The Forecaddie: Phil Mickelson’s decision to skip Torrey Pines not all that rough


Since last October when Phil Mickelson said he would not be playing high-rough setups, The Forecaddie was expecting news of a 2019 Torrey Pines bypass.

Based on all the numbers — including Lefty’s amazing 28-year-streak in the event, the move makes sense.

“I’m not going to play tournaments with rough like that anymore, it’s a waste of my time,” Mickelson said last October. “I’m going to play courses that are playable and that I can play aggressive, attacking, make a lot of birdies, style of golf I like to play.”

He took that approach at the Desert Classic and it worked for the most part. But everything about Torrey Pines suggests Mickelson is best staying home even if he lives just a few off-ramps away.

The Man Out Front checked with the PGA Tour’s advance man on site and Torrey’s rough is again getting a topoff cut at 3 ½ inches and the ryegrass overseed is plenty stout after last week’s five straight days of rain.

Superintendent Rich McIntosh’s team has the place looking stellar again and while Lefty loves a groomed course as much as any golfer, he’s never been shy about his disdain for course renovations by Rees Jones and Tom Weiskopf.

Last year the field struggled to hit half the fairways there, with no hole registering more than 56 percent of the very best in golf able to hit it in the short grass.

There is also Mickelson’s track record since 2011’s second-place finish:

  • MC
  • T-51
  • WD
  • MC
  • MC
  • T-14
  • T-45

The last number The Man Out Front can relate to: Mickelson is 48 and has been at this almost 30 years. It’s a long season with many outstanding playing opportunities and players have to pick their spots, even when they live just up the freeway. Gwk

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