As we sit and watch our baseball season enter it’s second half, waiting to see if certain baseball players are traded, still reading about one player or another contracted with a new team in the NBA, contracts still being decided upon in the NFL, gearing up for the Olympics later this month ~ we have the British Open on the schedule to begin next Thursday, July 19th.
PGA’s Phil Mickelson has been working on his golf game which has been less than satisfying for him in recent rounds; and, definitely not what we have seen from him in recent years. Being a 20 year “vet” to the game and usually right in the “hunt” in the tournaments he has played in ~ not so much in his last eight rounds. He has fought to stay at even par, but has ended over. He did not make the cut in his last appearance at the Greenbrier Classic ~ that was only his second in his career. The first being in 1993 playing in the Byron Nelson tournament. During the Greenbrier, he had stated his tee shots were less than desirable, his short game needed work and putts were just not falling for him. He was obviously aware…his game needed work. The critics had no new news for him. Mickelson knows his game. He knows and is quite aware of his shortfalls in recent rounds. Some have surmised that the arthritic condition he battles in his back may have some factor in his play. That we will never know for sure because he is not one to complain, or use his health issue as an excuse. Therefore, he continues to participate in tournament play ~ getting ready for yet another major, the British Open ~ just not on American soil.
While we have been sleeping, Mickelson has been playing in the Scottish Open at the Castle Stuart course, which began this past Thursday. His first day was a repeat of what we have witnessed in the recent past ~ one over 73 for his first round. However, he came back strong in yesterday’s play as the Phil Mickelson we know and love to watch. ** “…The four-time major champion woke up Castle Stuart with a blistering 8-under round that moved him 104 spots up the leaderboard and well into contention for the weekend, just five shots back of co-leaders Alexander Noren of Sweden and Francesco Molonari of Italy. Mickelson opened the round with an eagle on the 10th, holing out his second shot to set the tone for an exhibition that saw him pour in seven birdies, or better, while staying bogey-free.” **
Was he silently taking into consideration the statements by his critics ~ or, did Mickelson decide yesterday was going to be different to silence them. Today’s round will prove to be another day on the links. I’m in hopes he continues his strong play and he’s once back on track to end well going into the British Open this next coming week. Of course, one round, or a possible win, does not constitute “he’s back”, but sure is good to hear he’s still got it. Plus, he’s playing in a venue much like the conditions he and others will face next week. For him to keep it going would be a great boost for him. Even though, Mickelson knows ~ golf can be a humbling game. If he continues this strong path of play through the remainder of this weekend … will definitely be a plus for the near future major at Royal Lytham.
And a tidbit about Mickelson that I had not seen on the radar of late ~ he recently “claimed ownership stake” in his hometown team ~ the San Diego Padres. So, he has had more than just a few “irons in the fire” to think about. Will be interesting to see if the ‘touch of Mickelson’ has as much affect for the Padres as the ‘Magic’ touch did for the Dodgers.
To all ~ enjoy your games of choice this weekend. Always ~ Elichap