On Saturday at The Barclays, Phil Mickelson proved that sometimes the best way to move forward is to move backward.
Mickelson’s tee shot to the drivable par-4 18th at Plainfield Country Club landed on the downslope leading into a greenside bunker. Facing a downhill wedge shot that would be hard to spin and get in the air, Mickelson decided to try to hit the ball backwards onto the green. It’s a trick shot Mickelson has demonstrated on video and has even pulled off in practice rounds.
The shot didn’t work out, landing in the bunker Mickelson was trying to flop behind, but he manged to save par from the bunker to shoot 1-under 69 on Saturday. He trails 54-hole co-leaders Sang-moon Bae and Jason Day by nine shots heading into the final round.