February 12 2012
By Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
Par 5s: Nothing told the difference between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson's final round more than the par 5s. Mickelson had played them in 1-over par on Saturday but with the help of an eagle at the sixth, he played them in 5 under in the final round. Woods, meanwhile, had birdied eight of the first 11 par 5s he played in the tournament but was only even-par on them Sunday.
By the numbers: Woods hit 52 of 72 greens during the tournament, including nine of 18 on Sunday, and was ninth best in the tournament for GIR's. Those numbers are misleading. With his scoring irons, Woods seldom placed the ball inside of 15 feet. His iron play throughout the week was not sharp.
Having a ball: Phil Mickelson routinely walked off greens and began scanning for gallery for a young child. He would then take the golf ball he had just used and give it to the lucky fan. Several kids squealed in delight upon receiving the souvenir.
Amateur analysis: John Maginnes of PGA TOUR Radio made an interesting comment, asserting amateurs in this event fudge their handicaps to get extra strokes while the celebrities go in the opposite direction and carry “vanity” handicaps. I would say Tony Romo is a legitimate scratch golfer. He made eight natural birdies this weekend at Pebble Beach, but that is a long way from PGA TOUR ability. It’s thought you need a plus-6 handicap at your home club to compete on TOUR.
Turning Point: Phil Mickelson so dominated that it's hard to pick just one turning point on Sunday, but it may have come on the 12th hole. Both Mickelson and Tiger Woods missed the 205-yard par-3. Phil chipped to 31 feet while Tiger holed out his bunker shot for birdie. Would this be the start of a charge for Woods? Nope. Mickelson rolled in a 31-foot par putt to retain his momentum, then made a 25-foot par putt on the 15th green as well. Mickelson used just 26 putts in the round while Woods had 31.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio and is inside the ropes this week at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here.