Lefty gets it right
July 22, 2013
By Dan Daly
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I watched the final round Sunday morning at the lake along with some of my in-laws. Unprompted, my 6-year old niece walked up to me after Westwood teed off on 18, gave me a hug, and said "I'm sorry you had such a bad day Uncle Dan." That pretty summed up my Sunday. In fact it was the worst Major Sunday I can ever remember on every level imaginable. When I went to bed Saturday night I was 7-0 on my daily matchups, comfortably winning seven of the eight tournament matchups (tied on the other), was sitting on the leader with a two shot lead at 18/1 odds and had Tiger vs. Stevie in the penultimate group. It was set up to be one the better Major Sundays in a while.
Then my man Westwood spent more time in the sand than David Hasselhoff to blow his lead, Tiger continued to be Bo Van Pelt relevant at a major, all of my tournament matchups shot a collective 4,079 over par Sunday to end up 2-6, and then of course the cherry on top of it all: having to sit there and watch Phil FIGJAM Mickelson play the round of his life, and one of the best rounds ever, to come back and win his fifth major. As we were driving home my wife turned to me in the car and said, "So you pretty much got waxed today, huh?" Yea...pretty much.
Before I go off on my soapbox and sound like the bitterest person on earth I will say this…Phil Mickelson WON that golf tournament. He played the round of his life on Sunday when everyone else was melting down around him on a very hard course. He absolutely deserved to win. He shot 66 on a course that was basically playing to a par 75 and did it by birdieing four of his last six holes to shoot a historically good 32 on the back nine to close the door. Granted it was no 63 at Oakmont, but still very impressive.
With his win Sunday, Mickelson is hands down one of the top 15 players ever born, and probably closer to the top 10. Pure talent wise…he's easy in the top 10, maybe ever top 5. He has 3/4 of a career grand slam (with SIX seconds at the one he's missing), he has just moved to the second ranked player in the world at age 43, is already in the Hall of Fame, dresses well, is exciting to watch, is married to a bombshell, makes $50 million a year playing golf and loves to gamble. Days like Sunday are why I want to like him, I really do.
However…his press conference Wednesday and the whole scene that played out after his round are why I will just never be able to get on board. First, when asked Wednesday if he thought winning the Scottish Open would make it even harder to win the British, Mickelson responded, "It's difficult to win the week before a major then the week after. Then again the last person to do it...you're looking at him." And he said it in the cockiest tone imaginable.
Seriously? And you wonder why your nickname is FIGJAM. Not only was his statement arrogant as usual…it was dead wrong. Unless Tiger Woods was sitting next to him, Tiger was the last to do it when he won the WGC and then the PGA the following week in 2007. FIGJAM won the BellSouth and the Masters in 2006. The irony of course, is that his statement is now correct.
My point is, you can tell people how good you are all you want, but when you are great, people will tell you. The problem with Phil is that he IS great, he just won't shut up long enough to listen.
Second, everything that happened after his round was painful to watch. I get the whole family thing after the win(s), all the guys do it, and I have no problem with that for him or anyone else. My issue is that FIGJAM takes it to a level that is so over the top it's really hard to watch. I've seen episodes of the Bachelor less staged than what he did in the 30 minutes that followed his round. It's not just once, its five different times in five different places so every camera angle can pick it up. And quite frankly the media does their part to help (see U.S. Open). I'm not the smartest guy in the world but when you have to try THAT hard to prove something, 99% of the time it's because you are overcompensating for it. I'm just saying.
As for everyone and everything else...
I honestly don't know what to say about Westwood, the guy just simply can't close the deal. It's hard to watch. I used to think he was too good to go 0-fer his career, and that he would win one eventually, but after Sunday I'm afraid the guy is going to go the Monty route when it's all said and done.
I've said for two years that once Tiger wins a major I think he will go on a run and win three or four out of the next eight. The problem is, I'm not sure he can win one anymore. The guy went from the greatest weekend major player ever pre-2009 to +23 in rounds 3 & 4 over last 6 majors (-11 rounds 1 & 2). Dude just doesn't have it anymore. He may get it back at some point…but he may not?
The new trend for golfers is to tweet their outfits for all four days the week of a major. The problem is, half the time they don't even make it to the weekend. That trend needs to stop immediately. How about just tweet the Thurs/Fri outfits and if you make the cut then you can tweet the other two on Friday night. Deal? Yes Rickie Fowler, I'm talking to you. However I will say his new SportsCenter commercial is actually hilarious.
Brandt Snedeker actually had a very legitimate chance this week even though he finished seven shots back. He played 63 great golf holes. Unfortunately he had a nine hole stretch Friday afternoon where he turned into Rory McIlroy and shot a back nine 43 (8-over) that included two doubles, two bogeys and a triple.
After this weekend I'm honestly worried for Rory McIlroy. Better athletes before him have fallen off the face of the earth never to be heard from again. He is getting dangerously close to that edge. The good news is that Vegas still lets me bet against him with pretty decent odds for a guy that struggles to break 80.
Apparently Charl Schwartzel wasn't having a very good day on Thursday.
Miguel Ángel Jiménez pretty much sealed the deal as the coolest dude alive this weekend. We've all seen the stretches, read the stories, etc but when Keegan Bradley tweeted Thursday afternoon that he was on range after the round and Jiménez was there wearing aviator sunglasses, smoking a cigar and drinking a bottle of red wine, there really wasn't anything left to discuss.
Since when did Val Kilmer start playing pro golf under the name Henrik Stenson? The plaque for the alternates is down in the ladies room. I applaud the R&A for not being afraid to penalize a player in contention for slow play. Take notes USGA and PGA.
Finally, can we please stop allowing ESPN to air the British Open?! The commentators aren't terrible, but the camera work is a complete joke. They would cut to balls in the air...no clue whose it was. Airing interviews on a split screen with the leaders on 15 and 16. Running the bottom line the entire tournament. Do we really care who is in 70th place Sunday morning? They would tell us how amazing a shot was but not show it, just the short putt that followed? Wow, that's exciting. The list is too long to cover. Look, it's real simple. Jim Nantz and CBS gets the Masters (of course) and the PGA. Johnny Miller and NBC get both Opens. Done, sign me up.
Until Next Week,