How impressive is Phil Mickelson's short game? Even Lee Trevino says he couldn't caddie for Mickelson. In an interview with Bleacher Report, Trevino talked about his picks for this week's PGA Championship at Oak Hill. Trevino won the 1968 U.S. Open at Oak Hill. He also won majors at Merion and Muirfield, hosts of this year's U.S. Open and British Open. In fact, the only 2013 major venue where Trevino hasn't won is Augusta National.
After making his surprise PGA pick (Zach Johnson!) and describing Tiger Woods as "the best player out there," Trevino talks about Mickelson's short game, an area of the game Trevino excelled at as well.
"I love Mickelson and I love his short game, great wedge player. I don't think there's a man that's ever lived that has ‑‑ they always talked about me being good with wedges. I don't think I could have caddied for Mickelson when it comes to hitting wedges. I mean, this guy is phenomenal, what he can do."
What Mickelson can't do, Trevino said, is drive the ball accurately, and neither can Woods.
"I can't believe these people hit the ball as crooked as they hit it, and they win everything," he elaborated. "I would think that I would learn to hit a driver, whether it's 180 yards or whatever. I mean, it's unbelievable how crooked they hit this ball."
Most PGA Tour players, he thinks, need to shorten their swings. He said he's discussed Mickelson's backswing with Butch Harmon.
"On the backswing, they get past parallel," Trevino explained. "And when you get past parallel, your body can't wait that long for the club to get to the ball. If you remember, Doug Sanders was a great ball‑striker, and why? He had a very short backswing; he could play in a phone booth."
Photo: Phil Mickelson during a practice round at Oak Hill on Tuesday (Getty Images).