Putting woes unravel Mickelson’s round
Phil Mickelson had the fans, his driver and his irons on his side Sunday at the Wells Fargo Championship.
He seemingly had it all – except for his putter.
Mickelson two-putted 12 holes Sunday at Quail Hollow Club and three-putted two on his way to a final round of 76, 4-over par.
“I hit a lot of good shots today. I was not displeased at all,” Mickelson said. “I thought I drove the ball really well and hit a lot of great iron shots and, you know, it was on the greens. I just couldn’t get it in the hole.”
Averaging two putts per green in regulation Sunday, Mickelson totaled 33 putts in his final round , finishing at 7 under in a tie for 11th.
He was so poor on the greens, Mickelson played himself out of adding an eighth top-10 finish at Quail Hollow to his resume. The five-time major champion still has not won in Charlotte.
Mickelson’s tee shot on the par-3 13th struck a foot to the right of the pin, and he made the 10-foot putt for birdie to take him to 10 under. He then missed a 3-foot birdie putt on 14, left an eagle bunker shot woefully short on 15 and three-putted the par-4 16th for a double bogey to effectively end any hopes of a late run.
The round of 76 came a day after he carded a 63 and was one stroke away from tying the tournament record.
“Sometimes you put together a couple of really low rounds and the one after is sometimes tough, and you just never know,” Mickelson said.
Tough finish for Bohn: Mind games got the best of Jason Bohn on No. 17.
Bohn, who finished fourth at 11 under, took too long on his second shot at No. 16 – 1 minute and 10 seconds – and was issued a warning. If he got another bad time, he would be penalized.
At the par-3 17th, Bohn found the water off the tee.
“I didn’t feel comfortable with the wind starting to gust up a little bit, and I went ahead and hit it anyhow in a situation that I probably would have backed off,” Bohn said. “So I’m more disappointed in myself and the way that I handled that than the golf shots that I hit.”
Bohn double-bogeyed the 17th and then bogeyed the 18th when he left his par putt less than a foot short. In the final two holes, Bohn dropped three shots. He finished three strokes behind winner J.B. Holmes.
Queen City bayou: The New Orleans-Charlotte connection seems to be working for 2013 Wells Fargo champion Derek Ernst, who finished tied for 30th at 3 under (285). Four of Ernst’s top career finishes have come at the Wells Fargo and New Orleans’ Zurich Classic (he finished tied for 34th last week in New Orleans and tied for 47th in 2013), which are played on consecutive weeks.
“I feel like all my hard work over the last year is coming around,” Ernst said. “I’ve got a lot of special feelings for (Quail Hollow) because this is where I won my first PGA tournament. The course fits my game really well. It’s a ball striker’s course, and I consider myself a good ball striker.”
Ernst was looking to become the first two-time winner of the Wells Fargo Championship.
Simpson thinking positively: Charlotte’s Webb Simpson had a 3-over 75 Sunday and tied for 38th at 2 under.
“There are a lot of positives I’ll take this week into next week,” said Simpson, who will play at The Players Championship in Florida. “But I don’t feel much different finishing tied for (38th in Charlotte) than if I would if I finish tied for (38th) next week. I don’t think that much about the crowd.”
Simpson saved par on the par-4 14th when he hit his second shot with his shoes off and his feet in the water hazard. He stuck the 54-yard shot within 10 feet of the hole and two-putted.
Observations• New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith was at Quail Hollow most of the weekend, including Sunday, cheering on his fellow Nike endorsers.
• Charlotte resident Brendon de Jonge finished tied for sixth at 9 under. Duke graduate Kevin Streelman finished tied for 14th at 6 under.
• Holmes is the first 54-hole leader to win the Wells Fargo Championship after breaking par in the final round.
• Rory McIlroy celebrated his 25th birthday Sunday by shooting 2 under on the day and finishing in a tie for eighth.
By the numbers
65 spots Holmes moved up in the FedEx Cup standings to No. 18.
4 birdies on the final three holes Sunday by the top 17 finishers.
1,242,000 dollars earned by Holmes for winning the tournament.
3 bogey-free rounds Sunday by Furyk, Rickie Fowler and Ted Potter Jr.
“I like this place. I like the piece of property. It’s a pretty place to walk around, a lot of pretty people to look at, too! No complaints on my end.” –Jason Bohn
“Losing leaves kind of a sour taste in your mouth, but J.B. played great. Gotta tip my hat to him. I just didn’t have it today.” –Martin Flores
“In a year’s time when the greens have a chance for the roots to get a little deeper and this type of grass in warm weather, you can make (it) so firm and fast that it’s going to be a great challenge.” –Phil Mickelson
Staff writer David Scott contributed.