Phil Makes Incredible Birdie From Deep in Trees


Following Phil Mickelson around a golf course is watching a genius at work. Trying to fight his way up the leaderboard on moving day at the Safeway Open on Saturday, Phil found himself in a precarious situation. 

After going out in 4-under par 32, Mickelson bogeyed the par-4 12th hole to drop back to 9-under par for the tournament. On the next tee, Phil snap-hooked a driver that caromed off of the cart path and deeper into the trees on Silverado Resort and Spa’s 13th hole. With only a few options, Phil shut down the face of his 7-iron from 188 yards away and pulled off the unthinkable. 


The shot came out low, hot and hooking, just as Mickelson had planned. Here’s how — and Phil — described it

Four shots off the lead, Mickelson put himself 188 yards from the flagstick, with a tree trunk blocking his route to the hole, and with branches and foliage requiring him to keep the ball extremely low. Mickelson turned the challenge into a birdie to move three shots off the lead at the time. He hit a low, hard hook around the tree and under the branches, bouncing the shot to 10 feet.

“I just smother hooked a 7-iron, trying to keep it under the tree and chase it down on the green,” Mickelson said.

How did it rank among his many escapes?

“It was one of the better ones,” Mickelson said.

Mickelson is four back of the 54-hole leader, Tyler Duncan, heading into Sunday. Here are the complete third round highlights of the Safeway Open.



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