Phil Mickelson was reminded of happier times he shared with Keegan Bradley.
Earlier this year at the Memorial, as Mickelson was waiting for the fairway to clear on the par-5 15th hole at Muirfield Village, he told a story from the Presidents Cup in 2013, back when he and Bradley were regular partners in team competitions.
It was during foursomes on the second day of the matches that Mickelson and Bradley played some of their best golf. They shot 30 in alternate shot on the front nine. They were 6 up with six holes to play against Jason Day and Graham DeLaet. But then Bradley missed a short putt on the 13th to close out the match, and he missed another putt to end it on the 14th. Mickelson had seen enough.
On the par-5 15th, DeLaet had about 8 feet for birdie. Bradley had 4 feet for birdie. That’s when Mickelson stepped in and conceded DeLaet’s putt. Bradley looked at his partner as if he had lost his mind. Mickelson told Bradley that it was time to end the match, and Bradley followed orders.
Mickelson about doubled over telling the story this year.
He has served as somewhat of a mentor since Bradley’s amazing rookie season in 2011, when he won the PGA Championship in the first major he ever played. They were undefeated in team matches a year later at the Ryder Cup. Five years ago, they both were among the top 10 in the world ranking.
Now they share something else in common.