First of all I would like to congratulate Phil on his 35th career tour victory along with his back to back wins at the Northern Trust Open. Something he can hang over the head of his good old buddy (wink wink) Tiger Woods. But I would like to go further into the West Coast Swing and discuss some observations about the level of Phil’s game going forward. Looking back at the last four weeks there are some reasons to be excited about the upcoming summer for Phil and things in his game that will continue to hinder his career.
Phil Mickelson is great on the West Coast Swing and this year with his one victory it will continue to look as a success. However, if you look more closely into how he played at the three events prior to his victory at the Northern Trust Open where he did not break the Top 20 there are reasons for his poor performances:
I have followed Phil’s career since his amateur days and he has never been and will never be a good wind player. His shot style never fits into keeping the ball low on the higher wind days. Just take a look at Mickelson’s British Open results: He does well when the wind is down and the greens are fast. But this year when he started out in the FBR Open there were heavy winds the first two days.
When competing at the Buick Open Mickelson played the much tougher course on Thursday in the much better scoring conditions but was being eaten up by the players playing the North course. Then on Friday again he played in tough conditions on the North course and could not keep up to the other players from the day before.
When the AT&T was played he started out in good conditions and again was playing the toughest of the three courses at Spyglass. As the weather turned his game went south again on the easier courses. I’m pointing this out because Phil, as good of a player he is - and he is the second greatest player of this era - plays well on fast greens and low wind courses. He struggles on windy/slower green courses. That being said Phil Mickelson performed great on Sunday at Riviera on the final three holes which again reminded me of his 1st Masters victory and his coming from behind against Els on the back nine after losing his lead.
I look forward to discussing this in further detail and listening to other Phil fanatics - please use the comment function to let me have your thoughts.