Holding the lead in the U.S. Open, Phil Mickelson once made a horrible decision. Tied for the lead in the U.S. Open, Jim Furyk just made a terrible swing.
Of all the shots played over four days at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, Furyk's snap-hooked tee shot on the 16th hole Sunday is the one that resonates with me. It's a perfect example of what having a chance to win a major tournament like the Open can do to a golfer even if he's won it before.
Six years ago, Mickelson never should have hit a driver off the 18th tee at Winged Foot. That choice cost him the tournament. Furyk's case was different. He played conservatively with a fairway wood, only to have his usually dependable swing defy him and send the ball careening into the trees. He bogeyed the par-5 hole to fall out of a tie for the lead with Webb Simpson and eventually tied for fourth place, two strokes behind.