Sunday, January 30, 2011

Phil Mickelson's Lay-Up Was the Right Call

The debate in the golf world over the next two days will be about a left-hander at Torrey Pines, but it won't be the guy that won. Nope, everyone will be focusing on Phil Mickelson's lay-up on the 72nd hole.

I'll lay out exactly what happened quickly, and then explain why it was the right move, not the wrong one as most are saying. Phil hit his drive in the rough on the par-5 18th hole after making a great birdie on 17. Bubba Watson, up ahead and a shot up on Phil, was in the greenside bunker, and hit a solid shot to about 12 feet for birdie to give him a two-shot cushion over Mickelson. Before Bubba rolled in his birdie putt, Mickelson elected to lay-up. Bubba made birdie, Phil needed to hole out for eagle, and he didn't, settling for a final birdie that left him a shot back of a playoff.

Now, the debate is this; people are up in arms because Phil hit his lay-up before Bubba had putted. The idea behind this argument is that Mickelson should have waited to see if Watson made a four, because if he did, he had to make eagle.

Here is my main point about all this debate - if Phil Mickelson, a guy that allows his longtime caddie ONE swing veto a year, is laying up, he's doing it for a reason. He had 220-yards to the pin, over water, from a nasty lie in the rough. Either he A.) Didn't think he'd be able to get the ball up in the air out of that lie B.) Didn't think he'd be able to stop it on the front of the green from the rough or C.) Knew he had no shot of winning if his ball was waist deep in a lake.

We all know how Phil plays golf. He is the Brett Favre of golf. He takes chances all the time, sometimes pulls them off and sometimes doesn't, but is never scared to hit a certain shot. There is a reason he didn't go for it on 18, and it isn't because he didn't have any nerve. Nope, the lie was that bad, and Phil made a decision that he probably hated, but it was the right one.

Sometimes you try golf shots you aren't sure you can pull off, and most of the time, they end poorly. Phil figured if Bubba made the birdie he was probably out of it anyway, and for a guy with the touch that Phil does, he could still hole a wedge to win.

I thought it was the right decision. He knows his golf game better than we do.

Update: Phil answered the lay-up question, courtesy of ASAP Sports.

"On 18, the grain to the grass was in. I had 227 to carry. If I hit a hybrid, the ball would have come out dead and there was hurt, so I couldn't have made it over the water. But the way my 3-wood is, the ball would have come out hot and it would have went screaming over. So I didn't really have a shot to get it on the green. I felt like I had a better chance to make a three from the fairway trying to use that bank and bringing the ball back or flying it in."



Anonymous said...

Lay-up the right call, how about you go back through your own blog site and read the following two articles "where have all the back bones gone" and "Clarke defends wimpiest move.."

It seems to me that it's ok for Phil or maybe all the American golfers to lay up, but not international players? About the only comment that is true to any of these articles is that these golfers know their games better then a sideline expert who can choose to defend or attack decisions that they have no inside knowledge of!


Shane B. said...

Middle of the fairway versus in the rough ... big difference there.

Aussie Golfer said...

It was a pretty nasty lie but I also thought Phil would go for it. Not one to shy in hitting ball's from behind trees and off roads at the green. Maybe he is maturing like Simmy and Clark already have!

chris_villasenor said...

I'm with you on this one Shane. Too much trouble and 2 shots is expensive. It's early in the season and you don't want to ruin a good week of play by going out on a sour note on a shot you can't make regardless.

greenfee said...

Agree with your analysis, for once he got a bad lie and really he got his come uppance for missing fairways all week.

Anonymous said...

With the tending of the flag and a holed wedge, that shot would've trumped all of Tiger's career highlights. To have the chance of seeing that happen, I was glad he didn't go for it from the rough.

Anonymous said...

[p]It is the incontestable undeniable fact that Mulberry Handbagsare [url=]mulberry handbag[/url] in hot pursuit among stars and socialites . But he could not say a fool, because was unmistakably clever, and, moreover, a highly cultivated man, who [url=]mulberry bag sale[/url] was exceptionally modest over his culture . Mulberry Alexa Bags If sunglasses undoubtedly really are a necessity for anybody in the [url=]bayswater mulberry handbag[/url] beach, this really is specially so for seaside volleyball players . Certainly [url=]mulberry handbags uk[/url] who Mulberry sale occurrences have formerly were legendary just in self-defense skill good lovely lady . That is why budget aware women of all ages of all ages now love to spend money on low cost mulberry bags, [url=]mulberry handbag sale[/url] wallets and purses . In several providers [url=]mulberry bags uk[/url] it is really totally obvious to confirm out, most in all likelihood the ideal regions to make certain that you simply can sequence in just Mulberry Outlet stores . Search our Mulberry shop on the web, you can find several gorgeous and top quality Mulberry bags, you'll have a [url=]mulberry handbags sale[/url] surprise . I fell in love with it at the first sight I saw it.[/p]

ninest123 Ninest said...

ninest123 08.11
louboutin, nike free, burberry outlet online, michael kors outlet, burberry, nike outlet, louboutin shoes, ray ban sunglasses, chanel handbags, longchamp outlet, michael kors outlet, nike air max, ray ban sunglasses, tory burch outlet, coach outlet, replica watches, coach purses, polo ralph lauren outlet, michael kors outlet, tiffany jewelry, christian louboutin outlet, coach outlet, michael kors outlet, gucci outlet, prada outlet, longchamp outlet, tiffany and co, longchamp, oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet, jordan shoes, kate spade handbags, polo ralph lauren outlet, true religion jeans, oakley sunglasses, nike air max, coach factory outlet, louboutin outlet, prada handbags, kate spade outlet, oakley sunglasses, michael kors

ninest123 Ninest said...

new balance pas cher, nike air max, nike roshe run, hollister, michael kors, true religion jeans, north face, true religion jeans, lululemon, sac guess, timberland, longchamp pas cher, ray ban pas cher, sac longchamp, abercrombie and fitch, nike air max, air force, mulberry, burberry, nike free run uk, ray ban uk, lacoste pas cher, north face, ralph lauren uk, michael kors, nike blazer, true religion outlet, oakley pas cher, nike free, hogan, vans pas cher, hermes, air max, nike air max, air jordan pas cher, michael kors, ralph lauren pas cher, hollister pas cher, converse pas cher, tn pas cher, vanessa bruno, louboutin pas cher

ninest123 Ninest said...

birkin bag, lululemon, timberland boots, nfl jerseys, baseball bats, celine handbags, babyliss, chi flat iron, mac cosmetics, nike air max, longchamp, ferragamo shoes, mont blanc, herve leger, insanity workout, vans shoes, ghd, iphone 6 cases, hollister, valentino shoes, hollister, reebok shoes, jimmy choo shoes, nike roshe, nike roshe, soccer jerseys, wedding dresses, mcm handbags, nike huarache, new balance, instyler, giuseppe zanotti, p90x workout, north face outlet, bottega veneta, abercrombie and fitch, north face outlet, oakley, soccer shoes, nike trainers, asics running shoes, beats by dre

ninest123 Ninest said...

hollister, ugg boots uk, thomas sabo, ugg boots, lancel, uggs on sale, karen millen, links of london, ray ban, louboutin, ralph lauren, bottes ugg, converse outlet, ugg boots, replica watches, ugg boots, converse, gucci, toms shoes, hollister, coach outlet, nike air max, juicy couture outlet, ugg boots, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, supra shoes, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, vans, swarovski crystal, wedding dresses, swarovski, ugg pas cher, pandora charms, montre pas cher, marc jacobs, juicy couture outlet, pandora charms, pandora jewelry
ninest123 08.11