Sunday, September 27, 2009

Good for Phil!

What a final round for NBC and the PGA Tour. Could NBC ask for any more? Both Phil and Tiger win in the same day. What a treat! Seriously tough guys (Shen voice), it was a great final round. There were so many scenarios that could have unfolded as the best players on Tour played a historic championship caliber course on a windy day with potentially over $11 million at stake for the winner. I loved that each hole could possibly yield a birdie or bogey to any given player, and the 240 yard par 3 18th finishing hole added both a unique and exciting element. Going into today, as with Sunday at the PGA, I never gave Phil Mickelson a chance at winning. I thought Tiger, Kenny Perry, or Padraig Harrington were the only guys who stood a good chance. But throughout a tough round, so many pros stepped up to the plate to contend. Even Steve Stricker, who I said had no shot after the second round, came out of nowhere to mount a charge and possibly steal the FedEx Cup from Woods. It was an exciting day and a storybook ending for a deserving champion. Mickelson has gone through more this year than probably any other year of his life. Most know of his family situation that came about this spring with wife Amy's discovery of breast cancer. Then the next blow hit the family when Phil's mom was also diagnosed with breast cancer. The golfing world's heart went out to their most beloved champion. Mickelson took over a month off golf to spend time with his family and work out all the logistics and emotions. He came back in late June, a week before Amy's treatments began, and he nearly won the U.S. Open. Since then, it has been a rough go on the course, but thankfully, both his wife and mother are doing well and have a very positive outlook. Amy even appeared at the LPGA Tour's tournament in San Diego last week, and she looked great. This week looked to be more of the same mediocrity for Phil on the course starting out four over par through the first 16 holes. On Friday, though, he found his putting stroke, and he made everything he looked at. On Sunday, he started the day four strokes behind Perry, but he shot 65 on an extremely difficult day when most guys were going the opposite direction. Mickelson only needed to bogey to guarantee his victory on the challenging 18th, but came away with a par and his second TOUR Championship. Congrats Phil! Tiger still came away with the $10 million prize for winning the season-long FedEx Cup after finishing runner-up to Phil for a second time at East Lake.

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