Fan-favorite Phil Mickelson was coming into the week in good form, after a T5 finish in Phoenix. The four-time winner of this event did even better this week, using a final-round 5-under 67 to finish T2, the second time in the past three years that he’s posted a runner-up here.
“This has been a really fun week. I had a great partner, Jimmy Dunne. We had a fun first three rounds and I gave it a shot there on the back nine and it was a good solid round,” said a smiling Mickelson.
“It wasn’t enough because Ted’s [Potter Jr] been playing so well. But it was nice to feel the nerves and to make a couple birdies coming in down the stretch.”
Mickelson started the day five shots back, but didn’t make much noise until late on the back-nine, with birdies on 14, 16, and 17. He needed an eagle on the last hole to put pressure on Potter, but an aggressive approach to the green backfired, and he did well to save par.
Despite yet another close call in what is now a five-year winless drought, Mickelson is very encouraged with his recent performance.
“It was nice to make some birdies coming down the stretch. It’s a little disappointing it wasn’t enough, but it’s another great week here at Pebble Beach,” said Mickelson.
Going into Phoenix, Phil had dropped to No. 49 in the world and was in danger of falling outside the top 50 for the first time since 1993.
Now, with back-to-back top-five finishes, the 47-year old heads to Los Angeles (where he’s won twice) with a ranking of 35.
“Riviera is a great ball-striker’s golf course. And if you drive it well there, the second shot is where Riviera thrives and challenges you,” continued Mickelson.
“And I’m driving it as well as I have in a long time and if I continue to strike it the way I have, it’s going to be another good week.
“And I can’t wait to get started.”
PHIL’S FINE FORM
Mickelson has made six starts this season and has posted three top-5 finishes. Only Dustin Johnson and Brian Harman have better percentages.
T3 – Safeway Open
T15 – WGC-HSBC Champions
MC – CareerBuilder Challenge
T45 – Farmers Insurance Open
T5 – Waste Management Phoenix Open
T2 – AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
TOP 5 LEADERS
1. Dustin Johnson – 3 in 3 starts (100%)
2. Brian Harman – 4 in 7 starts (57%)
3. Phil Mickelson – 3 in 6 starts (50%)
3. Pat Perez – 3 in 6 starts (50%)
Minimum 3 starts
Credits: Getty Images, Stats