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Five years ago, Phil Mickelson had his caddie tend the flagstick from 70 yards out

January 28, 2016

"When I get a wedge shot from 72 yards, I usually fly it within a yard 95 percent of the time."

That may sound like a bit of an exaggeration, but for some reason, when Phil Mickelson says it, you believe him.

Mickelson has proved that laser-like accuracy when wielding a wedge countless times, but none stands out quite like what he did five years ago this week at the 2011 Farmers Insurance Open. Needing an eagle to tie Bubba Watson on the final hole of regulation, a bad lie forced Phil to lay up on Torrey Pines' closing par 5. But with a perfect yardage left on his third, Mickelson treated the shot like it was a putt.

First, he paced off the exact distance to the hole and surveyed the green. And then, he had his caddie, Jim "Bones" Mackay tend the flagstick. What the. . . ?

"That particular shot, I want to give it two chances to go in," Mickelson reasoned after. "I'm trying to fly it in, and if it doesn't fly in, it's going to skip and I wanted to try to bring it back."

Again, somehow it just makes sense when Mickelson says something like that. In the end, he couldn't quite pull off the shot, but he did come close enough -- landing it a foot left of the hole -- to make the whole spectacle worth it and add to the annals of "Phil being Phil" and "What will Phil do next?" Treat yourself to another look: