Home' Australian Golf Digest : July 2017 Contents 90 australiangolfdigest.com.au | july 2017
Both players went out in four-under-par 32,
keeping Stenson’s lead at one.
jim furyk I remember exactly what I was
thinking as it got to the back nine: I just
didn’t want someone to make a double-bogey
or bury it under the lip of a bunker. I wanted
to see them throw down to the end.
roger maltbie, NBC/Golf Channel: As they
made the turn, I already was getting lost in
what was happening. I was thinking, This is
pretty cool. There haven’t been many days
when I felt so privileged to have the vantage
point that I had.
david feherty I was thinking, Really? I get
paid for this?
phil mickelson I’m only one back, and we
both birdied 10. I hit a really good shot there
out of the rough to about 12 feet, and he
was 25, 30 feet, and here again he knocks it
in. I got determined on that one, ended up
knocking it on top. And then he three-putted
the next hole [the par-4 Railway Hole, which
played more than half a stroke over par and
was the most difficult hole for the week], and
we were right back to even.
jim mackay On 12, they both par. Phil makes
the 25-footer up the hill. Heck of a save [to
remain tied for the lead].
wayne riley, 1991 Australian Open
champion and Sky Sports on-course
commentator: I looked at Henrik. He had a
wry little smile on his face, as if to say, This
guy isn’t going away, is he?
henrik stenson By this stage all we’re
saying to each other is “Good putt” or “Good
shot”. Stuff like that. There isn’t a lot of chat
otherwise. I never stop saying that, though.
I’m not getting any negative vibes.
jim mackay Lordy, Stenson and Phil are a
little bit ahead of me as I’m walking off 13
tee, and this guy from behind says, “Excuse
me.” It’s the R&A rules official with the group.
He says, “Please inform the players that they
need to catch up with the group in front of
them.” And I said to him, “Sir, these guys are
putting on a pretty good show right now. Why
don’t you just leave them alone?” I remember
being shocked. These two obviously have
separated themselves, and the place is going
bananas. It would be unfair to say anything
to anybody at this point. He asked me to say
something, and I took a pass on it. What had
gone on at the US Open [the delay in making
a ruling on Dustin Johnson], I just didn’t
think the timing was very good.
phil mickelson The putt on 13, I might have
had 35 feet, and it was perfect speed, but it
didn’t break. It ended up not going in, and it
totally shocked me. That was my chance to
go one up. We got to the par 3 [the 14th hole],
and I just had a feeling he was going to make
a 2, and he did [to take a one-stroke lead]. He
hit a good shot in there to about 18 feet or so.
henrik stenson I wasn’t sure I would get
many more chances. I holed it, and the
grandstand exploded. It was a bit like a Ryder
Cup. He was getting more support early on
Saturday, but it had balanced out by the end
of the round. It was 50-50 on Sunday. He’s
very popular in Scotland [as the 2013 Open
champion at Muirfield], and rightfully so. But
he was still only one shot back. He wouldn’t
have been shaken up too much.
phil mickelson It was a great 2, you know?
Not the best feeling.
jim mackay Henrik hit his second shot at 15,
it’s kind of a bowl on the right. We weren’t
sure if his ball had hung up in the rough or if
it had maybe kicked down towards the fringe
and the green. We knew at best he was going
to have whatever that was, 50, 60 feet. Then
Phil hit a very good iron shot to whatever he
did, 30 feet. The thing about Henrik was, he
made all these putts at this point, and they
had looked good the entire way. We had seen
this now for 33 holes, 32 holes.
henrik stenson I had left one short there the
day before. And the one on 11 was still fresh
in my mind. During my practice stroke I was
focused on hitting it freely. Even if it feels like
too much, go with it. I gave it a good slap.
jim mackay It’s rolling across the green, and
I’m going, Damn, this looks really good, too.
gareth lord Twelve feet away, I was
convinced it was going in. I pulled the flag out
at that point. And then came the only bit of
emotion you’ll see from me all day. I had the
flag in my hands, and when the ball was about
a foot away, I gestured, “Get in, you f-----!”
jim mackay It went in the hole at perfect
speed [for a two-stroke lead]. Henrik doesn’t
show much emotion at all on a golf course.
To his credit, he showed a lot when that putt
went in, and he had every right to.
henrik stenson I was never going to feel
bad about making that 50-footer. I had seen
too many other guys do that to me over the
previous 18 months or so.
roger maltbie Are you kidding me? That
was the blow. There was going to be some
dramatic moment that was going to be the
deciding factor. Would it be bad luck? Or a
bad decision? It ended up being a great putt.
gareth lord You don’t hole putts like that
and then don’t win. Or do you? As Phil putted,
we were standing by the side of the green. I
looked at Henrik, and he said, “How do you
calm down after that?” I told him he could
start by breathing. He had almost turned blue.
phil mickelson The putt at 15 was just
shocking. For him to make that was just ...
you couldn’t expect that, even though you
jim mackay I’ve seen that happen twice
before in Phil’s career. The other two would
be Payne Stewart on the 70th hole in the ’99
US Open for par [at Pinehurst], and Justin
Rose on the 17th hole of the 2012 Ryder Cup
[at Medinah] for a 2. You always expect your
opponent to make it, but once in a while
you’re like, Holy cow, that was something. And
then 16 was huge. A lot going on. Henrik plays
first [on the second shot to the par 5], and for
a guy who’s striped everything, oh, my gosh,
this isn’t right at his target – it’s in the left
rough. Will he get a bad lie? Phil, now you’ve
got to hit a shot. He hits this incredible 3-wood
to 25 feet. Big roar from the gallery. Like, OK, is
this where we get some big comeback?
phil mickelson I’m looking to pick up at
least one there.
wayne riley, Sky Sports: Henrik’s ball was
way off the ground [in the grass]. If he had
put the club down behind the ball, it would
have moved. So he had to address it with the
club in mid-air.
jim mackay He had to pitch it over the
bunker, and it had to run out 30 feet or so. It
lands over the bunker and rolls out.
henrik stenson Because of the lie, it came
out hot, maybe five feet past.
phil mickelson Now I’m thinking, Gosh, I
can still have a two-shot swing, but I need to at
least make this to make sure I’ve got one.
henrik stenson I expect him to make every
putt – you have to.
gareth lord The ball actually bobbled a
little maybe six feet from the hole.
jim mackay Phil didn’t hit a better putt all
week. Much like the putt at 18 on Thursday, a
foot to go, I’m like, This can’t miss.
phil mickelson If I had a little more pace on
it, it would have gone in. Instead, it kind of
dove off at the end.
henrik stenson, on his five-footer for a
birdie and a two-stroke lead: It was tricky but
phil mickelson He knocked his in, and that
was demoralising, but a lot happens on those
last two holes.
geoff shackelford, then-Golf Digest
Contributing Editor: Stenson arrived at the
17th tee, then walked towards the New York
Post’s Mark Cannizzaro and me, standing
against the large scoreboard. “Shield me,”
Stenson said, and I’m thinking, What’s
wrong? Then he took off his undershirt and
said as dryly as possible, “I’m a little hot.”
henrik stenson Someone asked me later if I
did that to look good in the pictures later. But
I was like, “No!”
ken brown, BBC commentator: The pin at
17 was seven yards from the drop-off on the
left side of the green. So if you missed on that
side, getting up and down was very possible.
Not easy, but possible. The players were all
less-frightened of missing there, so they
could be more aggressive.
’ YOU’RE GETTING BEAT BY 100, SO IT’S
NOT A LOT OF FUN.’
– STEVE STRICKER (LEFT),
WHO FINISHED FOURTH, 15 STROKES
BEHIND STENSON, WITH J.B. HOLMES
(RIGHT), WHO WAS THIRD, TRAILING
THE WINNER BY 14 SHOTS
IN THE HEART OF THE
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