MICKELSON DOES'T FLUSH AWAY THIS MAJOR
Phil Mickelson certainly earned the praise and accolades for winning the Open Championship Sunday with a stunning 4 birdies in the last 6 holes. Considering how Muirfield was playing, that finish should be remembered along with the other great major championship finishes.
Mickelson has long had the reputation of reckless play and missed short putts in key situations. If there was one putt that could have derailed his amazing finish, it was the short par putt at 15. Coming off 2 birdies, it was just the time and the length of putt that Phil has missed in the past. Instead, he rolled it around the lip and it dropped in setting Mickelson up for a great up-and-in at 16 and two birdies coming home.
Famously, Mickelson did not even carry a driver this week hitting those amazing consecutive 3-woods on the 72nd hole to clinch the championship. Maybe we can see why from this European Tour video from a couple weeks back. Phil almost whiffs the driver making a Happy Gilmore attempt.
[Granted, Mickelson was using a right handed driver flipped upside down so he clearly had already given up the driver from his bag.]
A couple of the better clips of the week came from Charl Schwartzel with the club-throw day one and the 450-yard drive of the green on Sunday.
Schwarzel actually snaps the shaft of the 6-rion. Along with being part of the Bubba-Payne handshake whiff, Schwartzel is quickly becoming the greatest GIFfer in golf.
Schwartzel seems like an even tempered guy so the burst of emotion is refreshing. He also hit the drive of the day on Sunday.
OK, IT'S NOT THE SUPERBOWL BUT WE STILL HAVE ADS OF THE WEEK
The U.S. Open and USGA did a great job debuting the "While we're young" campaign back in June. Caddyshack aficionados recognize the line from Rodney Dangerfield and there was a good piece by Gary Mihoces of USA Today on the discussion with the Dangerfield's family about the campaign.
We linked the best of those USGA ads back after the U.S. Open.
As for the Open Championship ads, the best two ads on ESPN were an in-house SportsCenter bit with Rickie Fowler and an older Mitsubishi ad with Fred Couples.
Fowler proves to be a decent athlete actor and it is unfair to criticize him for the lame spit-take -- even professional actors have trouble with that comedic specialty (well, aside from the great thespian Arsenio Hall). It turns out that spit-takes themselves have become a sport.
The golfer with the best acting chops out there may be Fred Couples as proven by his Mitsubishi Electric ad which ran again at the Open.
It good comedic acting and plays off one of Steve Martin's great appearances on Late Night with David Letterman back in the 1980s.
Of course Howard Stern has always been one of Letterman's best guests and a video of Stern's golf swing showed up on the net this week. His move is about what one would expect.
A FOR ENTHUSIASM
Trick shot videos have essentially played out on the interweb - the most prominent being the long-range basketball and soccer shots.
That said, the exception to our cynicism (like parody rap videos) is the enthusiasm of kids. These guys also bring some originality and youthful enthusiasm that makes this watchable and fun.
Nice effort and the creator references a kid named Chapman Voris at the end, who happens to have a very hypnotic ping-pong ball trick shot video on the web.
CANADIAN OPEN PREVIEW
The RBC Canadian Open returns to Glen Abbey golf course outside of Toronto this week. The tournament and Glen Abbey are now probably best known for one of the best shot's in Tiger Woods' career (if you look closely, yours truly is on the hill beside the water on the overhead shot for my most thrilling live golf event ... well, there was the time I drained a 30 foot putt on the final hole to win a Saturday morning match for lunch and promptly fist-pumped like Tiger in front of my friend/opponent's 6 year-old kid ... but still).
Everyone who play Glen Abbey tries the shot. I've been there a lot and have never seen anyone make it with any club, never mind a six iron.
Speaking of Canada, for some reason this 5 year old video is making the rounds again this past week. It's real and took place on Mt. Rundle in Alberta, Canada.
That was quite a distance to bring a golf club only to chunk it. Granted, Alan Shepard chunked his shot on the moon, but the moon's gravity is more forgiving.
Of course if Shepard was just a sound-studio somewhere in California, then that shot is unforgivable.
Finally, anytime we talk Canadian golf, the incomparable Moe Norman comes to mind. ESPN did a nice piece on Norman 7 years back and it still holds up today.
Eccentric is to say the least and most about Norman. Canadian golfers have a soft spot for the purest ball striker of them all. The only time I ever saw him was at a course outside of Toronto in the early 2000s. The course let him drive his golf cart anywhere. I recall Norman zooming right up to the edge of the green (if not on) on a neighboring hole, putting and zooming away. No one batted an eyelid. It was just Moe.