The Skins Game

If you watched the Skins Game yesterday and Saturday you would have had some
of the basic Colonel Bogey principles reinforced. The announcers started discussing
the 2003 Masters at one point and talked about the usual pressure on Phil Mickelson
to win a Major. One of the announcers said that the key for Phil was Patience
and then mentioned the work “patience” at least five times in the next couple
of minutes. A few minutes later this announcer said that he wanted to return
to the Masters one more time because he questioned Phil’s planned approach.
He said that Phil had announced after another disappointing year this year that
in the future he planned to be more agressive in the final rounds of future
Majors, hopefully to put some distance between himself and Tiger. The announcer
then said that again he thought that the answer was “patience” not more “aggressiveness.”
He said something along the lines that Phil should not assume that Tiger would
be perfect and that if Phil played even more aggressively he would likely throw
his own game off.

Once again we are reminded that the secret to golf, “patience” is known by
but not necessarily followed by the top golfers and golf announcers. If you
have been following the Mickelson
you already know that Phil’s problem in the Majors has not been a
lack of birdies but rather the number of bogeys and worse that he usually gets.
So 2003 should be another interesteing year for us to watch together.

Another interesting and surprising thing that came out of this year’s Skins
Game was that in the previous 19 years there had been only six eagles. There
were two this year. The reason I say this is surprising is that the format for
the Skins Game encourages aggressive play since there is a strong likelihood
that someone is going to birdy every hole. Thus, playing the kind of smart patient
game that pays off in stroke play is discouraged.

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