A Day At The Beach
By Frank Luna
Nothing beats a cold Sunday afternoon like watching the worlds greatest golfers going head to head at Pebble Beach. Yes I know Luke Donald and other Europeans are the top ‘ranked’ golfers but Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods sport over a hundred tour victories and sixteen Majors between them. Make no mistake, Sunday’s battle on the cliffs of the Pacific Ocean featured the best in the world. And while it started out toe to toe, Mickelson turned it into a good old fashion beat down by the back nine. While many had anointed Tiger officially ‘back’ from his meteoric drop in the golf world following his tumultuous public divorce, Woods again couldn’t close the deal on Sunday. Of course, let’s give Phil some credit for blasting the wind out of Tiger’s comeback sails. He birdied 3 of the first 5 holes the dropped an eagle putt on Tiger on the sixth hole. Woods then proceeded to bogey the next three holes. Game over? Not for Phil. After Tiger chipped in a birdie from the sand on the par three 12th, Phil promptly dropped in an improbable sliding 24 footer to deny a two-stroke swing. Mickelson then answered by birdies on the next two holes. Even though Phil shut the door early, this was the most entertaining Sunday the PGA has seen in a long time. The national audience was in fact, the best in fifteen years. And extra kudos to some Northern California golfers. Stockton’s Ricky Barnes finished and impressive third and Elk Grove’s Spencer Levin shot a final round 68 for a strong ninth place finish. This after losing a final round 6 stroke lead last week in Phoenix. The PGA is just getting started and with Tiger playing a full schedule this year, we’re sure to see more great competition this season. Bring it on!