Phil Mickelson, my pre-tournament pick to win the 2013 PGA Championship, rides quietly off into the Rochester Sunday afternoon after a final round 72 to settle at 12-over for the week. Phil was simply playing out the string on Sunday, a casual non-contending 18 holes to get out of the way before jetting back home to California. He and playing partner Stephen Gallacher made their way around Oak Hill in just over three hours, finishing before Noon ET and getting the hell out of town.
The Sunday is in such stark contrast to the final round of the last major, where Phil exploded onto the top of the leaderboard with a legendary 66 at Muirfield. This round was more of an obligation in obscurity, nearly complete before TNT's TV coverage even came on the air. It's always been feast or famine for Mickelson, who's gambling either pays off or blows up in his face. He finished in a tie for fourth-to-last place at the Masters to start this majors year, and ends the PGA currently in a tie for second-to-last place.
Even with that hit-or-miss history, it's still shocking to see Mickelson so far out of it coming off that British Open win where he said he was playing the best golf of his life. His third-round 78 was highest total in his near 20-year career at the PGA Championship. Mickelson will reload at home in San Diego, turning his attention to the FedExCup Playoffs later this month.
Another player who is ready for the weekend to be over is Tiger Woods, who hasn't blown up like Phil but is stalled out in mediocrity at 4-over. Woods has yet to break par this week and has been totally average, and he opened his round with five straight pars on Sunday, including at the par-5 fourth hole.
That hole is playing as the easiest on the course, and Tiger has always dominated the par-5s -- it's his most common route to victory, at the majors and everywhere else. But this week he played that relatively easy hole in 1-over par, repeatedly missing the fairway off the tee and having to lay up on what doesn't have to be a hard three-shot hole. Woods will finish out his round and then we'll listen to sixth months of analysis and narrative about his weekend failures at the majors.
Here's where he and the other notables out early on Sunday stand: