Thursday, January 31, 2013

Looking at Mickelson's 60


A few weeks ago I wrote a column at GolfWRX on how birdie putts are inherently more difficult than non-birdie putts. You can see that column here:

Here’s a table showing the make percentage on Tour between birdie and non-birdie putts:


The point being is that in order to make birdies, you have to get birdie shots closer to the cup and give yourself more opportunities inside the cup. The ‘cut-off’ point seems to be 20 feet and in.

Here’s a look at Mickelson’s main metrics:

60 (-11)
11 birdies
0 Bogeys
8/14 fairways hit
16/18 GIR
-13 G.I.R.O. Score

Phil had 12 birdie putts inside 20 feet. He made 10 of those birdie putts.

His other birdie came on a putt on the par-4 1st hole where he made a 22-footer.

I’m sure some will say ‘well, he’s a bomb-n-gouger and that’s why he went low.’ Well, not quite.

His average drive went 296 yards.

Like he typically has done, he has driven the ball ineffectively by Tour standards.

He found deep rough on #2 from a wayward tee shot, flew it over the green and then had to make a nice up-and-down to save par.

He found the fairway bunker on the par-5 3rd hole which cost him being able to go for the green in two shots. He laid up, then stiff a wedge to a less than 2 feet and made birdie.

Phil found the deep rough off the tee on #6 and missed the green and had to get up-and-down for par.

He found the deep rough on #11 and stiffed one from 178 yards to 8-feet and made the birdie.

He found the fairway bunker again on #13 and could only hit his next shot about 90 yards, then stiffed his next shot from 165 yards to 3 feet and made birdie.

Outside of those very bad drives, Phil was able to get another 9 approach shots inside 20 feet for birdie. Of course, there was the 15th and 17th holes where he was not taking full approach shots into the hole, but that is still 7 full approach shots that Lefty was able to stick inside 20-feet from the cup. And he made a whopping 83.3% of them.

For this day, Mickelson used his fantastic iron play and putting to get him to -11 under par.


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