November 18, 2011
Those pining for a new youth wave in the game of golf might need to reassess their perspective a bit. Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk, golf's version of classic rock, are now 2-0 in their matches and looking like one of the go-to pairings for the U.S. team.
Furyk and Mickelson beat Day 1 golden boy Adam Scott and Kyung-Tae Kim 2&1 to give the U.S. a 7-3 lead midway through the Friday matches. And it could have been much worse; Mickelson especially struggled all day long with the putter. (He and Furyk both switched back to the short stick after experimenting with a belly putter late in the season.)
And, as is appropriate for a couple guys a lot closer to the Champions Tour than their college days, Furyk and Mickelson took a looooong time sizing up every single putt ... for all the good it did them.
Still, sometimes you're good (as in Thursday, when Jim n' Mick barbecued Robert Allenby and Retief Goosen 4-3) and sometimes you're lucky. After halving the first two holes, the American team won holes three and four, each player taking one, to go 2-up. That lead would hold up through the 17th, when Furyk would can a 13-foot birdie for the win.
There's a long way to go yet, but so far, experience is winning the day on a tough course with severe conditions. On a day when the wind was whipping balls all over the green, sometimes all you need to be is good enough. On Friday, Furyk and Mickelson were exactly that.
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