If you’re Phil, do you feel like a failure?
It’d be hard to feel like you let yourself down after firing a 17-under par score in a major. He turned in a nearly flawless performance at the Open Championship. He was an unkind roll away from the first 62 in major history on Thursday. He maintained his lead on Friday. He braved tough conditions on Saturday and was bogey-free on Sunday.
I mean, he went 63-69-70-65!!! In a major! It was the lowest Sunday score in the field outside of one man.
Yet, he still lost to that man, another seemingly ageless 40-something in Henrik Stenson.
Do you feel like a failure, Phil?
If you do, you shouldn’t. Long after many had dismissed you as still good, but, really, just the loveable old guy who just can’t quite bomb it far enough to keep up with these ‘young guns’ like Rickie and Jason, or Rory and Jordan. You proved us wrong again.
He’s won five majors for a reason.
Phil showed the kind of savvy that we hadn’t seen out of him in a while in this pursuit of the 2016 Claret Jug. He almost had it. Of the 145 Opens in history, his -17 score would have earned him the trophy in 141 of them. He was incredible.
Just not incredible enough.
“I played a bogey-free round of 65 on the final round of a major,” Mickelson told reporters. “Usually that’s enough to do it, and I got beat. I got beat by 10 birdies. It’s not like other guys were out there doing the same thing. It was a challenging day.”
In a career that has included 11 runners-up finishes in majors, tied with Arnie for second-most behind Jack’s 19, does this one hurt the most?
He’s a gem in the sport. He’s a no-doubt Hall of Famer. He’s a living legend that came up JUST SHORT… again.
This time, Phil, don’t be sad. You gave it your all and showed those ‘young guns’ that you’ve still got it.