If there were any doubt that Phil Mickelson could still win on the PGA Tour those doubts were silenced after the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Sunday, February 12. The day was supposed to belong to Tiger Woods, or perhaps Charlie Wi, but this final round was solely the property of Phil Mickelson. Beginning the final round six shots behind Charlie Wi and two shots behind Woods, Mickelson carded an 8-under-par 64 in route to his fourth title at Pebble Beach and his 40th career PGA Tour victory. It was simply a masterful performance and I'm sure that from Phil's standpoint the sweet side note was that Tiger Woods had a front row seat for the performance.
Mickelson started strong at Pebble Beach with birdies at 2, 4 and 5. Then on number 6, after reaching the green in two, he made a 21 foot eagle putt to claim the lead by two strokes. However, the shot of the final round came on number 12. Paired with Mickelson for the finale, Tiger Woods had just holed out of the bunker for birdie and Mickelson had a 30 foot putt left for par. It looked as if there was certain to be a two shot swing. Then Mickelson poured in the 30 foot par putt and walked to the 13th tee. In case that were not enough flat stick magic, after making birdies at 13 and 14, Mickelson bombed in yet another long par putt of approximately 38 feet. At this point you knew that it was Mickelson's tournament.
Stepping to the 18th tee box with a three shot lead, Mickelson pulled a 4-iron out of his bag. That's right, a 4-iron on a par 5. Then Mickelson hit another long iron from the fairway, stuck a wedge a few feet from the pin and made the birdie putt to finish at 17-under-par.
Mickelson and caddy Bones MacKay savored a moment on the 18th green together before Phil was off for the customary hug from wife Amy. As the couple moved away from the television cameras and embraced again, the microphones caught Amy saying "are you kidding me" in reference to Mickelson's round. Somewhere I think Tiger Woods is echoing those same sentiments.
Dwight is an avid golfer. While still relatively new to the game, he plays as often as the weather and his schedule will allow.
- Tiger Woods