Phil Mickelson seems like a jovial dude, but when it comes to actually playing, he’s not very nice to himself. At the 2006 US Open, he raked himself over the coals for losing his lead with a double bogey at the final hole, declaring within earshot, “I’m such an idiot.” At the time, he blamed his poor choice of driver for the mishap that sent the wayward shot skittering into a nearby garbage can. At the Monterey Peninsula, history repeated itself in cruel fashion when he found that his choice of drivers had let him down again.
“Like an idiot I switched drivers and, first, I hit a few shots I haven’t hit,” he lamented after tying for 16th place on Thursday, “I have that Callaway XR driver and it has some weight ports, I can slower [sic] the spin rate. I thought, ‘Gosh, in Phoenix, I wasn’t getting as much run as I wanted,’ so I moved the CG a little bit more forward, and I hit some shots I didn’t care for today. So I’ll go back to my other driver.”
Still, all was not lost. For someone whose driving accuracy was 57%, well under the field’s average of 70%, he did pretty well for himself. He left the course with only one bogey and five birdies. Perhaps this heartening performance is what leaves him convinced that he didn’t make a completely bad call there.
“I just made a bit of a mistake probably trying it. But if you don’t have the guts to try something, how are you going to learn, how are you going to find out if it’s right long-term? But anyway, I’m looking forward to the next couple rounds.”
We hope Phil continues to keep that pioneering spirit intact, even if he finds occasion to call himself an idiot again in the future.