That picture above just says it all. A 45-year-old five-time major winner on the back nine of his career reacting in agony and obvious disappointment to a missed five-foot putt for birdie to get to 17-under and into a playoff against Vaughn Taylor at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Had Lefty made it and gone on to win, it would have marked his first victory since amazingly capturing the 2013 Open Championship. Phil Mickelson, who held the lead heading into the final round, is well aware of this stat, not to mention his age (he turns 46 in June).
Mickelson knows the opportunities are dwindling; he’s getting older (which is becoming a handicap to keep up with the new, much younger generation). That putt could have been a game-changer. Who knows what would have happened, but a fired-up Mickelson would have come out blazing in the playoff against his journeyman opponent and the momentum would have been on Phil’s side. Speaking of which, a win for Mickelson at Pebble Beach could have rejuvenated his expiring career. But the putt didn’t fall.