JERSEY CITY, N.J. – They don’t award style points for birdies, but if they did, Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose would have earned big ones midway through the third round of The Barclays.
The lefthander drove the green at the 299-yard, par-4 16th, but was 80 feet from the hole and had to negotiate a huge rolling mound. So it was no shock to see him pull out his wedge. He’s done it on several occasions over the years and for his faithful New York fans he did it again – a delicate pitch up and over the mound to 6 feet and he slipped home that birdie.
Of course, he also took a chunk out of the green, which prompted this wisecrack from a greenside observer: “Certain players would think he’d improve the green if he didn’t replace (the divot).”
Having pushed his drive right and into a fairway bunker at the 508-yard, par-4 18th, the Englishman selected a hybrid for his second shot. Risky, given the lip he had to handle, but Rose flushed it and landed his ball roughly 20 feet from the hole. When he ran that in for the first birdie of the day at the closing hole, Rose had three in a row.