The last couple of weeks of the PGA Tour could be characterized as wars of attrition rather than shootouts. Last week Bubba Watson frittered away a lead in the last three holes. It looked it it would happen at Pebble Beach today.
Well, actually it did. But not in the professional event.
In the team event, it looked like Rory Sabbatini and partner Blake Mycoskie appeared to be well out in front. Yet they were caught by Jim Renner and John Harkey, Jr. on the famed 18th. Harkey, Jr holed a putt for a net eagle to tie the lead at -31, while Sabbatini and Mycoskie were having to finish their final two holes on the tough 8th and 9th holes (having started on the back nine).
With Sabbatini missing the cut, Mycoskie had done most of the work to get the pair to the top. But on 8, he found Stillwater Cove with his approach. Sabbatini could have still scrambled for par, but failed to do so.
On the Professional side of the tournament, Jimmy Walker also had a large lead to start the day. At one point he restored his original lead of 6 shots at -14. But by the time he bogeyed the 17th, the lead over Renner and Dustin Johnson had shrunk to 1.
Walker made the picturesque 18th adventurous – teeing off with an iron to the rough, advancing with another iron into the first cut, then leaving a long downhill birdie putt.
The putt went by 5 feet, leaving another nervy putt for par. But Walker snuck that putt into the left side of the hole, allowing him to take his third title of the inverted 2013-14 season.
Maybe the biggest story at Pebble Beach, though, was the disappointing play of Phil Mickelson. It looked like America’s favorite lefty was in a position to make a run at the lead from behind, as he did several years ago on the Monterrey Peninsula.
Instead he struggled to make any putts of significance, and finished tied for 19th at -3.
The FedExCup Standings continue to go Walker’s way. He extends his lead with this victory, and it will be fun to see how he stacks up as the Masters approaches.
Really? What had happened to Phil Mickelson? I can’t believe about the disappointing game…:O
He looked uncomfortable the entire tournament. The conditions for this tournament were much different than in the last 10-15 years, when he often played well (and won 4 times). The entire country has seen a return to winter as we once knew it. The Monterrey Peninsula saw windy, chilly conditions throughout the entire weekend.
I would expect Mickelson to find his groove once the Tour hits warmer climes…unfortunately for him, he is not playing at Riviera this weekend. Probably resting his back in an effort to get ready for the Accenture Match Play in Arizona in two weeks.