WGC-Bridgestone Invitational Notebook: No “Mizz”taking Mickelson commercial

Akron, OH — For anyone who followed Phil Mickelson around today there had to be some confusion on whether to laugh, cry, cheer or ponder.

These are all normal feelings when following the left-handed golfer, but Thursday Mizzen+Main showed its commercial of a Dancing Mickelson dodging golf balls while wearing their dress shirt.

“They showed some of the videos like they had done like with Tim Tebow and JJ Watt and they said, ‘We have this idea about dancing,'” Mickelson said. “Obviously, you know, it’s not the thing I’m most comfortable doing, but then Amy said, ‘You should just tell them that you know how to do the worm.’ So after she said that, it was over, we were doing it.”

The commercial was all of the talk with several different players offering a smile and some uncomfortable laughter while watching it and one anonymous source stating that they had seen Mickelson do the worm before.

Mickelson first wore the dress shirts during a PLAYERS Championship practice round and got plenty of headlines for them, with Tiger Woods even offering some friendly needling.

“I think it’s fun to laugh at yourself, and certainly that’s what I’m doing in this commercial because it was a lot of work just to get those moves out of me,” said Mickelson.

Production for the commercial took all of one hour over the course of 15-20 takes around a month ago and Mickelson did admit there were dance moves left on the cutting room floor.

“There were a few, there were a few that we cut out just for time,” he said. “Maybe we’ll put them in outtakes because they’re pretty good.  I had a lot of fun doing it and it just really shows and demonstrates how comfortable and versatile the shirt really is.”

With the commercial gathering a lot of talk, and perhaps rightfully so, Mickelson did shoot a 4-under par round of 66, good enough to be tied for 14th place.

“It was a good solid start,” said Mickelson. “I didn’t put myself too far back. We get to go out tomorrow and have some fresh greens, and I’m putting well, so I’m looking forward to getting back on the course because I feel like I’m playing well.”

Woods goes low

Too often this season there has been a trend of Tiger Woods having a lot of work to do in the standings, but his 4-under-par 66, is his first sub-par opening round score in his last eight starts.

“It is a little bit easier, but then again, there are so many rounds that are under par, we’re all bunched again,” he said. “It’s going to be one of those weeks, especially if it gets as hot as they’re predicting, we’re going to be bunched. At least this time I’m not as far back, but tomorrow, you know, I’ve got to go get it in.”

On the front side, Woods was hitting fairways and greens giving himself looks at putts, but the highlight easily was his 50-foot birdie from just off the par-4 18th green.

Woods had missed the fairway, his first miscue off the tee in the round and used an iron to hit a half shot which rolled to just off the front of the green, where he converted his birdie putt.

Upon talking to caddie Joe LaCava a couple of holes later, Woods made the read on his own, but the intention was to lag it up close to the hole, preferably within the two-foot circle to make a routine par.

Woods began to mishit his drives and irons but was able to grind out his round, making his only bogey on the par-4 ninth hole, his last of the day.

Still Woods did make his last birdie on the par-3 seventh hole almost willing the ball in with a gesturing hand.

“I felt like today I didn’t quite hit it as well as I wanted to, but I fought out a score today, which was good,” said Woods Really felt like I putted well. I did a little bit of work yesterday trying to get a feel for the ball rolling out because the last time I played that wasn’t the case. I hit a lot of putts from above the hole yesterday, and consequently, today I felt really comfortable.”

Vegas baby

Phil Mickelson confirmed ESPN’s Thursday morning report to assembled media about his high-stakes matchup with Tiger Woods stating it would occur Thanksgiving weekend in Las Vegas.

“We’ll have more shortly,”he said. “As we firm up more and more details, we’ll let everybody know. Right now we just know that it’s going to be Thanksgiving weekend for sure.”

Due to the timing of the event, it is quite possible that Mickelson plays a couple additional events around that time frame including perhaps the Hero World Challenge event Woods and his foundation hosts.

Earlier in the day, Woods stated he had nothing further to add to the report citing nothing had been signed nor confirmed.

19th hole

Playing with a heavy heart, Marc Leishman fired a round of 5-under par 65, which is good for a tie for seventh place. Leishman as with every player in the field this week is wearing a yellow ribbon for PGA TOUR pro Jarrod Lyle who is in palliative care as revealed earlier this week.

“He’s fought a long, hard fight and unfortunately it’s got the better of him, but I think the worst thing is with the young family,” Leishman said. “I’ve got three young kids and obviously he’s got two little girls, so that’s going to be hard for them, and of course Briony, and it’s horrible for Jarrod as well. We’re all thinking of him. A big part of me wants to win it, that would be very nice to obviously have a good week for myself, but it would be great to have a beer out of that trophy for him. You don’t really need extra motivation, but if there was any, that’s a pretty good reason.”

Featured photo credit: Frank Hyatt/Submitted photo

Author: Zac Weiss