“We all understand course management.” – Mike Francesa
Uhhhh, Mike…it doesn’t seem like you do.
The root of Francesa’s umbrage with Patrick Reed’s decision on Sunday to lay up on a par 4 with a two-shot lead in the WGC-Cadillac Championship is that earlier in the week, Reed said he believed that he was one of the top five players in the world. Not the thing you should probably say out loud win your only previous PGA Tour wins came against fields that didn’t include the game’s elite, but certainly the kind of mentality you need to become a top-five player in the world.
Francesa went on to PASSIONATELY argue that a top five player would have never pulled out a 5-iron and laid up on the 18th hole with a two-shot lead. In fairness to him, that’s usually true, but the 18th at Doral offers plenty of trouble off the tee for those who pull driver out of the bag. Plus, the goal of a stroke-play golf tournament is to win the fucking tournament, Mike, YOU BUFFOON, not look cool on the 18th hole while doing it.
Tiger Woods, who is arguably the best player ever, won a British Open and he only hit his driver once in 72 holes. Phil Mickelson, who is arguably a top five player ever, lost a U.S Open with a one-shot lead going into the 18th hole because he couldn’t bring himself to take his driver out of his hand. Don’t even get me started on Jean van de Velde, that poor bastard will never be the same.
Point is: Being a top tier player is equal parts having the confidence to take risks and equal parts knowing what you need to do to get the job done, even if that means laying up on a par 4 with a two-shot lead. Because winning is everything and history will only remember that Patrick Reed won. End-o-story.
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