by Jeff Skinner
Chip Shots…and Cart Paths
Ok, so Rickie Fowler made some mistakes coming down the stretch yesterday at The Memorial. He’s only 21 and like we never screwed up at 21. I thought he handled himself quite well yesterday. He made some good decisions and some poor ones, but what 21 year old doesn’t? I was glad to hear him say he wasn’t shooting at the pin on twelve when he put it in the pond. That would have been a rookie mistake. This kid doesn’t play like a rookie. He is able to create shots and work the ball to his advantage. He just fell a little short yesterday. I think his outfits are great, they add some pizzazz to the game, and so does he. How about a Ryder Cup match of Fowler versus Rory McIlroy sound?
Justin Rose played some steady golf yesterday and putted wonderfully. For the final round he hit 93% of the fairways and 72% of the greens. For the week he was tied for 10th in driving accuracy and led the field in putts per greens in regulation. As the old axiom goes, it’s fairways and greens baby, fairways and greens.
If you saw the start of Tiger’s round yesterday you saw him hook his tee balls on the first two holes and hit two innocent bystanders in the gallery to the left of the fairway. The funny thing is that both these guys were wearing the same lime green colored golf shirt. Each guy got an autographed glove, a handshake and a few words from Tiger. I guess Tiger figures if he has to talk to the fans more often he is going to make them pay for it. Anyway, Tiger still has a two way miss going on and he’ll need to straighten that out if he wants to be able to find his ball in the rough at Pebble Beach in two weeks. He hit a little over 50% of the fairways this week and that won’t get it done at The Open. The good news is, his putting is coming around and if he could get his head on straight, and from the looks of things that’s a major task, he may just have enough the make it interesting at Pebble. After all, he does have two good legs this year.
I said for a long time that Phil Mickelson uses every tournament before a major as a testing ground for the way he’ll approach the major and if he happens to win that tournament it’s a bonus. It’s all about the majors for Phil, just like it is for Tiger. But, even at Jack’s place he carries things a bit too far. After a birdie on fourteen Phil unleashed a wild drive on fifteen so far left Nicklaus hadn’t even seen the hazard he landed in. Phil being Phil, he looked for a creative way to remedy the situation and he found it. He took a penalty stroke and dropped the ball from the other side of the hazard. The nearest relief on that side was the cart path for the bordering 17th hole, but that didn’t bother Phil, he dropped it there and proceeded to hit his three wood off the cart path. Only Phil would try that and for a second he looked like a genius. He crushed it over 230 yards and he was 57 yards from the hole in the rough. His fourth shot had him on the green with a nineteen footer for the most miraculous par of the tournament. As is usual with Phil, he does things the hard way, he misses the par putt and then drives the bogey putt past the hole. His three putt double bogey was a disappointment after such a creative way of getting to the green. That’s what makes Phil the most entertaining golfer out there. He is fun to watch, you never know what he’ll try and it’s always fun watching.