The Phil & Bubba Show
By Kickntrue on 1/31/11
You can't tell me the title of this post wouldn't be a great radio show name! For the first time since maybe the Ryder Cup I was excited about watching golf. All week's action was solid and yesterday's finish was certainly worth watching. When Bubba Watson sunk his 12 foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole we knew it was pretty much over, but you can't tell me you weren't on the edge of your seat when Phil the Thrill had the audacity to have his caddie Bones Mackey pull the pin for his penultimate shot. And then for it to be that close... WOW!

For those who have no clue what I'm talking about...
In a surprising decision that gave way to brief drama, Mickelson laid up on the 18th hole and had to settle for a birdie when his lob wedge from 72 yards away stopped 4 feet short of the hole.

The winner of the Farmers Insurance Open turned out to be Watson, who made clutch putts on the final two holes for a 5-under 67 and was sitting in the scoring trailer at the end, oblivious to how the final hole played out.

"I don't know how close he hit it. I don't know what he made on the hole," Watson said. "I just know that I won, because that's all I was worried about. If he makes it, I'm getting ready for a playoff. So I'm trying not to get too emotional. I realize it's Phil Mickelson. He can make any shot he wants to."
Not this one my friend.

I like Bubba Watson. Seems like a likable enough guy. I like seeing him do well and think he could be a staple on the Tour for years to come. HWSNBN started off well but faltered into the weekend. On a course he usually dominates- do you think this is a worrisome sign of things to come or something we shouldn't take too seriously?

Either way- a great golf weekend (and no strong competing pro sports to take away eyeballs) with big names all over the leaderboard. Hopefully- it was a sign of great things to come for golf in 2011!

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[ comments ]
Backquak says:
Congrats to Bubba, great to see some good golf, and Bubba's fearless or (reckless) play was exciting to watch. That Vegas kid looked good too. And the best part was that Phil didn't win.
birdieXris says:
I enjoyed watching golf this week. I was really happy to see John Daly making a run early. I thought he could hold it together but he ended up fading away by the final day. Congrats to Bubba. He deserves it because he's really a class act. I like him a lot. I got really upset at the Golf Channel about something they said about John Daly, but that's another story. I'm re-thinking my subscription.
mjaber says:
I think HWSNBN will be back to form. I don't think he will be the dominant force he once was, because I don't anyone is scared of him anymore. Nobody's been scared of him since the PGA 2 years ago when Yang chased him down.

I still would have liked to see Phil take a rip with a hybrid of FW for his second. I know he said the lie he had wasn't good enough, but it might have extended the drama a bit.
larrynjr says:
wishing I had golf channel, so I could have seen the action! I was checking the scores throughout the weekend but was amazed to see Bubba jump past Phil at the end. I like Phil and was rooting for him but Bubba did a great job and deserves his victory.
bducharm says:
Lefties RULE!!! (uh, I am left handed) Bubba is the COOLEST! I love the way he loves his Father! Plus he tweeted back to me when I tweeted him congrats!
wrhall02 says:
The Farmer's was a good show. I like Bubba a lot and I'm happy he won, but I was rooting for Vegas.

I too was a bit surprised that the "Thrill" did not try to go for the green in two. He still provided plenty of excitement...his third was a hell of a shot. Maybe a sign of golf maturity (playing the percentages; going for a safe birdie rather than a risky eagle)???

In any case, great Tourney that showcased both new and old school players.
bkuehn1952 says:
I have a little trouble following Phil's thinking on 18. He has a ton of money and 2nd place should mean little to him at this stage in his career. He must have felt he had less than a 2-3% chance of clearing the water and leave himself a decent chance at chipping in. If that was true then laying-up made sense.

He must know the odds of holing-out a wedge is pretty low, even with his short game. How many times a year does he hole-out in competition? Six or seven times? If he holed-out 2.5 percent of the time in competition he would do it about 40-50 times a year (18 x 4 x 25 tournaments x .025 = 45).

Anyone know the odds of a pro holing-out in competition?
Duke of Hazards says:
Gotta love a guy who goes Driver, pitching wedge on a 614 yard par 5. I was rooting for Fowler in the tourney, but it's cool that Bubba won, seems like a genuinely nice person.

Tiger needs to get his swing changes down and get a win or two to get his confidence back, and he can still grind out pars (at least the first couple of days) like no other when his swing is off, but like others have said, he'll never have the same ability to mortify his opponents like he did in the past, the mystique's gone.
Kickntrue says:
@bkuehn1952- I don't know the odds- but I believe your numbers are way too high. I'm guessing a pro holes out more like 5x a year from more than 50 yards and maybe 2x from more than 100. I agree that unless his 2nd shot was absolutely impossible the play would've been to go for it.
legitimatebeef says:
I would think that the likelihood of Phil reaching the green in two from that position, however small, is still far greater than that of holing out from 70+ yards. It was only like 230 yards. I coulda swore that 230 is little more than a smooth five-iron for someone like Phil. But whatever. Phil's gotta do what Phil's gotta do.
KVSmith59 says:
Phil should have gone for it with his second shot. He had nothing to lose. If he'd dropped it in the lake and moved back a couple slots for that tournament, yeah he would have lost some money, but he doesn't need the money. He should have waited for Bubba to make that putt, then decided which way to go.

Was hoping either Phil or the Vegas guy would have won it. Bubba was crying like a baby either on 17 or 18 (don't remember which) about something a camera guy was doing. Something about that guy gets under my skin for some reason.....
Trav says:
If Phil had splashed his 2d shot, he probably still would have gotten par and if so then still been 2d; if he bogeyed he would have tied for 2d. I was suprised he hit before Bubba putted, if only because it took pressure off Bubba for his difficult birdie putt; I don't think HWSNBN would have made that strategic mistake.

Notice the TV ratings were up 54% from last year, proving you don't always need certain people to make for interesting viewing. This kid Vegas might be pretty interesting in long-hitter venues.
cjgiant says:
As I understand it, Phil hit his shot before Bubba putted. Given his lie and that at the time he probably figured Bubba had a less than 50% chance to make the downhill 12 footers, he went ahead. Maybe he should've waited to maybe "put some pressure" on Bubba who couldn't know the status of Phil's lie/mind/decision, but who knows.

I must say, I have been giving lip service as to enjoying watching golf again, I thought I might like the idea of liking to watch golf again. This weekend proved to me it is due to the multitude of players I either like or enjoy their skill that I enjoy watching golf. I say this because there were a bunch of potential outcomes I would've enjoyed watching.
homermania says:
I support Phil in deciding to lay up, but I am as surprised as everyone that he didn't wait to see what happened on the green. Still, having the pin tended gave Phil a million points in my book.
joepro23 says:
In Phil's interview he explained that he didn't feel comfortable with the situation. He said the hybrid would have come out "dead" and gone in the drink, and the 3-wood would definitely have went over the back. Not sure how one club could come out dead and the other a flier. Anyway, that is how he justified laying up.

He should have waited for the green to clear and see what Bubba did. When he laid up, there was a good chance Bubba was only going to make par from that tough bunker spot and Phil's birdie would have been good enough. But he didn't wait and was forced to make it.

Glad Bubba won though!
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