Eventual champion Jon Rahm dominated Sunday’s final round at Muirfield Village, but on the par-four 13th hole, Phil Mickelson’s decision making drew a lot of attention from bemused golf fans.
After crushing a 364-yard drive, Lefty had 78-yards left to the pin, and one of the best wedge players in the history of the game then decided to putt the ball.
The play did not work out as Phil had envisioned, with his putt coming up short of the green. Mickelson then had 34-yards left to the green for his third and decided this time to get his wedge out and take a full swing which brought the ball to just a couple of feet.
Check out the shots below.
Mickelson made par on the hole, and following his round, the 50-year-old explained why he decided to putt his approach shot:
“So the reason I tried to putt was the fairway prior to the green was pitched more severely right to left, and if I used that slope it was going to angle and get the ball working over to the left pin and possibly get close, whereas if I hit a wedge shot and flew it on to the front edge or just short, it wasn’t using that extra pitch or contour to get the ball over to the left.
I would have had to settle for a good shot being 12 or 15 right of the hole. I didn’t hit it hard enough, but if I had hit that hard enough or the right speed, I think that ball could have gotten close to the hole to a tap-in, whereas a wedge I didn’t see that being possible.”
Mickelson finished T54 at the event.
2021 Hero World Challenge Betting: Former U.S. Open champ set to shine in Bahamas
19 of the world’s top 50, plus defending champion Henrik Stenson will be teeing it up in Albany, The Bahamas, this week for the Hero World Challenge.
The tournament is not an official PGA Tour event and does not award any FedEx Cup points, but it will count towards the Official World Golf Ranking. While offering World Ranking points for the event is a bit controversial, it does provide an incentive for some of the world’s best players to participate in the event.
Albany Golf Club is hosting the event and is located in a super-exclusive resort that both Tiger Woods has invested in and is also the host of the event.
The course is a Par 72 measuring 7,309 yards and features an unconventional setup with five par 5’s and five par 3’s. The course is described as having characteristics of both a desert golf course and a links golf course and winning scores have been between -18 and -25 since 2015, which was when Albany Golf Club started hosting the event.
Hero World Challenge Outright Betting Picks
Justin Rose +(2800)
Justin Rose comes into the Hero World Challenge as one of the handful of golfers who have been playing recently, having finished 12th a few weeks ago at the RSM Classic. The Englishman played quite well in the event, gaining strokes on the field in every measurable category, including an impressive 4.8 strokes from tee to green for the week. After a down year, Rose has shown some flashes of getting back on track, having finished 10th at Wyndham and 6th at Wentworth prior to his encouraging week at the RSM Classic.
In addition to some encouraging recent form for the 41-year-old, Rose has also shown that he loves Albany Golf Club. He has finished in the top 5 in his past three trips to Albany: boasting a 5th, 3rd, and 5th in the three starts. Rose’s comfortability at the course may be attributed to the fact that he was a longtime Bahamas resident. He shot a closing 62 on Sunday in the 2015 edition of the event, proving he has what it takes to go low here.
Both recent and course form are clearly in Rose’s favor this week, but there is another factor that pushes him over the edge for me: motivation. A major aspect of handicapping the Hero World Challenge is trying to determine who is there to enjoy a vacation with their family or significant other and who is there to compete for a victory. For me, it is quite clear that Justin Rose is there for the latter reason. Currently sitting at 47th in the Official World Golf Rankings, a good finish this week would go a long way. He has been remarkably consistent throughout his career and is in danger of falling out of the world’s top 50 for the first time in a decade.
While many in the field view the Hero World Challenge as a “hit and giggle” event, Justin Rose is there to hoist a trophy on Sunday.
Tiger’s one piece of advice to his son that can help all golfers lower their scores
In his first media appearance since his terrifying car crash back in February, Tiger Woods opened up to GolfDigest on a range of topics regarding his health and future.
Woods has been near silent since the accident he suffered back in February but was spotted multiple times out on the course this year with his son, Charlie, who at the 2020 PNC Championship showed himself to be a very accomplished player.
- Related: Charlie Woods WITB
While discussing his recovery from his injuries with Digest’s Henni Koyack, Woods revealed how the ability to watch his son hit balls was one of the things he sorely missed while undergoing rehab.
“But I’m just happy to be able to go out there and watch Charlie play, or go in the backyard and have an hour or two by myself with no one talking, no music, no nothing. I just hear the birds chirping. That part I’ve sorely missed.”
Charlie caught the eye of all golf fans back in 2020 with his spectacular play and his likeness to father Tiger in his mannerisms at the PNC Championship.
Tiger’s son has won multiple times on the South Florida junior circuit in 2021, and while talking to Golf Digest, Woods revealed how one piece of advice he gave Charlie has helped transform his scoring.
“I went to golf tournaments to watch him play, and I’m looking at some of these scores he’s shooting and I said, How the hell are you shooting such high scores? I gotta go check this out. So I’d watch him play and he’s going along great, he has one bad hole, he loses his temper, his temper carries him over to another shot and another shot and it compounds itself.
I said, ‘Son, I don’t care how mad you get. Your head could blow off for all I care just as long as you’re 100 percent committed to the next shot. That’s all that matters. That next shot should be the most important shot in your life. It should be more important than breathing. Once you understand that concept, then I think you’ll get better.’ And as the rounds went on throughout the summer, he’s gotten so much better.”
That advice is an element that Woods has demonstrated throughout his illustrious career and an ability that has never ceased to impress his peers.
While speaking on the ‘Earn Your Edge’ podcast back in 2020, Jordan Spieth had his say on Tiger’s ability to vent and then reset instantly before hitting his next shot, saying:
“He’ll hit a shot, and he’ll let himself know about it. But it’s mad. It’s not, ‘I can’t figure this out.’ There’s no can’t. ‘Or I’m struggling with this.’ It’s literally just him to himself, gets the anger out and then moves on. I’ve never once heard him be negative.”
Perhaps the greatest example of Woods getting his anger out of his system and committing 100% to the next shot was at the 2020 Masters.
After Tiger recorded a 10 on the par 3 12th hole at Augusta, the 15-time major champ bounced back with birdies on 5 of his final 6 holes. Following his round, Woods told media: “You just have to turn around and figure out the next shot, and I was able to do that coming home.”
Viktor Hovland has hilariously understated response when asked what he does for a living
Just a week after the social media rumpus that was The Match, a 12-holer where both protagonists and commentators sought to be the loudest of the group, it was humbling to hear of the modesty of the current world number nine, Viktor Hovland.
The 24-year-old has plenty to boast about having had a stellar first three years on tour, recording four wins (three PGA and one European) with a further seven top-three finishes and a trio of top-15 Major finishes.
- Related: Viktor Hovland WITB 2021 (September)
Yet when the Norwegian was spotted at Nassau Airport on his way to the Hero World Challenge, renowned golf journalist Joy Chakravarty tweeted the star’s response to being asked what he did.
”I live in Oklahoma and play a bit of golf” was his simple response.
It’s incredible how down to earth Twitterless Victor is. Just saw him at Nassau airport. The girl behind hm asked what he did.
Hovland: ‘I live in Oklahoma and play a bit of golf’.
— Joy Chakravarty (@TheJoyofGolf) November 28, 2021
The Norwegian travels to the invitation-only event as the third favourite, just behind Rory McIlroy and Collin Morikawa and in front of both Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka.
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