NORTON, Mass. (Sept. 2, 2013) – The start of the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship – four bogeys in six holes including three straight to start – was the worst of the year for Phil Mickelson. At least the ending was a doubly happy one.
For the third time in the week he finished with a puzzling and disappointing even par 71, thanks to birdies on the last two holes after making bogey or worse on the short 16th. The icing on the cake: off in the first group of the day he finished just as a weather warning was sounded. He missed a two-hour delay and was quickly on his way to a Barclays outing in New York, where he watched the last few holes in his hotel room.
Phil finished the first round, and the tournament, at 8-under par. He was tied for first Thursday, tied for 41st Sunday.
“I really enjoy the golf course,” he said, “but this really wasn’t what I was expecting out of my game. I made way too many poor swing and big mistakes. Now I’m looking at putting everything into these last two weeks and winning the FedExCup.”
After a few days at home Phil plays the BMW Championship at Conway Farms outside Chicago in 10 days, followed by the Tour Championship in Atlanta. His slipped from fifth in the FedExCup points race – if any one of the top five wins the Tour Championship he wins the title and $10 million bonus — but can get right back in the race at the BMW.
Phil played the final round at the TPC Boston with Jordan Spieth, who in July became the first teenager in more than 80 years to win a tour event and in 21 starts this year has eight top-10s and one win in two playoffs. Spieth vaulted into both ninth in the points race and the Presidents Cup captain’s pick conversation with his Monday 62.
“He made it look easy,” said Phil, “he’s a very impressive player. He isn’t worried about looking pretty or swing positions, he’s just trying to shoot low scores and that’s what he does.”