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When Xander beat Phil with an ace

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There’s no such factor as a foul time for a hole-in-one, however some aces are extra well timed than others.

One such occasion got here throughout a pleasant spherical final 12 months throughout quarantine between Xander Schauffele and Phil Mickelson. The two Southern California residents had been caught with out a lot to do, so that they started to play a number of rounds collectively at The Farms close to San Diego. Mickelson is thought for his prowess with regards to on-course playing, however he admitted that Schauffele frequently bought the perfect of him throughout their mid-pandemic battles.

“We played a match and he went out and shot 64 and I’m like, ‘Wow, all right. You gave me a pretty good beating, let’s do this again,'” Mickelson shared final week on the Charles Schwab Challenge. “So a few days later, we went and played again and he shot 63. I’m like, ‘Wow. OK. Let’s try one more time.'”

The third time didn’t show to be the appeal for Mickelson, as Schauffele put up a 62 of their third journey round The Farms and as soon as once more bought into his pocket. Things peaked on the sixteenth gap, the place Mickelson had instituted a press and promptly caught it to 4 ft on a 220-yard par-3. Schauffele adopted and never solely bought it inside Phil – he knocked in a 6-iron to win the opening with a press-defeating ace.

“I went back to (Mickelson’s wife) Amy, and I’m like, ‘I don’t know how I’m going to beat this guy,'” Mickelson mentioned. “‘He’s probably the best player in the world right now.'”

Mickelson is not enjoying this week on the Memorial Tournament, however Schauffele is within the discipline and was requested by reporters concerning the ace throughout Tuesday’s press convention. He got here via with some colour commentary that made the story even higher, full with the picture leaving of a shell-shocked Mickelson on the tee field.

“He tried to quick-trigger it. He pressed,” Schauffele mentioned. “And the walk back to the 16th tee is like 80 or 100 yards or so, and we were jawing each other on the 15th green. I won the hole, he pressed, and then he quickly went back to the tee to tee off, and it’s one of the harder par-3s on the course. And he kind of wasn’t supposed to hit first, and of course he hits first and hits it to 4 feet or so.

“I’m letting him know that I might make him re-hit, because it’s match play, however since he was getting his butt kicked, I figured I might let him hit it to 4 ft and never make him re-hit. But it was simply humorous. I wasn’t actually a man to make too many hole-in-ones, and I sort of pulled a 6-iron towards the water just a little bit, fell proper in line with the pin after which trickled in.

“And Phil just sat – there’s a little mound behind the tee box, and he just sat there, looking down on the ground, shaking his head. He just really didn’t know what to do with himself. So I found that pretty entertaining.”

Schauffele gained the battle, however Mickelson could have gained the battle. The 50-year-old admitted final week that getting drummed through the pandemic break was a giant motivator for him to reclaim his sport, and he credited it partly for his PGA Championship win final month. Schauffele, in the meantime, was watching from house after lacking the lower in a significant for the primary time since 2018.

“Seeing that, the way he played with this calm, and didn’t try to overpower every hole but overpowered the holes he should … I saw what it looked like to play at the highest level,” Mickelson mentioned.

It was a lesson that Mickelson changed into his history-making sixth main championship. But do not be shocked if he is slower to name for a press the subsequent time the 2 of them wander onto a par-3 tee field collectively.

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