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Phil Mickelson fired a 67 yesterday and is one shot back of the leaders, and it’s about time. Does Phil have a last shot to get hot at the twilight of his career? Phil has always lived and died by his putter. When he is putting well, he can look like the Steph Curry of the greens, but when he’s off, he can leave you scratching your head.
To answer my own question, yes. I believe he can win a major, and maybe it will be the U.S. Open that Mickelson so desperately craves. I know I’m going to catch some heat for this from Tiger lovers, but I believe Phil has a better chance at winning a major than Woods. Phil said a couple weeks back that golf was starting to come easy to him again. Any golfer, scratch or just your average weekend warrior, knows how big a difference that is. If you are comfortable over shots, then you are going to be able to be more confident and put a bigger swing on the ball. Now golfers say their game is right around the corner all the time, so how do you know if it’s true? You have to see them prove it.
The key to scoring in golf is catching a hot putter. You can hit as many greens as you want, but if you can’t make putts, you won’t score. Phil has elected to go with the claw grip this week, and he fired a 67. I’d like to see Phil get a win under his belt before The Masters to give him a proven record of winning going into this year’s majors. So, we will have to wait and see for the weekend and watch the lefty.
To go back to my comments about Tiger, Woods hasn’t played in a skins match, let alone a major championship, so Phil has the edge in preparation. Secondly, if Phil can back up this hot round, he will prove to me that his game is at the level it needs to be to compete in a major. Now I’m not guaranteeing a Mickelson win, but I am going to say that his chances are far better than Tiger’s right now.
Take a look at his highlights and be the judge of him yourself.
– R. Ilardi