PEBBLE BEACH - Phil Mickelson has made a career out of a sublime short game, so when he describes a bunker shot as the second best of his life it is worthy of attention.
Mickelson holed a relatively routine 45-foot sand shot at the 13th hole during the third round at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in California on Saturday, a feat that had the gallery cheering wildly.
But it was one that did not go in that prompted the 49-year-old to superlatives.
Mickelson's tee shot at the famous short par-three seventh hugging the Pacific Ocean plugged in a bunker some 40 feet from the pin, a lie that meant he was unable to impart any significant backspin on the ball.
Never mind, the short game wizard judged and executed the shot perfectly, landing the ball in long grass in front of the green and, aided by perhaps a touch of luck, watched in delight as it trundled up to tap-in distance.