Articles, Blog

U.S. Open Live, February 2020: Momentum Building for Winged Foot

February 26, 2020

hi everyone and welcome into the
February edition of US Open live I’m Mike Trostle join as always by Ned
Michaels and Ned the 2020 golf season is off to a great start
seen Justin Thomas win in Hawaii Adam Scott a winner in Riviera what it stuck
out to you in the early going well certainly Adam Scott has win as you
mentioned that at Riviera he talked about his passion he’s found it again
his determination to win but for me it’s Webb Simpson he’s only played in four
events he has a win a runner-up and a third-place finish going into 2012 when
he won the United States Open he had four top-ten finishes and you look at
his stats this year versus that year they’re eerily similar in terms of he’s
leading in strokes gained approach he’s top 5 in putting top 5 in short game he
no one is scoring better on the PGA Tour than Webb Simpson so when you start to
look at these parallels I like Webb Simpson Webb Simpson could
be a guy to keep an eye on another one just have to go to the very top of the
official World Golf Ranking no surprise Rory McIlroy so since his miscut in the
British Open last year at Portrush Rory 12 starts 10 top-10 finishes 8 top fives
two wins let’s go through his last five starts Ned tie for third a win a fourth
place finish another tie for third and a tie for fifth pretty darn impressive for
the guy who is supplanted Brooks koepka for the number one ranking but another
guy who’s had some success to start the year is Phil Mickelson he won Pebble
Beach in 2019 then arguably had his worst career slump really of all time
over the past 30 years no top-10 finishes in 10 miss cuts over
the past year he dropped out of the top 50 of the World Golf Rankings but now is
a little bit of rejuvenation I tie for third at Saudi Arabia third place finish
at Pebble Beach so playing a little bit better Ned the question for you is this
a mirage his father time catching up with Phil or is he turned to corner is
he starting to look like the Phil of old now this is a good question it’s a tough
question because he shoots 29 on that opening round in Saudi Arabia as you
said he finished his tied third with that nice closing round and then we see
him at Pebble Beach where he’s the fill of old we’re on Saturday is one of the
greatest short game displays of all time he was seven of eight
pitched in twice once from the bunker holdout so you have to look and you have
to take the entire context of his season and a couple years ago 2018 he basically
led the pga tour in the relevant putting categories and statistics
he’s now pretty far down the list you start looking at his ability to hit
fairways yeah we know he’s keeping it long he’s all about distance but he’s
barely hitting 50 55 percent of his fairways
now at Pebble he had a stretch where he almost at 70% of his fairways so you
wonder which Phil Mickelson are we going to get and I think now almost 50 years
old I think that’s the norm that’s to be expected with failure when he plays well
he’s gonna be there he’s gonna have chances to win but when he doesn’t
you’re not gonna see him finishing 8th or 10th he’s probably gonna miss more
cuts yeah so it seems like the question is more can he get hot at the right time
around the four majors in 2020 but with those high finishes early on in the 2020
season Mickelson’s rebounded from a low of eighty sixth in the official World
Golf Rankings to now putting himself back in the mix for a US Open exemption
and to do that just need to be in the top 60 by May or June one of the two
cut-off dates but Ned Phyllis said if he doesn’t crack that top 50 and doesn’t
earn an exemption he would not accept a special invitation of the US Open it
would actually consider going through qualifying so Ned what would it be like
to see Phil out there in Columbus or in Newport Beach grinding out 36 holes and
final qualifying I think he would do it but don’t don’t hold your breath don’t
expect to go watch Phil at one of these qualifiers he’s gonna make his way into
the United States oh but he’s gonna earn his way in he has talked about again how
he’s really found the passion and he is motivated to play well he wants to be in
that US Open he wants to qualify for the Ryder Cup team he it’s a matter of he
knows where he can get the points he knows what courses to play he knows
where to miss on certain golf courses so Phil’s gonna be in the US Open and he’s
gonna qualify and whether he does it through the point system or whether he
wins and that gets a man it’s not gonna he’s not gonna rely on the exemption
well I know the fans would love to see Phil there at Wingfoot but if he does go
through qualifying we get to see his calves again we’re in the shorts as
you’re able to you in final qualifying now as every golf
fan knows phil has a complicated relationship with the US Open
excruciating and close to winning many times six times our runner-up in the US
Open including four times in the state of New York once and probably his most
devastating loss in 2006 at Wingfoot and Ned let’s go back to that championship
but 14 years ago in 2006 will get to fill an 18 but through the first 54 63
holes what stood out to you about the 2006 US Open well I think for from a fil
standpoint it was the par 5 he just he didn’t play them well he was 2 over par
and he didn’t have a birdie the entire week on the five-part wish for a long
hitter and a player like Phil Mickelson that’s absolutely unheard of so normally
the players on the tour you think par 5s they’re going to get out there and make
birdies and eagles and not the case at Wingfoot and then the final round Sunday
it played so difficult only two players in the top 10 shot under par there only
four rounds under par all day so it’s just a hard but fair test yeah and it
was really a chaotic finish to that championship let me set the scene now
Mickelson up there looking to win that that first US Open title birdies the
14th to take the lead and it’s actually two strokes ahead as he’s playing 16 but
it’s a crowded leaderboard you’ve got Jim Furyk up there the 2003 champion
Colin Montgomerie and Geoff Ogilvy all in the mix no Ned
we know how it ended up and then we know a few things went wrong with Phil now
let’s take a look at the 18th hole where do you put the majority of the blame is
it on course management and decision-making or is it simply on
execution you could make a case for both but when you’re in that moment and there
as you said there works perfect by the way chaotic when there’s that much chaos
going on and Ogilvie has chipped in for par and he’s posted a score and
Montgomery’s kind of falling apart in taking a long time and Phil’s got all
these decisions to make he’s bogeyed 16 it’s hard to make decisions it’s it’s
hard to be very authoritative with what you’re trying to do so was the decision
hit driver off of the last hole questionable maybe
but if he executed it well we wouldn’t be talking about it we’d be talking
about how he finally got his US Open so I think I would have to weigh on the
execution of it and then it really wasn’t even the drive it was the
selection of the second shot and then the execution of that shot yeah Phil’s
never been one to take his medicine and punch out there maybe lay back with an
iron but that 18th hole a winged foot very challenging it it played is tied
for first as the most difficult hole in the 2006 US Open so even with a good
drive there no assurance of filmmaking a par to win in regulation and had we
talked about the chaos really a lot of volatility on Sunday in that US Open
five different players held a lead at one point on Sunday with 15 different
lead changes creating them it was certainly a a chaotic and dramatic
finish now with all the challenges that the 18th hole presents let’s find out
how noted golf instructor Michael breed and Winged Foot Golf Professional Katie
weed Mar break down how to play one of the toughest closing holes in
championship golf I’m Michael breed along with Katie weed
Marc Katie PGA professional you’ve been here for seven years as we stand on this
18th green at Wingfoot what kind of thoughts are in your mind oh just all
about the history here there’s been so many unbelievable moments that have
happened on the screen made or break tournaments one way or another so that’s
the first thing that comes to my with you i’m the same way i think about Billy
Casper and 59 one of the greatest putters ever I think about obviously
Geoff Ogilvy but there’s Hale Irwin who wins in 74 I think about Greg Norman
hitting a shot over here to the right hand side and Fuzzy’s lr back in the
fairway there’s so many different things that you think about and obviously Bobby
Jones right over there I mean you think about all this stuff the history is rich
but let’s talk a little bit about this hole and let’s start with this green
10,000 square feet it’s an enormous green but it’s really very very small
yeah because there’s only so many shots you know where you can hit it there long
you’re in trouble if you’re short you’re in trouble
left and rights jail as well so you’re kind of in the doghouse if you don’t hit
it right where you want to 45 yards from front to back but the first 15 to 16
yards are all false front you’ve got to make sure you get this
into the green and then if it ends up a little firm and goes back now we’ve got
our hands full back behind that green as well yes unfortunately my balls found
that area before and a dozen in pretty let’s go and split here I’m gonna ask
you to go down to the front give everybody an idea of what this false
front looks like X and then I’ll show them the trouble that’s behind the green
let’s do it alright go on so here we are at the very front of this 18th green and
what can happen if you hit the very front of it the ball will hit the front
and roll down to the very bottom as you can see if you look at the divot pattern
I’m not gonna be the only ball that’s been down here and from here when you
get down to the bottom of the green you’re looking at 10 to 15 feet
elevation you have to get the ball up otherwise you’re gonna be playing ping
pong with yourself and the ball is going to keep rolling back in 2006 Jeff Ogilvy
had a shot similar to this and he got up and down for par to go on
and to win the open so all I want to do is get this ball up over that false
front but to keep it from going over the green and from there it is no vacation
we’re gonna hop over to Michael and see what kind of shot he has that is
fabulous work down there well done Katie all right now here’s what I want you to
understand the reason why her golf ball gets down there is cuz you don’t want to
end up here and there does feel like there’s a little backdrop here if I take
this ball and I throw it up into the hill there what you’re gonna see is
that’s gonna go way up there but it’s also going to now come back to me this
ball is gonna collect and it’s gonna take a little while so be patient but
this thing’s going to come down this hill and it’s going to end up right over
in this area here that’s what you’re thinking you’re thinking if I’m coming
out of the rough I don’t want to end up in that false front and down there
I want this ball to get into the green the problem is come on with me because
if we end up over the screen now we got our hands full there’s no way in the
world that I can get a golf ball inside of six feet from over here and the
reason why this rough right now is only two and a half inches during the US Open
it’s gonna be five inches which is French for you don’t have a chance of
getting this up-and-down so I’m over here I’m trying to go to that flag there
I don’t have a shot so I’m gonna try to hit this as high as I can see if I can
carry it just onto that oh it didn’t get there now what now I’m in real trouble
and if I hit this too far it’s going right back down there to where I showed
you this as I said before these are the smallest big greens
and 10,000 square feet here it’s going to play like probably 5000 square feet
very very challenging hole and remember this 2006 this was the hardest hole on
the property it’s not a fun finishing hole and it will definitely offer us
some continued history as we’ve seen all through the years from Bobby Jones all
the way up to Geoff Ogilvy you


  • Reply MisterTracks February 24, 2020 at 6:57 pm

    nice content

  • Reply Roger Wade February 24, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    Great! Keep it up! Would you like to be YouTube friends? :]

  • Reply Roger Wade February 24, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    I enjoyed your video ๐Ÿ™‚ Keep it up! Would you like to be YouTube friends? :]

  • Reply A Hol February 24, 2020 at 9:57 pm

    I remember screaming at my TV screen when Phil pulled driver on the 72nd tee! I'm calling it now Phil wins the 2020 US Open to complete the career grand slam and gets his redemption at Winged Foot!

  • Reply P Rex February 24, 2020 at 10:40 pm

    Looks to me like the USGA is giving middle America the middle finger. All East and West coasts.
    Hey USGA, right back at ya!

  • Reply alexander vogt sanchez February 25, 2020 at 12:20 am

    Hope usga goes full mode with green hardness and pin placements. I want to see high scoring. Winner at +5 or more please .

  • Leave a Reply