Los Angeles Times
Mickelson’s wild tee shot at 17, the Road Hole, lands on hotel balcony.
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — Phil Mickelson has excelled at trick shots, but he hit one at the British Open on Monday that was more terrible than tricky.
He was six under par for the round through 16 holes, then stepped on the tee at the dangerous- driving 17th, the Road Hole that again played as the toughest on the Old Course. The ideal shot is to hit it over the “O” in a sign at the Old Course Hotel. Mickelson hit it into the hotel; actually, onto a hotel room balcony.
The ball bounced around, off the railing, and just stopped there. Mickelson could have played from there if the hotel guests had let him into the room. Hecan hit shots from anywhere.
But course rules have the hotel out of bounds, so Mickelson reloaded, took a seven, finished with a nice 69, but was nowhere near the hunt with his seven- under 281, worth a share of 20th place.
Schniederjans hangs tough
Jordan Spieth wasn’t the only Dallas golfer battling the windy and rainy conditions and doing pretty well on Monday’s closing day.
Amateur Ollie Schniederjans went on a good run with a 31 on the front nine, before taking a six on the dreaded Road Hole and turning in a 67. He nearly sneaked into the top 10, settling for a share of 12th. He is a three- time All- American at Georgia Tech and will turn pro next week. It was his first British Open and he got in because of his No. 1 junior ranking in 2014.
Hole lives up to reputation
The 17th hole clearly lived up to its reputation as the hardest in golf.
Besides Mickelson’s balcony shot and Eddie Pepperell’s shot into the hotel grounds Sunday, it failed to yield one birdie on opening day Thursday and followed up with a yield of only one birdie Monday. Pepperell took a double- bogey on the 17th on Sunday and Monday.
The birdie was by Billy Horschel. The rest of the field managed two sevens and eight sixes, as well as way more bogeys than pars.
Spieth probably lost his shot at history there with a bogey Monday. In the tournament, he had three bogeys and one par on17.
Then there was poor Matt Kuchar. For the tournament on Nos. 16 and 17, he was eight- over par, including a crushing seven on No. 17 in the second round that took him from the pot bunker to the stone wall and finally down to a somewhat put table collection area, from where he three- putted.
The Dustin Johnson collapses continue. Heled at 10 under after two rounds. Then he shot 75- 75. ... The extended play day Monday cost spectators the bargain price of 10 pounds. ... Sergio Garcia battled and stayed in the mix and finished tied for sixth at 11- under par. It was Garcia’s 67th major without a title.