Phil Mickelson was in the spotlight Thursday and Friday as part of The Group. After shooting 71-75, he once again teed off with Adam Scott, but the pair started the day six shots behind Tiger Woods and seven shots off the lead.
Carrying a driver for the first time all week, Mickelson was one over for the day when he got to the 614-yard, par-5 13th hole. After hitting into the rough off the tee, he laid up to about 80 yards.
That's when the spotlight found Mickelson again.
With the hole just 15 feet from the front of the green, his approach shot from the bottom of the hill landed short and rolled back down. Jim "Bones" Mackay, Mickelson's caddy, handed him a towel, and the world's second-ranked player cleaned the grooves of his wedge.
His next shot again landed short and again rolled back down the hill. The same thing happened on his third attempt from the bottom of the hill. Finally, mercifully, Mickelson played a shot to the middle of the green and the ball stayed on the putting surface.
But the agony wasn't over. Mickelson missed the downhill 20-footer for double bogey and his five-foot comebacker. Tapping in gave him a quadruple-bogey nine he'll remember for a long time.
In the media tent, the scorer placing plastic numbers on the leaderboard called out to his supervisor, "Should I turn a 6 upside down or do we have a 9?" ** Update: After his round, here's what Phil had to say about the hole: ** - ""Here I was, 1-over-par, I felt like if I could get birdie there I could get back to even for the day. Over par is going to win, and I felt like gosh, 1 or 2 coming in and I'd be right there. So that's obviously a bummer."
- "It's a great pin that will entice guys to get a little bit close, and certainly that's what I did on my first shot. The other two were just poor, but the first shot had a chance of getting close and making birdie and it just came back down."- "I hit lob wedge the first time from 80-some yards and then I hit the 64 the second, third, fourth."
- "A lot of times those shots are very tough because it's shaved down tight. But I had perfect lies. With the kikuya grass in the fairways, we'e had the best lies we've ever had in an Open, because when they shave it tight the kikuya is strong enough the ball still sits up on top, and you can get underneath it and put some spin on it. That is probably why I tried to get a little cute."