If you thought the 16th at TPC Scottsdale was a madhouse, you should have seen the atmosphere last week at Callaway Headquarters. We’re a golf company full of golf nuts, and a lot of us check PGA Tour Shotracker at some point on Thursdays and Fridays (please don’t tell our HR Department about this).
So when Phil Mickelson went out in 29 last Thursday, word quickly spread throughout the building. Here’s a breakdown of how the next two hours unfolded, more or less.
- Phil makes birdie on the 1st hole (his 10th) to get to 8-under. 59 now seems possible. Employees make a mental note to check scores every ten minutes.
- Phil birdies the 3rd to get to 9-under through 12. This is starting to get VERY interesting. Employees decide to check scores every five minutes now just to be safe.
- Phil drains a birdie putt at 4 to get to 10-under through 13! Two birdies in the last five holes for 59! Three birdies in the last five for 58! Golf history is on the table! Employees try to look busy while refreshing scores every two minutes.
- Phil stuffs his tee shot on the par-3 7th and knocks in the birdie putt to get to 11-under! He needs 1 birdie in his last two holes for 59, two birdies for 58! Employees immediately take their lunch breaks and sprint walk to the cafeteria or any office with a TV. The cafeteria is equal parts excitement and nervous energy. This has to be the most exciting Thursday in PGA Tour history. What even comes close?
- Phil’s birdie try comes up just short on 8, and he leaves himself a 25-footer for birdie and 59 on the 9th. It’s makeable for sure but we’re not exactly counting on this one to go in. Then again, it is Phil we’re talking about!
- Phil’s putt looks like it’s a few inches short, then it looks like it’ll miss low. Then it starts looking good, THEN IT STARTS LOOKING REALLY GOOD, and then…oooohhhhhh!!!!!!
When his ball cruelly spins out after touching most of the hole, you can hear the collective groan go up throughout Callaway Headquarters. It’s one of the most surreal moments you’d ever expect in an office setting. Most employees stand in disbelief and then immediately watch the replay of that putt eight to ten times before heading back to their desks.
By now, you probably recognize how much Phil’s first round and his wire-to-wire win meant to us. That Thursday was electric; it was wild; it was fun. It was thrilling, and dramatic and exhausting and unforgettable. It was our man, one of the legends in our sport, at the top of his game. And he made it a point to thank Callaway, and to credit his new RAZR Fit Xtreme Driver during one of the best performances of his career. It simply doesn’t get any better than that.
Phil took us on an incredible ride last week. And, oh by the way, he’s playing as the defending champion this week at Pebble. You think any of us like his chances?