Las Vegas, Nevada (July 18, 2011)–Butch Harmon is one busy dude. Again this week, Harmon had multiple golfers he works with playing in a major championship. Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson finished in a tie for second place. Obviously, that is the second loser, as they say, but still a terrific accomplishment for both. Harmon operates the Butch Harmon School of Golf at Las Vegas' Rio Secco Golf Club. –By Brian Hurlburt.
Mickelson came out on fire, draining a long putt and recording a 30 on the front nine. But he missed a short par putt on 11 and lost momentum. And when eventual champ Darren Clarke didn't falter, Mickelson's chances ended. "It was really a fun start, and it was exciting; it was one of those times where you're not thinking birdie and things were just happening," Mickelson told the media after the round. "I'm not planning on making a 50-footer for eagle, but it just happens. I hit some of the best shots I've hit in the wind, not just today but really all week. I made some great putts today. And then later on when I ended up missing them, I still hit great putts that caught the lip or looked like they were going to go in. It was a fun day. When I saw Darren wasn't going to make a mistake and he played some great golf, when he didn't make any mistakes there throughout the round, I had to start trying to make birdies, and that's when I ended up making a couple bogeys." Mickelson missed several short putts during the Championship, leading Harmon to be quoted as saying his putter lost the championship for Mickelson.
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Harmon has always been surprised by Mickelson's lack of success at the Open Championship so it was long overdue for Mickelson to be in the thick of things at this major. "I always wondered why," Harmon told The New York Post writer Mark Cannizzaro, "because he's Seve Ballesteros. That's who he is. He's Ballesteros and Arnold Palmer wrapped up into one."
Johnson played steady all week and looked to be mounting a charge on the back nine on Sunday, but he pumped one of out of bounds on 15, ending his chances. At one point, he was just two behind. He still could look to positives following the round. "I think I had a great week," Johnson told the media. "I came into the week — obviously I came down with a little bit of illness, wasn't feeling that well, so I didn't know what to expect. But I fought all week, and I didn't have my best stuff this week for sure. But I hung in there and just fought around, and I think I did very well." Mickelson and Johnson quotes courtesy ASAPSports.com.