WATCH: Phil Mickelson nearly aces par-4 with driver, clanks off flagstick
Phil Mickelson has always had a flare for the dramatic, a tendency that has served him well on the PGA Tour over his Hall of Fame career. Now 49 years old, he’s still finding a way to surprise us with his exemplary game. On Friday, he left golf fans the world over shaking their heads once again.
Playing in the second round of the CJ Cup in South Korea, Mickelson nearly made a hole-in-one on the short par-4 14th at Nine Bridges, with a driver in his hands no less.
The 14th hole is listed at 353 yards, certainly short for a par-4, but not exactly reachable for most golfers. But as we’ve seen time and time again, Phil Mickelson is not like most golfers. Sitting at one over for the round through 13 holes, Lefty decided to force the issue by hitting driver off the tee.
With the group in front of him standing around the green ahead watching, Mickelson took a mighty swing that almost caused him to lose balance. His ball launched high in the air, then landed on the front of the green and started tracking toward the hole.
Tour pro Vaugh Taylor and his caddie watched from the edge of the putting surface as Phil’s ball nearly dropped in for a hole-in-one albatross, but it had too much pace and clanked off the flagstick instead, causing Taylor and his caddie to throw their hands up in disbelief.
Check it out below.
Though it didn’t drop, his ball settled just a few feet away, and Mickelson went on to roll it in for an eagle, getting him back in red numbers for the day.
On Tuesday before the tournament began, Mickelson surrendered his campaign to make the 2019 U.S. Presidents Cup team, telling reporters that he doesn’t deserve a captain’s pick, and Tiger Woods shouldn’t give him one, ending his streak playing in 24 straight team competitions.
He even argued that if he were to win this week in South Korea, he still wouldn’t deserve a pick given his poor play last season.
After finishing the round at two under for the tournament, Mickelson sits 11 shots back of the lead, so a win his unlikely. But if his driving game is starting to round into form, a traditional weakness in his game, who knows what Phil is capable of in the new year. One thing is for sure, he’s bound to surprise us.
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