Doug Ferguson's AP lede for the 2012 AT&T National Pro-Am:
Phil Mickelson went from a six-shot deficit to a two-shot lead in just six holes, closed with an 8-under 64 for a two-shot victory over Charlie Wi and gave Tiger Woods a thrashing at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Sunday not many saw coming.
Bob Harig, writing for ESPN.com:
That was fun, wasn't it? Maybe not for Tiger Woods. Well, absolutely not for Tiger, who couldn't get off the Monterey Peninsula fast enough and might not be back at Pebble Beach until the 2019 U.S. Open.
But big picture, the Tiger-Phil dynamic, is as good as any 17-Mile Drive vista. Phil Mickelson more than lived up to his end Sunday during the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National, Woods did not.
Just having them in the same group -- even if the amateurs were an unsightly nuisance during the final round -- was a welcome occurrence, one not to be taken for granted.
Steve Elling on Phil's ability to feed off rounds with Tiger.
After getting routinely drilled by Woods in their head-to-head pairings for over a decade, the sea change came in 2007 when Lefty's swing coach, Butch Harmon, who previously had tutored Woods for years, clued in Mickelson to some of the mental gymnastics Woods had been pulling on him over the years.
Ever since, Mickelson has rewritten the script entirely, amassing an 8-3-1 mark in terms of their lowest score in the past dozen times they have been paired. Mickelson actually smirked when asked if Harmon's psychological warfare counsel about Woods helped.
"Possibly," Mickelson said, coyly.
Being a complete adrenaline junkie, playing with Woods is like sticking his tongue in a light socket.
Kevin Merfeld says there were many differences between Phil and Tiger Sunday, but the contrast was most striking on the greens.
But Mickelson also buried Woods - and stayed ahead of the rest of the field - with par saving putts of 31 feet (on No. 12) and 38 feet (No. 15).
"I just feel like I'm putting like I did when I was a kid, without the thoughts and the mind clutter," Mickelson said. "I was trying to make, and believed I was going to make, those 30-and 40 footers."
Ron Kroichick notes that with this win, Phil Mickelson moves into rarified company.
This win was No. 40 of his PGA Tour career, breaking a tie with Tom Watson and Cary Middlecoff and vaulting Mickelson into sole possession of ninth place on the all-time list.
Or, in our little corner of the world, consider this: His haul in the Crosby-turned-AT&T puts him above any player not named Mark O'Meara, who won the tournament five times. Mickelson had been tied with Jack Nicklaus and Johnny Miller - they could play a little - with three wins each.
Gene Wojciechowski on the post round heckling for Tiger:
The heckler's voice somehow cut through the Sunday noise from the 25-deep gallery, the champagne-and-cheese crowd in the luxury suites and the folks seated in the grandstands that curl around the 18th green at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
"Hey, Tiger," said the man, leaning toward the railing of the reserved seats, "you'll never be as good as Phil!"
A smattering of boos silenced the heckler. Meanwhile, the stone-faced Woods didn't break stride as he walked toward the scorer's trailer to record a brutally disappointing 3-over-par, final-round 75 to finish tied for 15th in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. The only thing missing was yellow police tape around Woods' scorecard.
John Strege wonders what's gone wrong with Tiger:
Pre-scandal, it would reflexively have been attributed to the rogue bad day in a sea of brilliant ones. But this was the second straight tournament that he was unable to conjure the Sunday magic that gave him an aura of invincibility. Two weeks earlier, at the HSBC Abu Dhabi Champions, Woods shared the 54-hole lead with Robert Rock, who beat him by two.
"He hasn't been stacking confidence on top of confidence," CBS Sports' Nick Faldo noted on Sunday.
PGATour.com's Brian Wacker on Tiger's struggles:
Whether it was with his putting -- he missed seven putts from inside 10 feet, including three from inside 3 feet -- or his iron play -- he hit just nine greens in regulation, easily his fewest all week -- Woods never gave himself a chance.
"It was frustrating," said Woods, who began the tie in a tie for second and ended it tied for 15thafter a disastrous 75 that included three straight bogeys to close out the front nine. "I was looking for 2-3 under though the first six or seven holes, and Phil is the one who got off to that start.
"I thought I had a chance to get up there in the middle of the round and instead I went the other way."
It's not all bad for Tiger, as Steve DiMeglio reports in his game story that Phil sees hope for Tiger's game.
Woods, who last won on the Tour in 2009, was thoroughly beaten in the final round, but Mickelson sees better days ahead for the former No. 1.
"Watching him play today, it's going to change in one week," Mickelson said. "He used to hit a hook, you were waiting for it, and now he's just striping it right at his target with a tiny little fade just like he used to do. And his iron play looked extremely sharp. I know the score wasn't what he wanted and I know he didn't putt the way he wanted to, but you could tell that he's really close and all it takes is one week."
Here's a golf.com photo gallery from the final round. I don't think Tiger will be bookmarking this one.
And the results, including the all important FedExCup points for this week.
The final round highlights:
Here is what is missing with Tiger Woods: That sense of inevitability that was always there. You KNEW he would hit the hero shot when he needed to and you KNEW he would follow the hero shot by making the putt. It always happened. ALWAYS.
Now, the hero shot ends up dressed more like Robin than Batman. And the big putt -- those bombs that found the cup with astonishing regularity -- now curve just short and low. And those six-footers that ALWAYS went in are now power lip-outs, like that meaningless-except-for-pride birdie try on No. 18 Sunday.
Certainly, doubting Tiger has made many people look like fools. He has done the impossible enough times to make any sane person know that ability lurks not far below the surface. But what you achieve is limited in large part by what you believe you can achieve. Right now, you have to wonder what Tiger believes he can achieve.