A wild turkey flapped its wings close to Phil Mickelson’s ball.
Sure, this really occurred deep within the bushes on the twelfth gap on the U.S. Open, the proper visible for stroll spoiled.
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On his 52nd birthday, Mickelson endured a gap spherical Friday (AEST) that was painfully brief on birdies, and an expertise that was, , for the birds.
Even the turkey at No. 12 couldn’t consider how huge proper Lefty had landed his drive.
Mickelson made a double-bogey six on his strategy to an 8-over 78, leaving him behind 13 amateurs and close to the very backside of the 156-man subject.
If there was one victory to be claimed by Mickelson, it was the welcome he obtained from the Boston crowd, greatest described as heat.
A few followers shouted playing references at him in the midst of his spherical, however they had been tame.
And the galleries showered him with same-ol’-Phil adoration through the earlier follow rounds.
However as soon as the ball was within the air for actual in Spherical 1, the followers had been of no assist.
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Mickelson hadn’t performed aggressive golf on American soil since late January, and after he skipped the Masters, declined to defend the PGA Championship he had stunningly gained in 2021, and performed poorly final week in his LIV Golf debut exterior of London, no person anticipated a lot out of the six-time U.S. Open runner-up.
And Mickelson met that expectation.
After making his first and solely birdie on the 131-yard eleventh, Lefty heard chants of “Philly … Philly” earlier than one fan shouted at him, “You’re my idol. Two-hundred million!”
After all, that quantity represents the determine the Saudi-backed LIV Golf circuit reportedly assured Mickelson to go away the PGA Tour, which later suspended Lefty and his fellow LIV defectors.
Mickelson opened what has already been an extended, lengthy week by displaying as much as a Monday information convention trying and sounding like a haunted man.
He’d clearly been impacted by the criticism from human-rights advocates and relations of 9/11 victims for partnering with the Saudis.
Mickelson stated his four-month exile from the sport afforded him time to spend along with his spouse Amy, and to proceed remedy to deal with “a number of the deficiencies that I’ve,” together with a long-term playing drawback.
As for the event, Mickelson known as the course at The Nation Membership — the place he’d helped the U.S. rally to topple the European group within the 1999 Ryder Cup — “a brutal check of golf.”
On Friday it was all of that.
Mickelson hit a awful strategy on the primary gap, leaving his ball underneath a chair.
He four-putted the sixth inexperienced to place him 5-over with a dozen holes to play.
He tried and didn’t struggle his manner again.
His wayward tee shot on the twelfth would possibly finally ebook him a flight dwelling after Saturday’s second spherical.
The U.S. Open stays the one main that separates Mickelson from a profession Grand Slam; his six second-place finishes stand as a event report.
However after a birthday celebration gone awry, there gained’t be any Sunday drama or heartbreak this time round.
This text initially appeared on the New York Submit and has been reposted with permission