Report: Caddie defends Lefty's use of driver on 18
Phil Mickelson has been criticized for hitting driver on the 18th hole in Sunday's final round of the U.S. Open, but Lefty's caddie told the New York Post that there was never any consideration of hitting 4-wood instead.
"There was never even a consideration about hitting anything but driver," Jim "Bones" Mackay told the newspaper. "Phil hits his 4-wood no more than about 240 yards. A 4-wood into a 10- to 15-mile-per-hour wind uphill is going to go about 225 yards. There was no possible way to hit 4-wood long enough to reach the dogleg if he missed the fairway."
Mickelson went for a par that would have won at Winged Foot, but wound up with a double bogey that made Geoff Ogilvy the first Australian to win the U.S. Open in 25 years. Mickelson's tee shot on the 18th went so far left that it clattered through the trees by a hospitality tent, into the trampled rough. Instead of playing out to the fairway and trying to get par he went after the green and hit a tree, the ball advancing only 25 yards.
The third shot sailed left of the green and buried in the bunker, plugged so badly that Mickelson had no chance to get close to the flag because the green ran away from him. He blasted out and through the green, into more rough, then chipped back 8 feet past the hole before making the last putt to close with double bogey.
Mackay told the Post that Mickelson kept hitting driver Sunday because it gave him the best chance to get the ball on the green, and said that he and Mickelson were aware of Ogilvy's progress ahead of them.
"We saw Ogilvy hit his second shot and were guessing that he hadn't put it on the green because he didn't look thrilled with it and we never heard the crowd roar," Mackay told the newspaper. "With [Colin Montgomerie], we heard from TV guys that he had a 10-foot putt for a five, and 60 seconds later we heard the crowd groan.
"So we knew that 4-over was going to win the tournament, and Phil was not playing for a tie."
Afterward, Mickelson handled the loss with poise, even calling himself "an idiot," but MacKay told the Post that Mickelson took the loss hard.
"I talked to him for about 15 seconds afterward. I don't think he's doing well at all. It was absolutely devastating."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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106th U.S. Open Championship
Where: Winged Foot Golf Club (West)
Yardage/Par: 7,264 yards; par 70
2006 champion: Geoff Ogilvy
Purse: $6.8 million (Winner: $1.225 million)
• Mickelson's collapse leads to Ogilvy's first major victory
• Wojciechowski: Phil's Phailure will hurt for a while
• Maisel: Open will be remembered for Mickelson's collapse
• Sobel: Ogilvy defies destiny to become champion
• Harig: Final hole played a cruel role for leaders
• Sirak: Winged Foot was the real winner
• Rudy: USGA setup spawns another train wreck
• Final-round podcast
• ESPN.com photo gallery: Mickelson's collapse
• Recap: Mickelson, Ferrie tied at 2-over
• Maisel/Wojciechowski: E-mail chats from the Open
• Sobel: Cream rises to top of U.S. Open leaderboard
• Harig: Open rookie searching for a Ferrie tale ending
• Sirak: Dealing with final-round pressure
• ESPN.com photo gallery
• After missed cut, Svoboda makes mark
• Recap: Stricker leads by one
• Wojciechowski: Mercifully, Woods' Open ended
• Harig: Lefty celebrates birthday with a patient 73
• Sobel: Woods, Duval head in opposite directions
• Maisel: Stricker, like Monty and Duval, finds an old spark
• ESPN.com photo gallery
• ESPN.com breaks down Round 2
• Round 2 podcast
• Tiger misses the cut
• Goosen among those who missed cut
• Rovell: Tiger missing cut affects Nike
• Wojciechowski: Phil shoots even-par ... and loves it
• Maisel: Woods returns to similar frustration
• Harig: Expectations lowered, Monty finds his rhythm
• Sobel: Scores soar on first day at Winged Foot
• Montgomerie captures early lead
• Hawkins/Sobel: Round 1 podcast
• ESPN.com photo gallery
• Mickelson Mania at Winged Foot
• ESPN.com breaks down Round 1
• Phil Mickelson ShotPack
• Tiger Woods ShotPack
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• Real-Time Scoring from USOpen.com
• Sobel: Ranking the U.S. Open field, 1 through 156
• Maisel: USGA's New York state of mind
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• Verdi: Davis Love III makes the rainbow connection
• Weekly 18: Major story lines abound entering Open
• Rosaforte: U.S. Open is back where it belongs
• On The Hot Seat: Peter Jacobsen
• Antonini: Winged Foot has always been a crowd pleaser
• Johnson: Why Winged Foot is special
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U.S. Open qualifying
• Sobel: Is U.S. Open qualifying an outdated process?
• Harig: Wie's bid to make history drew believers
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• Wojciechowski: Wie belongs, even if she didn't qualify
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