Wi did at the beginning, he would have made something of it. In the end, he even choked his way out of a top 10.

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  4. Watched it again.  Wow.  I am going to save the recording so the next time Phil is carrying the lead I can go back and watch this until the other tournament is over, because I am sure he is likely to try and induce heart attacks like he has done in the past.  The last nine holes were more like old Tiger than Phil the Thrill.  He didn’t win by 6 or 10, but finishing with a 64 to lap the field like that.  It would be interesting to watch Phil in a final pairing with Rory at the Masters this year.  Well, except if Phil is playing with Rory in the final group, the cameras will be on Tiger while he is T6 or something.

    BTW- I think Tiger needs to try the belly putter before he goes and gets it banned.  And I may have to consider again sending him a Golfsmith Enterprise putter, now that I have closeted mine for a while (now playing a Taylormade Ghost Spider Belly)

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