Why Phil Mickelson chose to putt from 78 yards away, lay up on par-3 at the Memorial – Detroit Free Press

Mardy Fish jumped in Lake Tahoe on Sunday after winning the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament at Edgewood-Tahoe
Reno Gazette Journal
DUBLIN, Ohio — Phil Mickelson is known for his creativity and confidence in his short game. That was evident again in the way he played the 13th and 16th holes in Sunday’s final round of the Memorial at Muirfield Village Golf Club.
On the par-4 13th hole, Mickelson hit his tee shot 364 yards, leaving the ball 78 yards from the hole. Instead of hitting a chip or flop shot, Mickelson pulled out his putter. Alas, the shot, well, puttered out before reaching the green. He did get up and down from there to make par on the hole.
A putt from 78 yards. A full swing from 34 feet.
“Phil the Thrill” makes par. ¯\_()_/¯
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 19, 2020
Mickelson explained he saw a better angle to get to the pin by using putter instead of pulling sand wedge and trying to get the ball 12 to 15 feet from the hole.
“The reason I tried to putt was the fairway prior to the green was pitched more severely right to left, and if I used that slope it was going to angle and get the ball working over to the left pin and possibly get close, whereas if I hit a wedge shot and flew it on to the front edge or just short, it wasn’t using that extra pitch or contour to get the ball over to the left,” Mickelson said. “I would have had to settle for a good shot being 12 or 15 right of the hole. I didn’t hit it hard enough, but if I had hit that hard enough or the right speed, I think that ball could have gotten close to the hole to a tap-in, whereas a wedge I didn’t see that being possible.”
Phil Mickelson reacts to where his shot landed under a tree on the first hole during the first round of The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club, July 16, 2020 in Dublin, Ohio.
 (Photo: Aaron Doster, USA TODAY Sports)
He didn’t see going for the green at the par-3, 173-yard 16th as possible, either. So Mickelson deliberately laid up on his tee shot, leaving his ball 43 yards from the cup. And yes, he putted from there.
Mickelson said he has struggled on that hole the last two weeks, including at last week’s Workday Charity Open. He’d made four double-bogeys on the hole before Sunday’s bogey.
“It just is a hard golf hole for me,” Mickelson said. “Obviously you can’t go left in the water, and when I go right, usually it’s a hotter shot like I pull it or it draws and it’s always on the downslope of the bunker, and I just can’t stop it oftentimes on the green.
“So I just laid up to where I have an angle to putt it up the green, so I took a 5 out of play and I was trying to make a 3 and had a 12-footer for it.”
He missed the 12-footer but tapped in for bogey. Mickelson shot a 78 on Sunday and finished the tournament 9-over.
Phil Mickelson on laying up (!) at the par-3 16th:
“Tough hole. Took big number out and left an angle to try and make par.”
Nick Faldo: “What was he defending, tied 46th or something?”
Dylan Dethier (@dylan_dethier) July 19, 2020

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