Mickelson flops in FBR first round
Recall for a second the number of times in your life that you’ve built something up only to have the high expectations crushed in a matter of minutes. While Phil Mickelson’s round didn’t last a couple of minutes (the highlights definitely did), his opening round of the 2009 season was far from memorable.
There was a lot of talk during the off-season that Phil needed to get back to working on his short game after he took significant time to work on the rest of his game last year. You could see the strides he was making, most of all with the driver, but something seemed amiss. I wasn’t sure what it was at the time, but as the year wore on you could definitely tell he was spending less time working around the greens with Dave Pelz.
Like Tiger, Phil makes the first round of his season must-watch television. I say that because he always tries to tinker with his swing during the winter months. You expect some new wrinkle to the game. I can assure you that there was no new wrinkle in that first round. Call it rust or nerves playing in Phoenix — but there’s something missing from Phil’s game.
Take a look at the stats that mattered through the first round:
Driving Accuracy: 21% (T127)
Putts Per Round: 31 (T114)
Putts Per GIR: 1.818 (T80)
Greens In REG: 61 (T56)
Those stats are pretty weave a story of destruction on the course. Add three unplayable shots to the round and you have a very atypical opening round. I’m sure he’ll come back this morning with something under par, but as far as I’m concerned, he’s not going to make the cut. It’s a shame since he’s such a big draw. With the economy in shambles and the Tour holding its card close to its chest, Finchem really needs guys like Phil more than ever.