PGATOUR.COM is unveiling its top 10 moments of the 2013 season. The videos will be introduced on weekdays for the last two weeks of November. Check back each day for our favorites from the 2013 PGA TOUR Season.
|Top 10 Moments of the 2013 PGA TOUR Season|
||Nov. 18||Garcia hits shot from a tree at Arnold Palmer Invitational|
||Nov. 19||Reed escapes from the trees to win Wyndham Championship|
||Nov. 20||Woods dominates elite field at Bridgestone Invitational|
||Nov. 21||Dufner ties majors scoring record, wins PGA Championship|
||Nov. 22||Rose's historic approach on No. 18 at Merion to secure U.S. Open|
||Nov. 25||Spieth's incredible bunker shot during John Deere playoff|
||Nov. 26||Stenson wins the FedExCup|
||Nov. 27||Furyk shoots 59 in second round of BMW Championship|
||Nov. 28||Mickelson cards final-round 66 to win The Open Championship|
||Nov. 29||Scott's putt to force a playoff at The Masters|
Remember this photo of Tiger Woods, Jason Dufner and Phil Mickelson at The Presidents Cup?
The iconic image from PGA TOUR staff photographer Chris Condon is up for a People's Choice Award in the Photo District News' "The Shot Sports Photography Contest."
You can vote for the photo here.
What did you think of the photo? Share your thoughts below.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
Phil Mickelson called it the greatest, most fulfilling moment of his career.
Who could argue?
A final-round 66 in difficult conditions at Muirfield to capture The Open Championship, a tournament many thought Mickelson would never win, including himself.
"I was never positive I would win this tournament," Mickelson said during an appearance Friday on Golf Channel's Morning Drive. "I always knew I would win the Masters, and I always believed I would win the PGA or the U.S. Open and I've come close in the (U.S.) Open but the British Open is the one that has always given me problems."
The victory was stamped by Mickelson's 3-wood approach on the par-5 17th, a shot that was nearly as difficult as it was spectacular.
A bunker left. Thick rough to the right.
"There was no margin of error," Mickelson said. "At some point in every golf tournament you're going to have to man up and hit a shot. You're going to have to pull off a critical shot, whether it was that 3-wood there, or the shot in the pine straw at 13 at Augusta. You're going to have to hit a shot if you want to win a tournament."
Mickeslon split the fairway and his ball whistled through the air and bounded onto the green to set up a two-putt birdie.
By the time he reached the final hole, he had gone from a tie for the lead to leading by two.
Still, he delivered again, holding a 6-iron up against a left-to-right wind on 18. The ball landed on the left edge of the green and settled 20 feet behind the pin.
"The grandstands were blocking the wind and my ball never moved," Mickelson recalled. "It was as well a struck ball as I could've hit."
After sinking the winning putt, Mickelson and caddie Jim Mackay embraced and Mickelson said, simply, "I did it."
It wasn't until this year, however, that Mickelson had putted well on the fescue greens, however. It also wasn't until 2004, he admitted, that he embraced links golf after finishing one stroke out of a playoff between Ernie Els and Todd Hamilton at Royal Troon.
"I started to appreciate the challenge of links golf," said Mickelson, who through his work with Dave Pelz had learned to take spin off his shots while keeping them low. "I was able to enjoy and appreciate the nuances of the ground and how it affects the ball and the shots required to play there."
Now he'll turn his attention to the one major he hasn't won: The U.S. Open.
Six times Mickelson has been a runner-up in the national championship, including earlier this year at Merion.
Next year's venue for the U.S. Open? Pinehurst No. 2, the site of his first heartbreaking runner-up.
Mickelson said he plans to mkae two or three trips there prior to tournament week.
He also plans to alter his schedule -- though he hinted that some of those changes would come later in the season.
"My performance leveled off and goes down a little as we get into the second half of the year," Mickelson said. "I think one of the changes that will take place is the second half of the year."
Mickelson cited the busy stretch of golf that includes little time off from The Open Championship onward.
Two weeks after the year's third major is the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational followed by the season's final major, the PGA Championship.
Two weeks after that is the first of four straight FedExCup Playoffs events. With it being a Ryder Cup year, there is no bye week in the 2013-14 Playoffs.
Add the new wrap-around schedule and events in Asia and "something has to give," Mickelson said.
In the meantime, he'll focus on completing the career Grand Slam at Pinehurst, where he lost to Payne Stewart and became a father for the first time the following day.
It was to that point in his career his most emotional week on the golf course. A return trip figures to be as well.
Said Mickelson: "That'll be such an emotional venue and opportunity to get my first U.S. Open victory."
Phil Mickelson could be excused for having a one-track mind set squarely on Pinehurst, site of next year's U.S. Open. But in a recent video interview with Callaway, Mickelson revealed that he has his eye on another long-term goal.
"Heading into '14, I'm excited, but the thing I'm working for is '16. I want to be an Olympic athlete," said Mickelson, who will be 46 when golf is reintroduced into the Olympics in 2016.
Skip ahead to the 10 minute mark in the video below to hear why earning a spot on the U.S. team in Rio would mean so much to the five-time major champion.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
A day after putting on a red cloak, picking up traditional weapons and posing for photos with performers of the Shanghai Jingju (opera) Company, Phil Mickelson met with the media prior to the start of the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions.
"I thought I made it look good," Mickelson said of his costume. "Part of my enjoyment for participating in this tournament is some of the cultural experiences we've had, from Tai Chi two years ago to Chinese checkers where I beat Tiger that game to table tennis and many of the cultural experiences that China has to offer, we get to get a glimpse, a small amount."
The popular American, who added the third leg of the career Grand Slam to his resume when he won The Open Championship last summer, addressed a wide-range of topics in the interview. Here are some of Mickelson's more interesting comments.
On his close calls in six U.S. Open runner-up finishes: "To use an analogy, when I am putting well, not every putt goes in, but I catch lots of lips; the ball comes close. And the when it's close, I know that eventually they are going to fall in. And I use the same analogy for the U.S. Open. I've come close so many times; I've played well so many times in that tournament, that I believe it will happen soon."
On his 2013-14 schedule: "I think it will be proper spacing. It really took a lot out of me these last couple of months where we played nine out of 12 weeks and it was difficult for me to get the proper practice session and preparation for each tournament. I don't want to enter a tournament where I feel unprepared, and that's kind of the baseline that I'm going to use as I build my schedule next year."
On his preparation for the majors, specifically the U.S. Open at Pinehurst, where he finished second in 1999: "I enjoyed and felt like playing Memphis the week before was very helpful for me to be ready. They are very similar grasses at Memphis as we have at Pinehurst, with the exception of the greens being bent at Pinehurst, but the grass, the rough, the fairways.
"So I plan to play Memphis. I plan to play Memorial the week before. I like having a three-week stretch heading into the majors, although this year that will be the only three-week stretch."
On taking the Claret Jug with him to tournaments and outings: "A lot of the corporate clients have really enjoyed drinking from the Claret Jug and it's been very fun having it with me and joining everyone in a sip. ,,, I've had a wide range of reactions, and people who really understand golf and appreciate The Open Championship, the Claret Jug, they are shaking when they hold it."
On the state of his game after last week's tie for 19th at the CIMB Classic: "This is my last tournament this year, and I would love to finish strong. I would love to finish with some momentum. And I felt like last week, I was not playing well. I was not swinging well in Malaysia. The last two days, my game started to come around and as I enter this tournament, I enter with a lot more confidence than I've had in a while."
After starting the final round only five shots back on a course filled with birdie chances, Phil Mickelson only managed a single birdie Sunday at the CIMB Classic.
Mickelson said he hit the ball the best he had all week, but his putter fell by the wayside. Mickelson had been fighting swing issues all four days, but he feels he finally turned a corner on the weekend.
"Despite the score, [this] was the best I hit it and the best the swing felt," Mickelson said. "I actually feel like I have some direction heading into next week's HSBC Champions in Shanghai, and I'm looking forward to playing it.
"It got progressively better. Unfortunately, the score today didn't reflect the fact that I played a lot better than the first three rounds, but I have something to build on now for next week."
By PGATOUR.COM staff
One day after saying he couldn't remember swinging so badly in his career, Phil Mickelson witnessed some improvement in his golf game at the CIMB Classic on Friday. It wasn't much, but progress is progress.
Mickelson carded a 2-under 70 in the second round in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and stands at 3 under through 36 holes.
"Yeah, it’s not much better," Mickelson said after carding four birdies and two bogeys. "I don’t have the control of the swing that I’d like. I’m not sure what side I’m going to miss it on. Playing this golf course from the rough, which I did today, is extremely difficult. The rough is tough and you’re fighting for pars the whole day.
"It was closer today, the rhythm was a little bit better but technically, I’ve got a lot of issues."
Mickelson remained confident that he could make a charge at the leaders over the weekend despite his technical issues, some that he will attempt to clean up in the next few months. On a positive note, he's putting quite well and believes he can take advantage of the short par 4s at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club.
"With the wedges, the technical flaws really don’t come through, it’s really the longer stuff," said Mickelson, who holed out a greenside bunker shot for a birdie on No. 7. "So I can get away with it if I can manufacture a few swings into the fairway. But it felt better today, the rhythm felt a little bit better today. I won’t worry so much about technique and the technical side these next two days and just see if I can get a good rhythm with the swing and maybe I can make some birdies."