Big Play

April 16, 2006

WHO: PhilMickelson

WHAT: 318-yarddrive into the fairway to set up a birdie

WHERE: 510-yardpar-5 13th hole at Augusta National

WHEN: Final roundof the Masters

WHY
Using two drivers was the key to Mickelson's victory. Playing one driver to hitdraws and another for fades let him make the same swing on every tee shot,regardless of the shot's shape, rather than manipulating his swing to curve theball. The two-driver strategy gave Mickelson peace of mind, allowing him tokeep the ball in play--he hit the fairway 64% of the time--and lead the fieldin driving distance at 299.3 yards.

T.J.'S TIP
If You Play Two, Here's What to Do

Don't fiddle withcomplicated club specs as Mickelson does. Simply add a similar model driver tothe one you already use, but make sure the second club has either an open or aclosed face. For example, if you normally fade the ball, the face of the seconddriver should be 4° closed. Then all you have to do is adjust the position ofyour lead foot and swing normally. If you're using your fade driver, flare openyour lead foot. With the draw driver, the lead foot should be slightlyclosed.

T.J. Tomasiteaches at Nantucket Golf Club in Nantucket, Mass.

... AND ANOTHERTHING
"The course changes sucked the excitement out of the Masters. Thetournament looked like the U.S. Open, with guys playing scared."

The PepperMill

[ by DOTTIEPEPPER ]

I DON'T RECALLanyone ever having the guts to call Karrie Webb "chilly" in print, butthat was my personal take on her early in her career. While she was winning 30times between her breakout victory in the 1995 Women's British Open and her2005 induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame--racking up six majors, acareer Grand Slam and two player of the year awards--she developed a reputationfor being aloof, distrustful and intensely protective of her privacy. Hiddenbehind her low hat and wrap-around shades, she kept most of her competitors andthe media at arm's length.

Then, over a22-month winless span between the 2004 Kellogg-Keebler Classic and this year'sKraft Nabisco, a more open, revealing and appreciative Webb (right) emerged.She acknowledged that during her run of good play, she had been uncomfortablewith the media attention, had taken success for granted, did not understand themental side of golf and had lost what is a crucial element in all sports--trustin herself. It can be hard to come to terms with yourself on issues like that,let alone share them with others. Karrie now says one of the biggest reasonsshe persevered in her "comeback" was that she wanted to enjoy successagain. I hope she does. I know that I, and all the other golf fans out there,will appreciate seeing a woman who was one of the best at the top of her gameagain.

For PhilMickelson (left) the Masters was a continuation of what he did the week beforeat the BellSouth Classic. Phil has addressed his weaknesses off the tee throughtechnology: He's using drivers that make it possible to draw and fade the ballon command with a reasonably repeating swing. Twenty years ago you would haveneeded a master craftsman at your side every week to pull off such anarrangement. Today it requires only a computer to spit out ideallaunch-condition numbers and a technician to build the appropriate club. Goodon the guy swinging the club--and on the guy analyzing the swing data to makethe technological match.

Dottie Pepper, a17-year veteran of the LPGA tour and an analyst for NBC and the Golf Channel,welcomes questions at dottie@siletters.com.

GOLF MAGAZINE
TOP 100
TEACHERS POLL

Will Phil Mickelson win the third leg of theMickelslam, at the U.S. Open?

Yes 23%

No 77%

" Mickelson is more relaxed and plays better whenWoods isn't in the hunt. I expect Woods to be in top form at WingedFoot."

--JOHN ELLIOTT GOLDEN OCALA GOLF & EQUESTRIANCLUB

SIX PHOTOSCOURTESY OF CBS (MICKELSON LEFT); ERICK W. RASCO (TOMASI); CHUCK SOLOMON (BACKGROUND); ROBERT BECK (WEBB, MICKELSON RIGHT); FRED VUICH (TROPHY) PHOTO ERICK W. RASCOCHUCK SOLOMON (BACKGROUND)FADE PHOTO ERICK W. RASCOCHUCK SOLOMON (BACKGROUND)DRAW PHOTO

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)