"Golf Happens"

The L.A. Times sent out their former hockey columnist for some rivetting insights into Sunday's Nissan Open finale. Check out this killer lede:

Phil Mickelson's opportunities to win the Nissan Open were strewn around Riviera Country Club with the leaves that reclaimed the greens and cart paths after he lost to Charles Howell III on the third hole of a playoff.

The leaves that reclaimed the greens and cart paths? Wow. I need a moment to soak that poetry up.

And how about this Jim Murray-eat-your-heart-out moment:

Sunday was Howell's day to shine, to be known not as "Charlie three sticks" for the suffix attached to his last name, but as a winner.

Golf happens. Mickelson has a great short game, but he couldn't explain why he missed an apparently good putt on 13 and another on 16. Even Tiger Woods loses once in a while — though not in his last seven PGA Tour events and not here this year, since he chose to take a week off before this week's Accenture Match Play Championship at Marana, Ariz.

Mickelson, a two-time Masters champion, has lost tournaments before. And he will lose tournaments again.

Chills down the spine here in Santa Monica.