Not many 'thumbs up' for Mickelson's video or his play in PGA Championship

Tod Leonard, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in Golf

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. -- The Phil Mickelson videos keep getting stranger, and the scores aren't getting any lower.

Mickelson tweeted a tongue-in-cheek video on Saturday morning in which he talks about how many thumbs-up he wanted to produce in the third round of the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black. It opened with him doing thumb exercises on his steering wheel.

"Thumb activation," Mickelson says, looking into the camera. "I've been preparing for weeks for Bethpage. I've been activating, sometimes using single rubber bands, sometimes double rubber bands, in preparation for this week."

"Going for the record today," Mickelson wrote on the post. "I need 6-7 birdies to warrant this many thumbs-up. Let's do this!"

He then went out and made only three birdies against nine bogeys to shoot a 6-over 76 that was his second-worst score in the PGA since 2009. Mickelson shot 79 in the opening round last year in St. Louis and missed the cut.

The San Diegan fell into a tie for 58th place at 6 over, 18 shots off the lead of Brooks Koepka,


Mickelson also posted a video on the Saturday of this year's Masters, needling his playing partner that day, Matt Kuchar. He shot 70.

"I haven't played great either day," Mickelson said after Saturday's round, "so I'm going to try to change it up a little bit -- the days, it hasn't worked out. But it's been fun. I just want to play better."

Beyond Tiger Woods, Harold Varner III is the only other African-American golfer on the PGA Tour. It requires a sense of humor sometimes, especially in New York.

"Some of the stuff they say cracks me up," Varner, laughing, said after shooting 3-under-par 67 on Saturday to get into the final group on Sunday with Koepka.


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