Golf fans have three decades experience of being wowed by Phil Mickelson's short game. But on Saturday, the five-time major champ pulled off a par save that even impressed himself.
After a hot start to the third round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am put him near the lead, the defending champ hit a loose wedge on Pebble's short par-3 seventh. Finding the back bunker would make his second shot tough enough, but adding to the degree of difficulty was a semi-plugged lie in the sand. In other words, it was just the kind of challenge Mickelson lives for.
The 49-year-old splashed one out that landed in the rough before trickling onto the green and within two feet of the hole. And he drew rave reviews from six-time major champ Nick Faldo in the CBS Golf tower.
"That is the shot of the year for me," Faldo said, before adding, "He's had a million and one up and downs, that might be No. 1 for me."
But where would Phil rank it? Well, apparently, pretty high. Ian Baker-Finch talked to Mickelson as he walked off the green and Phil said, "Absolutely top five." Now that's high praise. Anyway, check out the shot:
And Phil's fantastic reaction:
The improbable par save kept Mickelson's momentum going as he looks to win at Pebble Beach this week for a record sixth time. And incredibly, about an hour later, he holed a bunker shot for birdie on No. 13 to get even closer to the lead. That "top 5" is getting tougher to crack by the minute.