Lefty sets his sights on U.S. Open
By mustang6560 on 6/1/12
Phil Mickelson decided to start his U.S. Open preparations a little early.

After posting a 7-over-par 79 in the first round of the Memorial Tournament, the four-time major champion withdrew to get ready for The Olympic Club in two weeks.
“I feel like it's the responsibility of a player to see through your commitment and finish the tournament,” he maintained. “I'm kind of overruling that just a touch because I'm trying to think big picture on what's the best way for me to get ready for the [U.S.] Open.”

“The course here is in such great shape,” he said after the round. “It's a beautiful way to get ready for the U.S. Open. But I'm hitting it so poorly. … I have to look at what's best for me to play in the U.S. Open and I'm going to take the next few days to kind of rest up. I'll probably go see [swing instructor] Butch [Harmon] and see if I can get things straightened out.”
It's disappointing anytime a player of Phil's caliber withdraws from a tournament, however, at 41-years-old, Phil is not getting any younger so his focus should be on the majors, especially the U.S. Open - a major he's never won. In 21 career starts, he's finished second or tied for second five times ('99, '02, '04, '06, '09) but he's never broken through.

Even though Phil is already a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, he still has a few years left to compete on the highest level. But, Jack Nicklaus won his last major at 46, which only gives Phil five more chances to win a U.S. Open title. Its possible he could win beyond 46, but the odds are against him.

read more

Image via Flickr, Ed

Did I miss something? Tip Your Editor

[ comments ]
Mandelbaum! says:
While I can kind of understand the logic behind his decision, (at this point in his career), I do find it annoying to see someone WD after a bad Thursday. Maybe I lack perspective on the grind of being a TOUR player, but still…it seems like the equivalent of the kid who's being picked on taking his ball and going home.
bkuehn1952 says:
"kind of overruling that just a touch"???? Sorry Phil, I think you just took the idea of living up to one's committments and tossed it out the window. Bad move.
mjaber says:
@Mandel... I think it's more equivalent to the kid not getting to play shortstop, so he takes his bat and ball and leaves.

Odds were he was going to miss the cut, anyway. I like Phil, but I'm not sure I agree with his decision here. He committed to the tournament, and his schedule was already set well in advance. He knew what he had scheduled. He should have either withdrawn before the start of the event, so that someone could have taken his spot, or played the 2nd round. He could have flown Butch in and gotten some work done before his round this morning. Maybe something clicks, and he makes the cut. Maybe not. If it doesn't, it's only one more day. If it does, he's got a couple more rounds of competitive golf to help him focus, which he has said has been an issue for him in the past.
guzzlingil says:
I like Phil....but grind it out man......
ppinkert says:
Phil's my man.. but he cut wind on this one. Play it out good or bad. To me this would be like Tony Stewart parking his car after the first 20 laps because he's in 30th place with a bad car. Hang in there Phil, never know what kind of train wreak my be happening in the field in front of you. And besides with a little adjustment here or there you could hit the right setup and boom you are leading the pack.
birdieXris says:
I don't necessarily fault Phil for this decision. First off, that was a lot of travelling he did. He had a pro-am, other stuff to travel to in NY, then off to europe to celebrate Amy's birthday and then back to CA for the golf tournament. That's a lot of travel nomatter who you are. Ontop of that, he's not swinging well and it's probably getting into his head. I'd have done the same thing if i were him. remember, he's not just playing by himself. If he's slapping it around with the other guys he's slowing them down too, not just himself. These guys play for big money. If he's not playing well and wants to bail it's within the rules. Unfortunate that he had a stance that he had to break, but again i don't blame him. Hopefully he justifies it by coming back with a strong showing at the US. Open.
Banker85 says:
It wouldn't be an issue if he didnt make an issue about seeing things to the end so it makes him look bad by his own standards. really tho who cares in the big picture, right Phil?
JPinMI says:
It's easy for us to sit here and talk a big game about toughing it out, but none of us know exactly what's going on with Phil. There could be more to it that's none of our business. Besides, unless you've *never* gone home from work early for one reason or another, it's probably best to quit acting holier than thou.
metnorm says:
I am a Phil fan along with Bubba and Mike Weir, pretty much any lefty (I'm a right handed person but I swing left). Hated seeing him WD but at least he didn't lie and say oh I hurt my hand or this or that, something that no one would really look down on. So I do respect the truth.
mjaber says:
@JPinMI True, there could be extenuating circumstances, and if he had said he was withdrawing for "personal reasons", I don't think we'd be having this discussion. And we're not talking about some hourly wage guy, here. We're talking about someone who gets to play a game for a living. I'd be willing to be that every person here would play golf every day if they could get paid for it, no matter how tired they were.
mmontisano says:
i'm not sure any one of us has ever played as much golf as these guys do... maybe on a golf marathon kind of vacation, but if you have done something like that, you should know how tired you are afterwards. and you were most likely riding in a cart the whole time instead of walking like the pros do.

i don't fault Phil. golf is tiring. adding international travel and jet lag to that only intensifies that.
Matt F says:
No one is focused on Sang-Moon Bae for withdrawing early...and he was the next next next tiger.
Trip says:
How about flying in Butch and using Friday to simultaneously "straighten things out", and "see through your commitment". Most likely miss the cut anyway.
glenrich says:
Maybe he should use 5 hour energy like Jim Furyk.
Because playing golf all day can make you tired...

I don't understand Phil's decision here.
He says that one should be committed to finishing the tournament but he is claiming an exception because he wants to spend more time to prepare for the US Open. I'm sure all of the players in the US Open would like more time to prepare.
I bet many consider playing in the Memorial to be part of their preparation so I am not sure why such a special exception would be needed.

I think that if Phil looked at the bigger bigger picture he will see that this decision was a mistake on his part. This decision is only going to be a distraction for him in the time leading up to the US Open. I'm sure he would have been better off playing that one extra round and likely missing the cut. If he is really tired then he could rest over the weekend that he would have otherwise been playing if he had made the cut.
[ post comment ]
    New Products
    Caption This
    World Am
    How Bizarre!
Most Popular: