TEED OFF
By Robert Bicknell
 

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June 25, 2006

My record is intact...Phil blows it again…

My unblemished streak continues and even was bolstered when Mickelson did exactly as I predicted for last week’s US Open at Winged Foot. He choked and died coming down the stretch to lose by one stroke.

Yet, I do not consider this a violation of my streak of being wrong because he still lost and so did Jim Furyk…but not by much. Goosen missed the cut completely. Hey, when I put the whammy on people, I go whole-hog.

Last week’s US Open provided a lot of amazing moments, such as Tiger Woods ending his consecutive cut streak at 39 (37 as a pro) and missing the cut in a major for the first time in 10 years, and the most amazing moment of all…

David Duval made the cut for the first time in five years with relative ease when he posted a 68 second round. Duval ended the event tied for 16th which I hope he can build on. Don’t get me wrong, I like David Duval and am very happy to see him showing signs of life again. Hopefully, he’s conquered whatever inner demons he was battling. Time will tell.

To me the biggest disappointment was not Mickelson’s meltdown, but what happened to Mrs. Doubtfire…er, Colin Montgomery. Sadly, Monty made a severe mental error on the 18th hole when he changed from a 6-iron to a 7-iron at the last moment and came up short in the deep cabbage.

When Monty changed clubs, I had the same reaction as when Jean Van De Veld pulled out the driver during his famous British Open loss. Monty’s change made no sense because he had almost 10 minutes to decide what club to use and what shot to hit.

What was truly amazing is that the crowd was actually on his side. Perhaps, they can appreciate his skill and determination, provided its not during a partisan event such as the Ryder Cup. Given all that Monty has suffered over the years, you gotta feel sorry for the guy.

Ogilvy deserves a lot of credit for playing exactly the type of golf that the US Open demands. He keep his wits about him and kept cool. Its been said a thousand times that you do not "win" a US Open, you "survive it". Do your best and hope the others self-destruct and given the nature of Winged Foot and the USGA set up, they did.

As I predicted, Mickelson began to choke coming down the stretch by posting a bogey at the 16th and the wheels came off completely as he slashed and hacked his way to a mind-numbing double bogey at the 18th . Any hope for the proclaimed "Mickel-Slam" after wins at the 2005 PGA Championship and this year’s Masters died when he made a boneheaded decision to go for glory with a three-wood instead of playing for par or at worst, bogey.

In the movie "Tin Cup" Costner needed a birdie to win, par to tie and force a playoff, yet the idiot was such a glory hound that he was thinking, birdie to tie and eagle to win and blew the Open…just like good old Phil.

Mickelson said afterwards, "Well, I still am in shock that I did that. I’m such an idiot."

We know Phil, we know.

But, Mickelson can further compare to "Tin Cup", because as Costner’s psychaiatrist / girlfriend noted, in 10 years nobody will remember who won the Open, but they’ll remember his 15 shots on the 18th hole. Hey, immortality, right?

Phil, you’re gonna be immortal, just like you always wanted.


On another note, there has been a rumour floating around the local golf industry since late December 2005 that I am leaving Kings’ Island Golf.

Its true.

I’ve given Kings’ Island 14 years of my life and I’m happy with the direction that the club is going, so now its time to focus more on my own needs and those of my family.

Kings’ Island’s General Director agreed with my request and graciously allowed me to end my contract early, for which I am grateful. Hey, I’m not young anymore, but my daughter is, so I figure that I should be there more often at this stage in her life.

Family is always first priority.


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