Phil Mickelson finished the World Golf Championships – Bridgestone Invitational in a tie for 4th
after a final round of even par 70.
Mickelson started the day tied for the lead with Vijay Singh
(FIJ) and Lee Westwood (ENG) and lead by one stroke midway through the back nine.
However, he finished with unfortunate bogeys on holes 15, 17 and 18 and two strokes behind
tournament winner Vijay Singh.
Up to that point, the fourth round of the Bridgestone Invitational was nothing short of spectacular.
Watching it from start to finish I felt like I was sitting in front of a highlight video of the
entire golf season instead of “just” the broadcast of a single tournament. With perfect scoring conditions – except maybe for the ultra-fast and tricky greens – everybody was hitting their drives over 350-yards and their irons never more than a few feet from the pin. Even with Tiger in the field, I don’t think that the level of play could have been any better.
Phil did play with Stuart Appleby in the second-to-last pairing of the day and seemed in
control of the tournament after birdies on the par-5 second, the par-3 fifth and the par-3
eleventh. Up to that point, almost every drive was long and straight and the score could have
been even better if it wasn’t for a couple of closely missed putts.
However, the last group of the day with Singh and Westwood was playing some great golf as well.
Westwood seemed to be out of it after dropping three shots in a four-hole stretch midway through
the front nine. But he came back strong with birdies on 8, 11 and 13 and just missed out on the
tournament win by a single stroke. Vijay was four under after six holes and despite of bogeys on 8,
11 and 14 was the only one who could keep it together down the stretch. Deservedly he finished
with his first victory of the 2008 campaign and threw his arms in the air after the final putt had
found the hole on the 72nd green.
Hats off to Vijay, but without taking anything off his great performance: All this would probably
not have happened but for Phil Mickelson making bogey from the bunker on three of the four final
holes. As he said after the round: “It wasn’t a good finish for me, but I played really well today.
I’m turning 63s and 64s into 70s, and that’s kind of what happened today. I couldn’t get any putts to go in, then in the end, I made some bogeys.”
I was bitterly disappointed on Sunday night, but looking at it now I think that Phil can take a
lot of positive out of this. With the PGA Championship coming up this week I am confident that
we will see his name on the leaderboard on Sunday afternoon.