Blog Entry

'Rookie' Mickelson in rare British position

Posted on: July 16, 2011 3:34 pm
 

SANDWICH, England -- The following is not meant to serve as sarcasm, but merely a reminder of historical fact gleaned over 17 largely unproductive trips across the Atlantic Ocean.

Phil Mickelson is a talkative guy, but these words have not often, if ever, passed over his lower lip:

"It's fun for me to come over here and have a chance on Sunday," he said.

Within five strokes of the 54-hole lead for only the second time in his career, the most decorated player in the 140th British Open shot a 1-over 71 on Saturday at rain-battered Royal St. George's, shaking off the elements to contend at a major for the first time since last summer.

Mickelson hasn’t often handled the elements of links golf over the years, and promised that he's play this week with a different mindset completely -- he intended to block out past performances and concentrate solely on the present.

Given is record, brainwashing was a good idea.

A lead-pipe cinch as a Hall of Fame inductee next spring, Mickelson has only once finished in the British Open, where fans might assume the creativity required would suit his game. It hasn’t turned out that way. Not even close.

Mickelson showed up in a downpour to play the first hole while wearing rain gloves on both hands, but as the weather turned, so did his fortunes. He was 3 over after six holes, but once the clouds stopped dumping water by the barrel, he played the closing stretch 2 under.

He stands five strokes behind Northern Ireland veteran Darren Clarke, but there are only five players standing between them.

"Certainly I've got to do something really good tomorrow," said Mickelson, who is seeking his fifth major title. "I've got to shoot something under par, I'm just not sure how low."

The weather will play a role. Forecasts call for a 50 percent chance of rain, again, in the late afternoon, when leaders will be on the exposed, wind-strewn course.

Finding the firepower to make a charge might prove difficult, since the week has had a decidedly non-Lefty feel: He's amassed only seven birdies over 54 holes. But he's kept the damage to a minimum, too.

The blank-slate approach seems to be working, though. At least he has a sniff at the Claret Jug, a true career rarity.

"I mean, there's nothing more exciting than on Sunday having a chance in a major," he said. "Now, I know that I'm not leading, but I'm also right there. 

"I know I'm right there, and if I play a good, solid round of a couple under par, I don't know how many, it might have to be 6, might only have to be 2, depends on the weather, if I can get it under par, I'm going to have a good chance. 

"To me, that is so much fun, and I'm excited. I feel like it's my first time over here."

Maybe it will result in another first-time result that nobody possibly envisioned -- Mickelson holding the oldest trophy in major-championship golf.

"Yeah, it would be cool, but we shouldn't go into that yet," he said. "We've got a lot of golf left."

Category: Golf
Comments

Since: Sep 1, 2006
Posted on: July 17, 2011 10:40 am
 

'Rookie' Mickelson in rare British position

Since when is being 6 strokes off the lead with one round left to play being in good shape, particularly when Phil M. has broken par only once this week and his best round is just 1 under par? Oops! You must be confusing Phil with someone else!
Well looks tied for lead after only 6 holes.  Game on.  lets hope a fun fight to finish



Since: Sep 5, 2009
Posted on: July 17, 2011 7:18 am
 

'Rookie' Mickelson in rare British position

     PBRClarke makes a good point.  Phil still has a chance to win but he is going to need some help.



Since: Jan 7, 2011
Posted on: July 17, 2011 1:35 am
 

'Rookie' Mickelson in rare British position

oooops...........timtom must be a has been a has been woodsie fan



Since: Feb 7, 2010
Posted on: July 17, 2011 12:37 am
 

'Rookie' Mickelson in rare British position

You're the loser - always have been, always will be!



Since: Jul 16, 2008
Posted on: July 17, 2011 12:09 am
 

'Rookie' Mickelson in rare British position

Yes, everyone at even par is still in it. Darren Clark has a shaky putter and is unused to this position, and we all know what can happen with DJ. You take both of them off the board, and the next lowest golfers are at -2. That is only 2 strokes ahead of everyone at E. 

I have to say I am pretty shocked that Phil has managed to hang in there. Normally Phil is a double bogey waiting to happen. He doesn't have a single one yet this tournament. Phil always has the ability to go on a birdie run and therefore has to be considered a serious threat. 



Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: July 16, 2011 8:47 pm
 

'Rookie' Mickelson in rare British position

The bigger surprise is to see so many Americans near the top of the list, and not very many Brits.



Since: Jul 6, 2008
Posted on: July 16, 2011 7:52 pm
 

'Rookie' Mickelson in rare British position

Good shape is being in the Top 8 and only 5 back.  3 under if the leaders struggle with 73's can win it for you.  If you were 3 back but in a tie for 25th, it would be infinitely more difficult to win.  You obviously have zero idea what you're talking about and only wanted to be critical from the comfort of your mom's basement.



Since: Feb 7, 2010
Posted on: July 16, 2011 6:10 pm
 

'Rookie' Mickelson in rare British position

Since when is being 6 strokes off the lead with one round left to play being in good shape, particularly when Phil M. has broken par only once this week and his best round is just 1 under par? Oops! You must be confusing Phil with someone else!


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