Golf World Game Story and Cover

gw20060623_cover.jpg Golf World put Phil on the cover with a tiny photo of Geoff Ogilvy. Here are some of the highlights from John Hawkins's game story:

The shot you never saw (because NBC's camera malfunctioned) was a shot you may never want to see, but first, back to the 18th tee. While Mickelson was cleaning up his par on the 17th green, his longtime caddie, Jim Mackay, asked a network cameraman for an update on the status of Montgomerie, who had just completed his round two groups ahead. The NBC guy made sure he had understood Mackay's question correctly, then told him Monty had double-bogeyed the 18th to finish at six over. He was two back.

As Mickelson pondered his final tee shot of the week, Montgomerie's score was posted on a leader board to his left. The crowd went nuts, which might have been all the confirmation Lefty needed, but had he forgotten about Ogilvy, still holding steady at five over? And if Mickelson indeed thought his lead was two strokes, why on earth would he hit a club that had betrayed him the entire afternoon--a club with which he had missed to both sides throughout the back nine?

And, there was our beloved Monty...

It led to the fatal 6 and what could have become the dumbest move of Montgomerie's bluster-filled career. Upon reaching the scoring area, located off a breezeway of the Winged Foot clubhouse, Monty, according to several eyewitnesses, shoved a New York State Police officer as he stomped through the door. Captain Michael Kopy, a zone commander for the NYSP, confirmed the contact, saying, "There was a collision that occurred as the [unidentified] trooper was escorting the Mickelson family out [to the 18th green]. At this point, there was nothing more than a collision in a congested area associated with the event."

In other words, no charges will be filed. A USGA official who saw the incident said the officer involved expressed vocal objection to the contact, saying, "I don't care who he is, he can't touch an officer of the law." According to the USGA official, the state policeman "inflamed the situation" and added, "Monty showed great restraint. I'm not sure he would have in his younger days." (Montgomerie left Winged Foot before he could be asked for comment, and subsequent attempts to reach him and his agent, Guy Kinnings, were unsuccessful.)

And regarding the strategy on 18...

 Mackay talked Mickelson into killing an 8-iron with his mulligan from the Champions Pavilion--Phil had wanted to hit a 9-iron there. It splashed down in a fried-egg lie near the back of the front-left bunker. Behind the 18th green, Phil's wife, Amy, and his parents, Phil Sr. and Mary, weren't sure exactly what was going on, but they knew the news probably wasn't good. Desperate for information amid the massive, largely clueless gallery, Amy turned to a guy standing nearby who was receiving text-message updates from his home.

Her husband had to get up and down from the sand. His fourth rolled through the far side of the green. His chip ran past the hole. Game over. Amy teared up, hands on her cheeks, then called her nanny, asking her to take the Mickelsons' three young children home after they had arrived ready to celebrate. "I didn't want them to be here if it was someone else's moment," Amy said. "I figured it was better if they [left]."