What Every Golfer Needs To Know About Breaking 70
Some Plain Talk About a Simple Game That Has Become Way To Complicated
What a great win by Phil Mickelson last week at Muirfield to win The Open Championship. The last six holes he played was some of the best golf seen for a long time.
Winning the Scottish Open and British Open back to back is a huge accomplishment and he is the first to do the double in the same year, and only the second lefty to lift the Claret Jug.
The first was Bob Charles of New Zealand in 1963.
With the course playing hard and fast some of the fairways looked like they were running faster than the greens.
Phil made a decision before the start of the tournament that set the foundation for him to be in contention on the final day.
He left the driver out of the bag for the whole week.
Carrying two 3 woods, one for driving (stronger loft) and one for the tight fairways.
This combined with a renewed confidence in his putting which we all witnessed in those closing six holes (where he made four birdies) and separated himself from the field to win by 3 strokes.
The 42 year old has had a remarkable career so far, and winning his 5th major now elevates him into the upper echelons of great golfers who have played this game.
So where does he stand amongst the greats?
Well he hasn't cracked the top ten in my rankings as yet but he still has a few years to add to his tally of 5 Majors.
So who is the top ten and not necessarily in order, as that will be another article in itself.
That is a very impressive list of golfers and their achievements in Majors, and Tiger is the only active player on that list.
Phil at the moment is hot on the heels of another group of five who have won between 5 and 7 Majors in their career.
All are house hold names, even after a hundred years after winning their last major. These five have set tournament records that up to this day that are still standing.
They're legends from where they came from, and their legacy will live on for years to come. Again not necessary in order, and they all deserve their place for their deeds on and off the course.
Now Phil Mickelson has had a distinguished career both as an elite amateur golfer and also as a professional golfer.
From his college days at Arizona State University where he graduated in 1992 and where he won 3 NCAA individual titles, as well as the US Amateur Championship in 1990. The first left handed golfer to win the title.
To top off his amateur career he won the Northern Telecom Open in Tucson in 1991 on the PGA Tour as an amateur and is only the sixth amateur to win on the PGA Tour.
After turning professional in 1992 it took him 12 years to win his 1st Major at the 2004 US Masters, followed by the 2005 US PGA Championship and another two Masters in 2008 and 2010.
His win at last weeks Open makes his total five.
But it will always also be his near misses and record six 2nd place finishes at the US Open, (only Major he has not won) that he is remembered for.
His go for broke approach makes him a favorite with the crowds. His bounce back from adversity mental make up is what his fellow professionals admire.
Phil has won 42 times on the PGA Tour and 9 times on the European Tour. With all he has achieved one thing that has eluded him is the number one position in the World Golf Rankings.
He has been number two numerous times but never in the top position.
At 43 years old he has to ride the momentum he has created at the Scottish and British Open's to win more majors as time is not on his side.
He is still physically in good shape although he was diagnosed in 2010 with Psomatic Arthritis has but made a full recovery with treatment.
And Phil still can keep up with the "bombers" on tour combined with argubly the best approach wedge and scrambling game will make him a top three pick for winning another major in the near future.
To get into the elite top ten Phil will have to win at least another 3 majors and that elusive US Open to complete the modern day "Grand Slam" of the US Masters, US Open, British Open and US PGA.
We look forward to the last major of the year when the US PGA is played at the Oak Hill Country Club East Course in Rochester, New York from the 8th to 11th August.
Can Phil make it two in a row? Definitely exciting times ahead in professional golf.
David Milne and Lawrie Montague - Pro Tour Golf College
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