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Glover Profits from Mickelson’s Miscues

June 22nd, 2009 · 1 Comment

Lucas Glover and Ricky Barnes were expected to blow sky high in the final round, leaving the Open in the hands of a more experienced player such as, say, Phil Mickelson. In the early going this looked like a good call when Glover shot three over on the front nine and Barnes scored six bogeys on holes 5-12.

But then both righted their vessels as Glover played the back nine in even par to win while Barnes was one under on the final six to grab a share of second place.

Now I’m sure Glover is a great guy, but it is hard to get excited about seeing him win when he’d missed the cut in his three previous Opens and had but one tour victory to his credit – not when Mickelson, who has paid his Open dues several times over, is a far more deserving winner.

Phil Mickelson Does it Again
This time Mickelson raised the hopes of his fans, who bellowed, “Let’s go Phil,” to record levels when he eagled the par five 13th hole after stuffing a long iron to five feet. But after a cautious par at 14, he three putted 15 from the edge, missing a four footer, then missed the green at the par 3 17th and failed to convert a seven foot par putt. So, just like that, he tumbled from minus four, the score that won for Glover, to two under. As he exited the stage, you could tell that he had nothing left to give the crowd, and that all he wanted was to climb aboard a jet and get back home to his family.

Mickelson set a record he’d rather not have with this fifth second in the US Open, breaking out of a tie with Bobby Jones, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, and Jack Nicklaus.

Tiger Woods Fails to Muster a Charge
Woods now has a chance for a top six slam after matching his 6t at the Masters in the Open. His driving was much improved over past majors, but his iron game was ordinary and his short game was spotty as the bluegrass gave him fits on several occasions.

And as for Tiger’s putting – please, let’s have no more talk about him being the best putter of all time. Yes, Tiger is above average in the clutch and he’s had his moments, but he’s blown far too many majors in the last five seasons with poor putting to be the best of all time. As Miller said, “He does not adjust well to slower greens. That may be his Achilles Heel.” And he proved it time and again on Monday as he failed to covert makeable putts that could have put him in contention.

David Duval is Back
From the 1998 Masters through the 2001 PGA David Duval finished in the top 10 in 11 of 16 majors. These included a win at the 2001 British Open and seconds at the 1998 and 2001 Masters, the later to Tiger Woods. Then, just when the player who was poised to become the Tom Watson or Lee Trevino of the Woods Era was at the peak of his powers, he dropped from sight.

Eight long years later Duval, at 37, appears to have reclaimed the magic with his 2t at the Open. If so, this quietly confident, yet superbly talented player, could challenge Tiger in a major or two over the years ahead and possibly even slow his ascent towards #19.

Tags: The Majors

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 BD // Jun 22, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Tiger definitely let a good opportunity for his 15th major slip away, and it was the short game that did him in (although the weather/draw probably cost him 2-3 strokes as well). Still, I don’t think this week warrants any major reappraisal of his place in golf history. As for as “greatest putter ever” goes, he’s still very much in the conversation, although I don’t know how any one player can be the greatest putter ever given how dramatically putting has changed over the course of golf history.

    Lucas Glover: Not an obviously “worthy” national champion, but worthiER, certainly, than Barnes (Ricky, not Long Jim) would have been.

    Looking at the final round scores, what stands out is that nobody made a charge. Nobody who finished in the top 5 shot a score under par today. You have to go all the way down the list to T18 to find anyone (Poulter) who shot -3 or better today.

    I guess that’s why I don’t feel particularly bad for Phil. He had a share of the lead late and just didn’t get it done. If he had parred out after the eagle, he probably would have won with a minus 2 today, and it would have felt like he haf earned it. But going in to the final round 5 (?) strokes back and only posting an even-par 70, I don’t think he played well enough to make his T2 seem like a gross injustice.

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