Shanks and quads: Collin Morikawa, Phil Mickelson provide relatable moments this weekend
Major champions aren’t immune to the rare bad shot. Just ask Phil Mickelson and Collin Morikawa.
Collin Morikawa lacked his A-game at the Zozo Championship last week, but his T-7 finish was good enough to boost him one spot in the Official World Golf Ranking to a career-best No. 2, vaulting over Dustin Johnson and now is only looking up at Jon Rahm.
The two-time major champion and reigning “Champion Golfer of the Year” as the British Open winner seems destined to get to the top of the mountain before too long. But major champions aren’t immune to the rare bad shot. They can look like you and me from time to time – and even laugh about it. On Saturday, in Japan, Morikawa had a relatable moment.
“I did something in my career that I haven’t done yet,” he said after his third round. “I don’t think many people know this. I was in the middle of the fairway on 6, the par 5, and shanked a pitching wedge straight in the trees.”
Oh, no, he didn’t! The sweetest swinger of the irons in the game hit a hosel rocket? We need video proof.
“Really good way to start the day after being 1 under through five,” he said facetiously. “I really had no clue where the ball was going to go, I was kind of just trying to make contact.”
No clue where the ball is going? Just trying to make contact? So relatable, Collin, I feel you. Here’s the difference between Morikawa’s muffed shot and the one’s by Joe Hacker at the local muni: Morikawa still managed to shoot 67.
Morikawa wasn’t the only major winner from this year to experience a brain fart last weekend. At the PGA Tour Champions’ Dominion Energy Charity Classic, Phil Mickelson, the reigning PGA Championship winner, had a case of the quads. His quadriceps were activating and surely he didn’t miss “leg day,” but the 547-yard par-5 ninth hole kept kicking his butt. Mickelson did birdie the hole in his opening round Friday, but on Saturday he pumped not one, but two drives out of bounds and made a quadruple-bogey 9. As Yogi Berra would say, it was déjà vu all over on Sunday – another nine on nine. Mickelson, who has been cleaning up on the senior circuit with three wins in his first four starts, got whipped by ageless wonder Bernhard Langer and finished T-47.
It created a moment of schadenfreude that some social media critics couldn’t help but ignore.
I probably was a bit off on that statement
— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) October 24, 2021
Nine on nine is also very relatable. Good to see Mickelson able to poke some fun at himself. Imagine that’s a lot easier to do when the Wanamaker Trophy is resting on your mantel.