No driver for Phil
Did he accidentally leave it in the trunk?
Mickelson, who so famously pulled driver on 18 at Winged Foot at the 2006 U.S.
Open with disastrous results, isn't even carrying one today on the longest U.S.
Open setup ever.
Mickelson often tinkers with his club set: he carried two drivers (one draw-biased and one fade-biased) when he won the 2006 Masters, and his short-game guru Dave Pelz is practically evangelical when it comes to carrying multiple wedges. Still, Mickelson’s decision to hit a lower-lofted 3-wood off the tee on the 7,600-plus-yard Torrey Pines South Course is surprising, although Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs says it won’t affect how he plays the course.
“First, that 3-wood is 11 degrees, so it’s almost like a driver -- I’d call it a 2-wood,” said Riggs, who teaches in Southern California and has played the Torrey Pines South Course many times. “Phil hits it long enough where it won’t be an issue.”
The only hole where Mickelson might miss his driver is the 614-yard, par-5 13th, Riggs said. His 3-wood will make this green unreachable in two, and Mickelson has been critical of the USGA moving this tee back, saying that the back tee makes going for it in two with driver impossible.
“The other hole where he might miss driver is No. 12, the long [504 yard], uphill par 4,” Riggs said. “But there’s no wind today so he doesn’t need it. You might see him take his driver tomorrow when he’s playing in the afternoon and the wind is more of a factor on this hole.”
(Photo: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)