Exactly Pent.....Mickelson admits that he plays better when he is paired with Tiger or Tiger is in the field, let's all remember, no matter what the reason, Phil hasn't shown up since this week except a couple of time in the last 2 years. AND, how does that happen with his arthritis that he annihilates the field at Pebble when that has always been difficult for him, at 41 no less. It just happened to be his day and as Tiger or anyone that actually plays golf knows, if you have ever had to change a swing due to injury - and I have (8 handicap), it isn't going to happen overnight. He is going through the phases, get in play, stabilize the approach, pitching and chipping follows and then he can really focus on his putting. Let's not forget, no matter the reason or who is at fault, this man has been run through the wringer for over 2 years now, physically and emotionally. He is changing his swing to lenghten his years and again, anyone that plays golf knows, changing mucscle memory doesn't happen overnight. He has tackeled his drive, is much more consistent on the approach, has most of his short game and can now move onto the putter. AND, let's not forget, he has been in the running for the Masters since 2009 both times.....he'll find it and if you don't play golf you can't get it. I have been unable to play for 4 years due to injuries/surgeries and a 8 handicap - aint too bad - but when I was finally able to play again, it was like I was a beginner. Everyone needs to give the guy a break and just wait! With all due respect!
I understand that, but there is still a lot of cause for optimism. Until last November, we were lucky if Tiger could put back-to-back solid rounds together. Since then, all that's missing is that 1 round. Saturday in Australia and Sunday in Abu Dhabi and at Pebble.
The Match Play may be just what Tiger needs. All he has to focus on is one opponent at a time.
Phil was just a machine yesterday. If he gave Tiger any sliver of hope, Tiger probably would have gotten himself back into it, but coming down the stretch, Tiger knew he was down and became disengaged mentally.