What’s that we say in situations like this? Just Phil being Phil? It’s hard to describe anything more Peak Phil Mickelson than what just transpired at No. 10 at Bay Hill during the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Let’s walk through the full sequence of events.
Mickelson came off the No. 9 green having birdied four of his last six holes. But any momentum he may have had went out the window with a monster slice off the tee at the par-4 10th. That tee shot ended up underneath the temporary fence demarcating the out of bounds line down the left side of the hole.
The good news for Mickelson is that his ball was determined to be in bounds (though he wasn’t allowed relief from the fence, as it was marking the O.B.). The good news for viewers at home is that Mickelson decided to attempt a full-throttle right-handed smash from there. The bad news for Mickelson is that his right-handed attempt popped up the ball into the fence itself, where it stayed for a moment before dropping back down — now fully out of bounds.
“I didn’t even think of that,” Mickelson said sheepishly as he finally located the ball.
Phil just tried to hit a full-throttle righty shot through an OB fence, but popped the ball up into the fence and back OB. Electric!! pic.twitter.com/snwZEWnK3e
— Dylan Dethier (@dylan_dethier) March 7, 2019
So what did that mean for Mickelson? Under golf’s old rules, he would have had to drop as close as possible to the original location and essentially replicate the same shot again (a tantalizing thought). But under 2019’s more forgiving new rules, Mickelson was granted a club length to work with, allowing him just enough room for a full swing with his fourth shot.
From there, it was a ho-hum two-putt double bogey, sending Lefty back to one-under for the round. But there’s no forgetting this fence-tangled beauty. You can see the entire shot below.
Golf is hard. pic.twitter.com/QuEyVihnGZ
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 7, 2019