Why not Phil? Mickelson’s Pebble win could outrider a large year

There’s something profoundly American about a aged gunslinger chubby on a iron for one final battle, striding into a breezy California object to infer that — as a producer Toby Keith once pronounced — he might not be as good as he once was, though he’s as good once as he ever was.

That’s an awful lot of mystic and account weight to raise onto a Phil Mickelson win during Pebble Beach in February, though what a ruin — Phil’s always been golf’s Doc Holliday, staring contorted during a insane strangeness of a sport. While other golfers cot their views in hardly contained on-course explosions and passive-aggressive swipes in a media, Phil’s always there jacket a fatal written stinger inside a smirk. And each so often, his diversion still keeps gait with his mouth.

So if you’re looking for an astonishing storyline to flog 2019 into redline gear, friend, Phil’s your huckleberry.

All a concentration rolling into a 2019 vital deteriorate has centered on Tiger Woods, with good reason. As Woods goes, so goes a diversion itself, with ratings and galleries comparison trailing in his wake. A clever opening during Augusta in dual months, and Woods will solid a moving game.

Long as we’re focusing on aged dudes, however, let’s take a good prolonged demeanour during Phil. He won Monday morning in a hail-and-darkness-delayed ATT Pro-Am during Pebble Beach, completing a turn in that he ran down personality Paul Casey with 6 birdies in a initial 14 holes. Mickelson and Casey played a final dual holes Monday morning as a object peeked over a horizon, with Mickelson finishing during -19 to win by 3 strokes.

Casey had pulled a block on a turn Sunday night on a 16th green, observant it was too dim to see. He was right; a object had left down, and Pebble Beach doesn’t have lights. But that didn’t stop Mickelson from grousing. “I can see fine,” he muttered during a CBS broadcast, “I’d cite to finish a round.” And when a horn sounded, well, we can see Phil’s reaction:

The feat outlines Mickelson’s fifth win during Pebble Beach, his 44th overall, and his second win in reduction than a year, following a WGC-Mexico final March. Phil’s 2019 line-up already enclosed one win — a hard-fought delight in that epic fight that was “Tiger vs. Phil” — though once we stop shouting during that, you’ll note that he’s got a T2 during a Desert Classic final month. Don’t get too excited, though maybe, only maybe, something’s function here.

“This is a special place for me,” Mickelson pronounced after a round. “My grandfather, 1919, was one of a initial caddies during Pebble Beach. Every time we get here we have such special feelings for what this place means to me and my family.” Come on. A story like that streamer into a U.S. Open? The Phil mythology grows by a day.

So what would a lapse of Phil — a let’s-see-what-happens-if-I-do-this each father any golf bro over age 30 would adore to be — meant to a game?

And here’s where dreams of golf narratives take flight. Mickelson only won during Pebble Beach for a fifth time. Mickelson has never won a U.S. Open; it stays his Great White Whale, a final square of a nonplus he needs for that career Grand Slam. And hey, theory where a U.S. Open happens to be holding place this year?

Granted, Pebble Beach set adult to pro-am conditions will resemble Pebble Beach set adult to U.S. Open conditions in a same approach that personification “Madden” on Xbox resembles using onto a football margin and holding a strike from Aaron Donald. Courses conditioned for Tony Romo and Larry a Cable Guy to attain aren’t accurately a kind of bonesaw plea that a USGA prefers.

“It’s zero like a march we’ll see [at a U.S. Open],” Mickelson pronounced of Pebble after a round. “It’ll be so different. The greens will be so firm. It’ll be a whole opposite golf course. But I’ll understanding with that in 6 months.”

Plus, Mickelson has a bent to play his best when a world’s courtesy is elsewhere. He doesn’t perform in a spotlight, he sidles into it when you’re examination someone else. He hasn’t available a tip 10 in a vital given 2016, and hasn’t finished so in a U.S. Open given Merion in 2013. That won’t be a box this summer, when Phil’s Last Chance will turn a pivotal story of a U.S. Open.

There are several months, and each singular one of a world’s best golfers, station between Phil’s clinching putt on a 18th during Pebble on Monday morning and that same putt on a Sunday of a U.S. Open. You can come adult with a thousand reasons because Mickelson won’t make sound these subsequent few months, because he won’t win a U.S. Open during prolonged last: He’s too old, a competition’s too good, a moment’s too big.

If you’re a gambling type, we wouldn’t gamble on Mickelson to tighten out that career Grand Slam this summer, even with a movement from this weekend. But if we were to lay that bet, Phil himself would be happy to take that action, and he’d grin like he knows something we don’t.
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Jay Busbee is a author for Yahoo Sports. Contact him during jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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