Phil Mickelson has love for Detroit Golf Club, ‘terrific’ support at Rocket Mortgage Classic

·2 min read

DETROIT — The awe of Phil Mickelson didn’t wear off, it only grew stronger.

Four straight days, the largest crowds at the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic hovered and maneuvered around the course to catch a glimpse of the reigning PGA Championship winner. Fans gawked at him in between his putts; he answered them with a smile and thumbs up. Red, white, blue, and Mickelson was the tagline for the Independence Day finale at the Detroit Golf Club.

“I enjoyed my time here. The people were terrific, and I love playing old-school Donald Ross courses,” Mickelson said Sunday, after a third straight round of even-par 72. “We don’t get a chance to do it often on Tour because we’re trying to make courses longer and harder. I just loved the golf course.”

Detroit spectators witnessed everything but the best of the 51-year-old Hall of Famer’s golf game. He double-bogeyed the first hole, landed in two bunkers, and tallied bogeys on Nos. 6, 10 and 12, straddling last place in the tournament field for most of the final round. Birdies on three of the remaining six holes erased the bogeys, pulling Mickelson into a tie for 74th, third-to-last among those who made the cut line.

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Mickelson finished the tournament shooting 3-under 288.

Except for the first round, Mickelson wasn’t able to shoot under par in a tournament that has a history of low scores through three years.

In Detroit, it didn’t matter, even when Mickelson was losing; he was still winning. Mickelson’s unwavering support would draw the envy of top professional athletes, who often face serious criticism by fans and analysts when they’re not playing well.

“I didn’t play as well as I wanted to, but I actually had a good ball-striking week and had some good positives even though I didn’t score, I didn’t putt great,” he said.

His Twitter activity made more waves than his putting at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

“I never understood how impactful social media can be, not the way guys like Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler and guys that have been doing it a long time,” Mickelson said about his tweets over the course of the tournament. “I’ve always used it as like entertainment, trying to put out funny little clips here or there. When some stuff happened this week, it was nice to have a voice.”