124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2


Phil Mickelson's slicing shot from a gravel lie is the first must-see recovery of the PGA Tour season

October 04, 2019

You know what they say: The PGA Tour season doesn't really start until Phil Mickelson hits a ridiculous recovery shot. Or something like that.

In any event, the tour's third event has given us that first spectacular and quintessential Mickelson moment. Well, spectacular in a good way, that is. Mickelson did make a 9 at last week's Safeway Open. On Friday at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, the slimmed down 49-year-old looked like he could be on his way to another big number when his tee shot on TPC Summerlin's par-4 2nd went way left.

Mickelson could have taken a free drop since his stance placed him on the cart path, but apparently, he felt confident in his famed calves keeping him balanced. He also obviously didn't mind hitting his golf ball from a gravel lie. Watch and learn, people. This is how you pull off an escape shot.

Incredible. It's gotta be the calves.

Mickelson made par on the hole to stay at six under after an opening 65 had him near the leaders after Day 1. That was the lowest score since February for Mickelson, who is in the midst of a busy fall stretch that will determine if Tiger Woods makes him a captain's pick for December's Presidents Cup. And if Tiger thinks he needs someone at Royal Melbourne capable of hitting off gravel, well, he's got his guy.