phil-doral-final-round

We all had the dirt on Phil Mickelson’s coffin a mere month ago.  After playing some of the worst golf, not just for his career, but on the PGA Tour, and coupled with his failure to take advantage of Tiger’s layoff, Phil looked like he was on the severe falloff that Ernie Els fell victim to.

That notion has now been completely shattered.

Before we get to Phil, lets take a look at the big winners today.  Follow along after the jump for our full recap of the WGC CA Championship.

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Tiger’s struggling.  You know, it’s not that he isn’t playing good golf either.  His swing looks fine enough, and he’s moving all right, so I don’t think the knee is as much of an issue as the rust.  Like I said yesterday, Tiger wasn’t that far off.  The blemishes on the scorecard are less a result of bad shots as they are a matter of some fine tuning thing that can be fixed, and knowing Tiger, will probably shake off all at once in a huge birdiefest.

But, for today, he’s not.

Instead, like a tournament at Doral tends to do, the cream rose to the top.  Phil, following his ridiculous 65 yesterday with another 66 today leads at -13 with Nick Watney in 2nd at -11, who’s off Phil’s pace by a stroke per round.  It’s a four man race at this point…right behind Phil and Watney is 19 year old, and Tuna Golf favorite, Rory McIlroy and, another TG fav, Kenny Perry right there at -10.  Notables behind them are Camillo Villegas at -9, Alvaro Quiros, Dustin Johnson, Furyk and Poulter at -8, and Sean O’Hair and Paddy within a hot streak at -7.  (more…)

phil doral

Ladies and gentlemen…THAT’S why Phil Mickelson is considered a short game genius.

In a display of near flawless golf, Phil showed us once again why he might be considered the greatest short game player ever to pick up a wedge, with all apologies to Seve and Tiger.  Aside from the double bogey on 3, Phil was the swashbuckling maestro we have come to know throughout his career posting nine birdies, including SEVEN on the last 10 holes.  But it was the closing stretch where the fireworks began.

After having a go at the driveable par 4 6th, Phil’s short game was on center stage from there on out.  Hitting a sublime releasing pitch, Phil had a tap in for birdie, and, for all intents and purposes, could’ve thrown his custom Odyssey into the water and his score card would’ve hardly noticed. (more…)

Levy/PGA TOUR

Levy/PGA TOUR

The 12th stop on the PGA TOUR train brings us to Doral Golf Resort & Spa for the WGC-CA Championship in Doral, FL. Since the economy sucks, the chance to take home $1,400,000 ($8,500,000 total purse) on a giant check is hard to pass up for the PGA elite. The 80-player field is the largest in CA Championship history and it also includes 17 event virgins (and that’s just for the hospitality tent). (more…)

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The Blue Monster measures 7,288 yards as a par 72.  It’s got a lot of water and creative bunkerage, but it’s pretty boring until you get to 18.  So instead of talking about the rest of the holes (here you go…they’re all long and straight), I’m just going to focus on 18.

 

18 is a true risk/reward hole.  With water all along the left side and trees on the right, accuracy as at a premium, and each shot requires integrity.  While the hole is a long par 4 regardless, when the wind is blowing into you, it plays almost like a short par 5, and makes it a real beast to make up ground on. (more…)

tiger-bay-hill

So, by now, we’ve pretty much narrowed the tourney’s Tiger is coming back to three: Match Play, the CA at Doral or Arnie’s event at Bay Hill.  I know I’m leaving out the Honda, the PODS Transitions (wtf?) and the Shell Houston Open, but he wouldn’t play these events if the PGA allowed appearance fee money (actually…nevermind, I’m gonna save that topic) so why even bother.  The three above are the only ones he’s coming to, like it or not, so lets take a look at where I’d come back if I were Tiger.

Match Play: This has been the hot rumor for Tiger’s return, something I don’t really see happening.  What does he have to gain by playing a bunch of schmucks in a highly volatile format at a course that will do nothing to prepare him for the regular season?  Sure, he has the best chance of winning here because he doesn’t need to score well against a field, just against one guy, but still…why bother?

Sure, he’ll have the reasonably warm weather, the dry air and flat course that will protect his knee, but aren’t we a little past that?  Shouldn’t he be TESTING it?  And while the format will be the easiest to get through, how does that prepare you for a season’s worth of stroke play?  It doesn’t.  And Match Play, the event, not the style, is terrible and needs to be moved ASAP.  Tiger showing up will just keep it in ‘zona forever, which sucks.  So while we all want to see him back, I hope it isn’t here. (more…)