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Phil Flirts With 59

On Wednesday afternoon in Scottsdale, Ariz., Phil Mickelson talked to Bo Van Pelt about the magic of 59, seeing Van Pelt shoot that score in front of him in the Phoenix Open’s pro-am.

One day later, it was Mickelson’s turn – almost.


From the time he made the turn at 7 under par on the par-71 course, Mickelson said he was sitting on go. And he kept going.

When he got to 10 under through 13 holes, there was no escaping the 59 chase.

When he birdied his 16th hole, cutting a 192-yard 6-iron to within five feet of the hole, Mickelson needed one more.

“Phil likes that kind of stage. He’s not scared,” his caddie, Jim “Bones” Mackay said.

Mickelson left a birdie putt one roll short on his 17th hole and then at 18, his 25-footer did everything but go in.

Can shooting 60 be bittersweet?

“Six feet to go, it was in the center,” Mickelson said. “Three feet to go, it was in the center. A foot to go, it was in the center.”

And then it wasn’t.

“You don’t get those opportunities very often,” said Mickelson, who shot 60 here in 2005. “To see that ball lip out instead of lip in, it’s crushing.”

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