Mickelson’s short game comes up short at the Nissan

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, February 19th, 2007
Categories: PGA Tour

Charles Howell III Nissan Open 2007Alternative title 1:
Charles Howell III is no longer “Mr. 2nd Place.”
Alternative title 2:
The “New” Charles Howell III
Alternative title 3:
Callaway loving the “All Callaway” playoff
Alternative title 4:
Charles Howell III leads FedEx Cup

I really enjoyed watching the Nissan at Riviera on TV, especially the fact that Kenny G and George Lopez weren’t in the field. I wasn’t THERE like my pal Rich from Eat Golf though, lucky boy. Check out Eat for lots of great media from Riviera.

In case you didn’t know, Phil Mickelson bogeyed the final hole to go into a playoff with Charles Howell III. On the 3rd playoff hole Phil bogeyed again and Howell made a three footer for par to win.

Phil Mickelson’s short game

During Sunday’s round I saw something very unexpected from Phil Mickelson. I saw four terrible short game shots. One shot he tried to chip from the putting surface rather than putt. He looked up on the shot and chili-dipped it. He darn near laid the sod over the ball, knocking it about 1/10th of the way to the hole. His short game failed him on 18 forcing the playoff and his short game failed him on the final playoff hole. Many of his chips were not only short, they didn’t GET to the green.

After last week’s win many asked if Phil was “back.” He’s a bit of a head case and his raw abilities seem to be carrying him at this point. Yes, he was in a playoff but you have to wonder how strong he’ll be mentally in the majors.

The new Charles Howell III

Charles Howell III was becoming well known for coming up short when he had victory in his grasp. He’s been “Mr. 2nd Place” for a few years now. This is definitely a breakthrough victory for him. And guess who’s currently leading the FedEx Cup points??? Not Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh or Phil Mickelson… It’s Charles Howell III.

Charles’ game looks different to me this year. His swing looked REALLY good yesterday. It looked very fluid, smooth and picture perfect. One knock I’ve had on Howell over the last few years is how stiff and mechanical his swing has looked. He’d always been a power player, full swing all the time. Now he seems to be a little less stiff, more in control and isn’t as one-dimensional. Look out if he continues to improve.

F-Bombs on CBS’ coverage

I rolled my DVR back a couple of times and got a good laugh during the final round at Riviera. While Nick Faldo and Jim Nantz were talking about a drive Phil Mickelson hit down the fairway a live microphone somewhere picked up a very mad person saying “F**k! F**k this f**king hole.” Oops.

photo credit: Rich from eatgolf.com

3 responses to “Mickelson’s short game comes up short at the Nissan”

  1. Preservegolf says:

    Alternative Title 5:
    Phil falters on last hole again

    Phil’s on the green pitch shot attempt did look bad. Did he come into it too steeply? That grass just caught the leading edge of his club and stopped it. Maybe he was having subconscious thoughts about hitting off the manicured surface at the last second. That would be a difficult shot to attempt in front of the members.
    Charles III does seem to have something we haven’t seen in him yet. He appeared very focused down the stretch.

  2. Cal says:

    ‘One shot he tried to chip from the putting surface rather than putt’

    Are you even allowed to do that? Excuse the ignorance. Can you use any club you want on the putting surface?

  3. Preservegolf says:

    Hello Cal.
    Technically, you are allowed to use any club. In some cases, you could even blame the designer of the course in question (an impossible putt on a peanut-shaped green that must traverse over the rough to get close to the pin, for example). Without consulting the rulebook, there is a chance that there may be local rules against it when amateurs are playing. However, we have probably all seen a player forced to finish a round putting with a driver or 3-iron after breaking a putter over the knee in anger. That means that if there are rules against it of any kind, you would think that it would have to be a rule concerning the type of swing taken, i.e. an easy underhand stroke (a putt) or a full bodied lash at the ball. What are they going to say, “you can’t use a 6-iron through sand wedge on the greens, but driver through 5-iron are permissible? That just can’t be the case, even on the local level. I have seen it happen before on TV golf, and Phil didn’t get penalized, so go ahead and swing away!! (Just kidding). I would only do it if I had a chance to win the club championship or something (fat chance, pun intended).





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