2020 Masters Choose Your Own Adventure, Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson: Lefty Falters


Harry How/Getty Images for The Match

Mickelson outsmarts himself.

Anyone who wants to make the argument that Mickelson isn’t one of the greatest players of all-time should be apprised of this statistic: Only five players in history have claimed golf’s career grand slam. He’s captured three of the four legs; the only one he hasn’t won is, famously, the U.S. Open, where he’s been runner-up a record six times.

Of those second-place finishes, you can point to a few of them – Pinehurst in 1999; Winged Foot in 2006 – as legitimate heartbreakers, but perhaps none of ‘em still hurt as much as Merion in 2013.

Carrying five wedges that week, Mickelson stood on the tee box at the minuscule 121-yard par-3 13th hole and grabbed one of the five – his pitching wedge. He swung at the ball and it flew through the air, over the green and into the rough, with a tough lie to get up and down. He would make bogey there and again on 15, when he took gap wedge and left it short.

In the end, he lost by two strokes.

FREE BET — UP TO $500! Bet any golf major at FanDuel and get your first wager 100% risk-free, up to $500.

Mickelson has never made excuses for those two shots, but you have to wonder whether he pulled the wrong club in the heat of the moment. Maybe he was confused. Maybe he was mentally exhausted from a full week of trying to choose between all of ‘em. Whatever the case, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he outsmarted himself on those par-3s down the stretch.

That’s all you can think about as you watch history repeat itself today.

On the 12th hole, Mickelson grabs one of those six wedges, takes a big swing and comes up well short, splashing down in Rae’s Creek. That’s a bogey. On 16, he chooses pitching wedge from 170 yards downwind, but flies the green. That’s another bogey.

In the end, he winds up losing by two strokes in his bid for another Masters victory. You can’t help but think that the strategy which worked so well throughout the week might’ve also led to his greatest miscalculation.

Click here to go back to the start.

How would you rate this article?

Top Offers

Odds Boosts
See More >
Odds boosts are simply regular bets offered at enticing odds. They're available to everyone and there's no limit to how many you can bet.
Sportsbook Reviews
See More >
Discover the best online sports betting sites and take advantage of bonus offers from legal sportsbooks.
Expert Picks
See More >
See what plays the Action Network experts are making for all of today's games.
PRO Membership
See More >
Access betting systems and signals to get daily, actionable picks.
Download the App
See More >
Download the Action app to track all your bets in one place. Exclusive data helped you make smarter betting decisions.
See More >
The best sports betting newsletter with trends, insights and news - condensed in a two-minute read.
Live Odds
See More >
See live odds and the best lines for every game.

Follow Us On Social

Top Stories