Lee Westwood’s tee shot went long, well behind the green, about the place where Mickelson’s tee shot would have landed if it had not hit the marshal.
Mickelson had teed off on the 11th and was about 40 yards away when he stopped and turned so he could watch Westwood played his shot.
This truly is among the best theaters in golf.
Westwood, by the way, hit a good pitch to about 15 feet for an easy par.
A year ago, Keegan Bradley was in the front bunker in the playoff with Mickelson and Bill Haas. On this day, he was well short of the bunker, so far to the right that he was close to the alternate green. It’s not a good place to be.
That much was clear when a member of the group said, “Five bucks. Does he make 4 or 5? You choose.”
Right before Bradley hit the shot, the choice was 4. The flop shot floated in the air and looked to be short, but it landed just over the trap and onto the fringe, and then trickled onto the green. He made a 4.
Brian Gay was in great position with his tee shot. He’s among the shorter hitters in golf, and chose to lay up to the left. He had 58 yards left and a decent angle to the diagonal green. The safe shot would have been a pitch that landed on the front of the green and rolled up to about 20 feet. Gay realized the middle part of the green sloped hard to the left, so he took on a small gap just to the left of the front bunker.
It was a smaller margin of error, and he made an error. The shot was too far to the right and went into the sand. He compounded that by aiming at the flag, and his bunker shot went through the green into the back bunker. His next shot hit the 8-inch lip of the bunker and rolled back to the sand. He hit the next onto the green about 7 feet away, and the missed his putt. Triple bogey.
His caddie, Kip Henley, walked over to the 11th tee and said, “What the hell just happened?”
He added a few minutes later, “This has got to be one of the top five holes on tour. Maybe the best. And I’m saying that after my man made triple.”
Gay didn’t know what hit him.
“I was in a daze the next hole,” he said after posting a 72.