Today will be a pretty good day for Phil Mickelson. As well as leading the U.S. Open heading into today’s final round, Father’s Day will not be lost on ‘Lefty’ as a doting father and renowned family man. It also just happens to be his 43rd birthday, a cause for celebration, but also a reminder that future opportunities to win the event that has so cruelly eluded him could be limited.
Whatever happens today and regardless out the outcome, Mickelson will leave Merion with a smile on his face having enjoyed Father’s Day and his birthday. We’ll all have smiles on our faces having been entertained by his swashbuckling style, and that’s why we love him.
Certainly not known for accuracy from the tee, Phil has left the driver out of the bag all week; but as always with Phil, it never seems to matter where he hits it as he just finds a way.
With that in mind, I believe today’s final round is made for Mickelson because he’s a quirky player on a quirky golf course. Whoever the victor may be, they will most certainly have to endure setbacks as Merion bares its teeth, and few are as accustomed to recovery as Mickelson. His notorious wildness will cost shots, but his legendary deftness around the greens is up to any task, as is the man himself.
Sure, there’ll be hot competition — there’s a lot of experience around the top of the leaderboard, but no one that has felt the heat like Mickelson. In both his 2004 and 2006 U.S. Masters victories, he led from the front as he did at the 2005 U.S. PGA. In his only other major victory, the 2010 Masters, he shot a final-round 67 to overturn a one-shot deficit and win by three.
Been there, done that.
When looking for a winner this week, most have sought patience, ball-striking ability and accuracy from the tee; but the longer the week has gone on, the more I’ve realised that Merion is made for Phil — as I said, a quirky player on a quirky golf course.