Phil Mickelson, who missed firing a magical 59 by a cruel fraction of an inch, now knows all too well that "Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.”
Mickelson’s 25-foot birdie putt on his final hole of Thursday's opening round of the Phoenix Open caught the edge of the cup, briefly dipped in, and then did a complete turn-about before lipping out. Having to settle for an 11-under 60, Lefty was understandably disappointed not to become the sixth PGA Tour golfer to card a 59 in an official competitive round.
“You don’t get chances to shoot 59 very often,” Mickelson told Golf Channel after finishing a flawless, 11-birdie round. “To have that putt on line, I’m kind of mortified that it didn’t go in.”
For Mickelson’s caddie, Jim Mackay, the horseshoe was almost too much to bear. He dropped to his knees and stayed there for several seconds after the ball did not drop.
"It's kind of like a pitcher who's got a no-hitter going,” Mackay told Golf Channel.com’s Jason Sobel. “I just handed him the putter and got out of the way."
Mickelson, who finished T37 and T51 in the previous two weeks’ Humana Challenge and Farmers Insurance Open, respectively, matched his career low on Thursday. He also posted a 60 in the second round of the 2005 Phoenix Open, which he ended up winning.