The steam that came out of his head on Sunday night at Pebble Beach was no doubt due to the cold air that permeated the tournament, although few would be surprised if Phil Mickelson really was furious at the idea that he would not be allowed to finish despite Two holes to play in the surrounding darkness.
His road to victory these days will never be mundane, even in a tournament in which he participated in a complete round without missing a fairway: a first 20 years.
And, of course, he managed to visit unknown parts of the Monterey Peninsula with a few random hits, endured a series of five or more hours that the bones slept and waited for a hail storm on Sunday that for a time blanked the course. He recovered a 3-shot deficit on Paul Casey and then, with an impending victory, almost begged for it to end when all that had been visible were his teeth chattering.
Undoubtedly, Mickelson wanted to return to his home in Southern California on Sunday night, and clearly was not worried about missing a chance to win because he could not see what he was doing. Phil was on a roll, and I wanted to finish it.
Instead, he had to return early Monday morning to complete his 44th PGA Tour victory, claiming a fifth AT & T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and becoming the eighth oldest winner in PGA history. Tour
For years, Mickelson, 48, has refused to talk about his age, choosing to focus on the aspects that encouraged him to move forward even over four years without a victory.
Whether it continues to be part of the teams of the Ryder Cup and the Presidents Cup of the USA. UU., Find a new exercise routine, change coaches, discover a healthier diet, work with friends and shake players who are young enough to be their son, Mickelson. He did everything he could to stay young.
The most recent discovery was something that dropped after the Friday round on the extra distance it took.
"So at the end of last year, although I played badly, something happened that seemed to be overnight, I had actually been at the works, where the speed of my pilot soared 5, 6 miles per hour, what rarely has ever happened to anyone, let alone someone in their last 40 years, "he said. "So that led me to be quite optimistic about this year.
"I think that's going to lead to some good things, if you're going to be skewed from the tee, I'm sure it's better to be long and that's how I'm trying to get closer."
Mickelson now has a second place in the Desert Classic and a win in four starts this season. A lost court in Phoenix, Mickelson said, was in part due to a driver's experimentation that he quickly abandoned.
That also led him to enter the Genesis Open this week, which he had not planned on playing, before defending a title at the WGC-Mexico Championship next week.
Now ranked 17 in the world and has positioned to run in another team of Presidents Cup. It is a remarkable change from the last place in the Tour Championship and the bad performance of the Ryder Cup.
Undoubtedly, Mickelson will be the subject of considerable conjecture when the world of golf returns to Pebble Beach in June for the 119th edition of the United States Open, the biggest that defines Lefty's futility attacks more than anything. Six finalists, some in the most heartbreaking way, dot his career, the tournament prevents him from having a professional Grand Slam.
Nobody has won a major championship at the age that Mickelson has at this time, but again, not many players have had the confidence to play two holes essentially blindfolded, as I wanted to do to finish this on Sunday night instead of Monday in the morning. .
The course will be completely different in June, with the rougher the higher and the greens firmer and without amateurs that take charge of the process. But that talk is for a different day.
Pebble, of course, would provide the perfect symmetry for such a triumph of a storybook. That's where he began his professional career at the 1992 US Open. And that's where he will turn 49 on the last day of the 2019 US Open.
A dream? Maybe. But you can bet that Mickelson sees a scenario as clear as day.