Multiple Courses Mean Multiple Wins for Lefty
Beginning with his first PGA Tour victory at the 1991 Northern Telecom Tucson Open as an amateur, Phil Mickelson has won 12 times at tournaments that use multiple courses. His last such victory came at last year's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, a five-shot victory over Kevin Sutherland that proved rumors of his demise were greatly exaggerated. At the time, Mickelson hadn't won since the 2006 Masters, and presumably was still feeling the effects of his historic collapse at the U.S. Open in June 2006.
Mickelson won last year's Pebble event with uncanny accuracy. He was one of five winners in 2007 to hit more than 80 percent of his fairways during the victory, and he tied for the lead in greens hit with 57. According to the tour's ShotLink database, Mickelson hit the green 40 of the 45 times he was in the fairway that week, showing that when he's on his game, it doesn't matter if he has to rotate between courses.
Spyglass Hill and Poppy Hills once again join Pebble Beach in the AT&T's rotation. All three courses were on the tough side a year ago, ranking in the harder half of all venues the tour used in 2007. Pebble Beach, ranked 10th, yielding a scoring average of 73.397. Spyglass was 17th at 72.855 and Poppy Hills was 27th at 72.089. But the wind blew hard on the Monterey Peninsula in rounds one and three a year ago. By the time it died down Sunday, the final-round scoring average at Pebble had dropped to 70.60.