Yet despite giving every indication that he would, Mickelson did not thrive on Sunday in San Diego. By making six birdies in a 10-hole stretch, Mickelson surged into a one-shot lead. Then his putter got squirrely and his legend got stood on its head.
"I gave away three strokes on the last three holes," said a stunned Mickelson, who lost a chance to be the first player to win three straight starts since Price did it in 1993. "I'm disappointed, but not deflated. It's all a motivator. I had a chance to get in the hunt, and whenever that happens, I can't complain. Not winning just tells me I've got more work to do."
In other words, Sunday remains his favorite day. And as long as that's true—no matter how often he's accused of having it all—we won't have to worry about Phil Mickelson.