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      Monday Finish: Memphis review, Pinehurst preview

    • Weather was the story in Memphis, now all eyes will be on the drama of the U.S. Open. (Marc Lepecheur/PGA TOUR)Weather was the story in Memphis, now all eyes will be on the drama of the U.S. Open. (Marc Lepecheur/PGA TOUR)

    After a 2-over 72 on Sunday, Phil Mickelson finished T11 at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. As Mickelson heads to Pinehurst for what’s surely become one of the most important tournaments of his career, we asked our Twitter followers to describe his game in three words.

    Here were our favorite submissions:


    1) There’s unfortunate news for anyone thinking the U.S. Open has the same win-and-you’re-in qualifying system as the Masters. No, Ben Crane won’t be celebrating his FedEx St. Jude Classic victory in North Carolina this week.

    Crane entered the week No. 267 in the Official World Golf Rankings, his worst ranking in more than 12 years. This week’s win moves him to No. 101. Crane’s only way to get into the U.S. Open this week would have been to play his way into the top 60 in the world, which obviously couldn’t happen.

    Among the many positives, however, is the fact that he moves from No. 150 to No. 41 in the FedExCup race. You might remember he was No. 125 entering the FedExCup Playoffs last year, prompting him to make this video.

    2) Crane had zero birdies in the final-round 73 that earned him his fifth PGA TOUR win. The last player to win on TOUR without making a birdie in the final round was Justin Leonard, who did it in 2005, strangely enough, at the FedEx St. Jude Classic.

    Since 1983, this has only happened five times and Leonard and Vijay Singh have each done it twice.

    3) I’ll admit, this stat is a bit of a novelty at this point, but Phil Mickelson is still without a top-10 finish this season (he does have a T12 and two T11s, including one this week).

    As a pro, Lefty has never had to wait this long for his first top 10 of the season.

    4) Ben Crane entered this week No. 122 on TOUR in scrambling. Why is that important? Because he missed 30 greens this week en route to his victory.

    That number ties Patrick Reed for most greens missed by a winner in 2013-14 (Reed missed 30 greens at the brutal World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship). Crane offset that number by making a field-leading 61 of 63 putts from inside 10 feet.

    5) Remember this for next year’s fantasy golf lineup: Crane’s win may have seemed like it came out of nowhere, but he has made eight straight cuts at TPC Southwind. He was one outside the cut line in his first start there in 2002 and he hasn’t missed a weekend since.


    1) I can’t say with any degree of certainty how many times I watched this Phil Mickelson flop shot this week, but I really think it was north of two dozen. The whole thing is the entire Phil Mickelson drama condensed into one 196-yard par 3.

    Phil Mickelson’s fabulous flop shot on No. 4 at FedEx St. Jude
    • Highlights

      Phil Mickelson’s fabulous flop shot on No. 4 at FedEx St. Jude

    2) Alright, this is going to sound like a meme, but Miguel Angel Jimenez really does salsa dance when he holes out from the fairway. There’s video proof from this week’s Lyoness Open in Austria.

    3) It wasn’t “Nicholas Thompson” good but this shot by Brad Fritsch was still good enough to round out this week’s list of the best videos. He missed the cut, but he also didn’t go full Woody Austin, which has to be a plus.

    Brad Fritsch’s soggy par save on No. 18 at FedEx St. Jude
    • Highlights

      Brad Fritsch’s soggy par save on No. 18 at FedEx St. Jude


    The underlying theme of the week in Memphis was the weather, which halted play on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. No tweet captured that more perfectly than this one from John Picozzi of the ShotLink support staff.

    If you have work to get done today, just give this video of Phil Mickelson and Jim MacKay a single click to stop it. If not, feel free to just let that thing loop for the next 4 to 6 hours.

    Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee tweeted this photo from the halls of his high school this week. Can you find the teenage Chamblee? Sure you can. Hint No. 1 is to look for the hair. Hint No. 2 is to look in the center.

    If you had money on what Tiger Woods’ 335th tweet was going to be about, you definitely lost that money on Sunday.

    While he was promoting the PGA Championship in Milwaukee (Whistling Straits in 2015!), defending champion Jason Dufner squared off with Brewers pitcher Kyle Loshe in a closest-to-the-plate match that took place all over Miller Park. Not surprisingly, The Duf brought home the title, which required Loshe to tweet out the photo below.

    For video from the match, click the link in Loshe’s tweet.


    There are a ton of reasons to be excited about the U.S. Open returning to Pinehurst, but let’s start with this one: There are two grass lengths that are mowed at the restored Pinehurst – fairway and green. You won’t see the hack-out rough you’re used to seeing at the year’s second major. Instead, you’ll see players that miss the fairway battling this (Vine courtesy of instructor Claude Harmon III):

  • together