Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Second "Big One" for Lefty

Phil Mickelson dropped in an easy birdie putt to win the 2005 PGA Championship yesterday – his second major. His final round, which was suspended because of bad weather, 72 and final score 276 was one stroke better than Steve Elkington and Thomas Bjorn.

Is this the start of something great? Has Lefty finally proven to the golf world that he is in fact on the level of the Tiger Woods’ and Vijay Singh’s? I think he has. Mickelson is a quiet and somewhat shy man with golf talent oozing out of his somewhat chubby body. But until the 2004 Masters in Augusta, Georgia he was considered by many to be just another great golfer who couldn’t win the “Big One”. Now in just two years he’s got two of the major titles.

Mickelson's championship yesterday was very different from the 2004 Masters. To earn the Green Jacket Mickelson charged from behind with a back-nine 31 to beat Ernie Els with a dramatic 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole. At this tournament Mickelson began Monday morning with a one-shot lead and a 3-foot par putt on the 14th green. He made it and followed with another par on the par-4 15th hole. Then he began to waiver…but never fell to the charging Bjorn and Elkington. His approach shot on the 18th hole will be replayed and talked about for years to come. It was with exception to his long putt at the ’04 Masters his greatest shot. Leaving him just a few feet from the title…and he dropped in the putt with ease.

Tiger, Vijay, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and all of the other great golfers of today took a back seat to Mr. Mickelson, for the second time in eight majors. The 87th PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, New Jersey was about Phil from start to finish. Mickelson left the course with the lead for four days, one more than normal because of the inclement weather. For two days, he played great golf, getting to the weekend at 8 under par. But more remarkably was that for the next two days he refused to give in as he gave away two three-shot leads and came away the champion.

I think Thomas Bjorn summed it up perfectly when told reporters afterwards, “He’s not a one-major guy; He’s a ten-major guy. He’s going to go on and contend for majors as he’s always done, but it’s going to be easier and easier for him to win them now.”


At 8/16/2005 2:34 PM, Anonymous J-Bird said...

He plays much better when he wears a manzier - it gives him that required support for difficult shots.

At 8/19/2005 6:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's a lefty so ya gotta like this guy.


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