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Even the pros sometimes golf like dummies

Those of us who know it all will have ample opportunity to prove it when the Wells Fargo Championship tees it up Thursday at Quail Hollow Club.

We (you know who you are) waste no opportunity to second guess and is there a sport that offers more chances than golf?

It is said that your IQ drops 50 points when you put on a pair of golf shoes, which explains in part why we are so often guilty of faulty judgment out there. Except in the case of Phil Mickelson. He is the second-guesser’s dream but I don’t think it’s his IQ’s fault.

We see him standing knee deep in rough, looking at the trees looming between him and the hole and we yell at the TV set, "Lefty! Lefty, baby, no! Play it safe for once! Pitch back out to the fairway, knock it on, make the putt, save par!"

You’re wasting your breath. How many times have you seen Mickelson play safe? He sees openings where there are none to the average eye. He believes he can hit the heroic shot any time, anywhere and pull it off. That’s just the way he is.

More often that not, it works for him but when it doesn’t, we cut our eyes at the guy next to us and say, "See, now he’s gonna make a number. If he’d done like I said and pitched out, he’d be looking at no worse than bogey."

Would you really want it any other way? Mickelson is more fun to watch than anybody else in golf.

So even the stars do dumb things from time to time. In the third round of the British Open in 1983, Hale Irwin tried to backhand a two-inch putt into the cup but the putter hit the ground and bounced over the ball. Air putt. Irwin wound up tied for second, one shot out of a playoff with Tom Watson.

At St. Andrews, most of the holes on the front nine share greens with holes on the back nine. There are two pins with different colored flags. Lee Trevino unwittingly hit his approach to the 13th hole, thinking it was the fifth hole.

How could he be so careless? How can I lose my glasses or leave my credit card at the restaurant? And me wearing street shoes?

At the recent Heritage tournament, Ernie Els, veteran, major championship winner, Hall of Fame material, raked a bunker before he played his shot out of it and, of course, we slapped our heads and said, "Geez, what was he thinking? There are 10-year-old kids who know better than to do that."

It cost Ernie two shots.

You know people who ask why you took a certain route, why you didn’t shop at that other store where you could’ve saved tons of money, why you bought that putter instead of another model, right? Sure you do. They’re everywhere. Well, um, why did you buy that putter?

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