WATCH: Mickelson Makes Crazy Birdie After Driver Off The Pine Straw

Just two holes into The Masters, Mickelson was displaying his typical unorthodox golf, as he made birdie in incredible fashion

Phil Mickelson sets up with a driver off the pine straw at Augusta National
(Image credit: The Masters)

Another day, another outrageous Phil Mickelson moment to add to the ever-growing list! What happened this time, you may ask? Well, it involves two drivers, one of which came from the pine straw, a shot that finished on the cart path, and a flop shot to five-feet...

The birdie, which you can watch here via The Masters website, started on the par 5 second with the three-time Green Jacket winner pulling his tee shot right and narrowly avoiding the fairway bunker that looms around the 300-yard mark.

Taking a big bounce, his ball shot forward through the trees and pine straw, eventually coming to rest on an uphill lie that required a shot threaded through the trees. Obviously, if it had been you or me, the wedge or iron would be coming out with a chip-out following.

However, this is Phil Mickelson we are talking about here and, in typical 'Phil The Thrill' style, he pulled out the driver, took his stance, and fired a shot that caught one of the overhanging branches. Luckily, for the American, it managed to get through them, with the golf ball eventually coming to rest on the cart path to the left of the green. This came after it had been smashed about on the concrete for a good 30 seconds.

So, what happened next? Well, after taking relief, Mickelson played yet another flamboyant shot, this time a flop shot that landed softly on the green and feathered its way down towards the flag.

Mickelson hits a flop shot from the right of the second green

Mickelson hits his third shot on the second hole during Round One of The Masters

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Faced with a five-footer for a birdie, it was almost inevitable that he was going to duly roll it in and, at the par 5, that's exactly what he did, with Mickelson striking the putt to the centre of the hole for a birdie four. 

"The branches were low, and I had a little bit more room right, if I went right of them. I thought that I could keep a driver low and cut it easier than a 3-wood," he explained. "I thought 3-wood would go right up in the trees. I was just trying to chop a little driver, hit a low running cut by the bunkers. It caught one of those limbs and shot left. But it was still a birdie."

From there, he bogeyed the third, with a near hole-in-one at the fourth making up for the early dropped shot.

It's no secret that the 52-year-old loves Augusta National, with Lefty a three-time winner of the tournament. His most iconic victory came in 2010 when, on the par 5 13th, he hit one of the best shots in Masters history. Playing from the pine straw, the American had to thread his shot through a number of trees and clear the creek that guards the front of the green.

Striking his six-iron, he barely cleared the water, with his ball coming to rest just short of the flag and, after rolling in his eagle putt, he went on to win the tournament by three shots from Lee Westwood.

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x