After a gorgeous chip-in on No. 14, it seemed like the momentum was on Lefty's side.
But a wayward drive—and I mean over a plethora of trees, a creek, and probably a hole or two—Mickleson found his ball lying still on a firm, black, cart-path.
In classic Phil fashion, he stood behind the ball, staring at his path over trees and through branches, while discussing the strategy with his caddy.
Then I realized, cart-path or not, he was going to take this shot.
Sure enough, with some kind of wood in hand, Mickleson pounded the ball off the rigid, dark pavement and watched it soar through the air.
Mickleson is a gunner: fearless, imaginative, and out to win.
He's been known to get overly aggressive, which often costs him strokes, but let me be the first to say it's nice to see a player unafraid of making mistakes.
Whereas Tiger looked like he just wanted to get done with his round as fast as possible, often yelling at the ball when it went awry, Mickleson was thinking out shots, giving little kids high-fives and smiling with a tip of the cap every time he putted out.
Phil is absolutely pounding the ball, hitting his 9-iron from 175 yards and pummeling his drives more than 320 yards multiple times throughout the week.
What separated Phil from holding the trophy Sunday was his short game, namely his putting. He had a multitude of chances inside six to 10 feet for birdies, but they would tragically sit on the lip or just roll by, causing a deep, guttural sigh from the throngs of people following the Masters Champion.
He can and hopefully will play exceptional golf in two weeks at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. If he can maintain his length, while tightening the screws on his shorter putts, Lefty will be unbeatable.