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Fathers Day Was No Holiday For Steve & Phil

by Tom King

The conventional thinking was that Merion Golf Club was too old...too short...too staid for the big hitters on the PGA Tour. Most of the "experts" said this would be the last Open at a course like this. The scores would be so low that they could never come back. Well...not so fast. Justin Rose won his first major on Sunday and finished 1 OVER par for the victory. Yeah...not only were there no super low scores...none of the top players in the world could even break par. I would imagine that the Open will return at some point and other older,classic courses can now breathe a bit easier.

Meanwhile two of the most famous fathers on the tour did not have good days at the Open. Phil Mickelson and Steve Stricker were both looking for their fist Open title and both were in contention going into the final day. Phil, in fact,was the 3rd round leader with Stricker just two shots back. But the Madison native triple-bogeyed his second hole and never recovered...while Mickelson shot four over on the final day which was only good enough for his record 6th second place finish.

Stricker said he felt relaxed and excited but that"it was the nature of the game to put you in your place rather quickly". He's playing a limited schedule this year to be closer to his family in the Madison area and said "Golf is not the thing in my life that it once was". That he can still compete at a high level considering his back problems and focus on other aspects of his life is pretty amazing.

For Phil it's another in a long line of disappointments at this tournament. But considering he flew home to California from Pennsylvania right before the tournament began to attend hs daughters 8th grade graduation...It would seem he has his priorities in order.