I walked inside the ropes on the final four holes Sunday with Mickelson and Pampling, and I have to say it was an amazing hour for a golf fan.
I was greenside when Mickelson made a clutch par save on 15 to stay close. Then held my breath as Hot Rod answered with a par save from a deep bunker on 16.
Pampling hit into a creek on 17 -- maybe he was possessed by my golf swing; he is my evil twin, after all.
But then he escaped from the trees and a plugged lie in the bunker to save bogey. I loved the way Pampling kept blowing on his fingers like a riverboat gambler before he hit those shots. (He's officially one of my favorite players now, no matter who he looks like.)
And then, of course, Mickelson did his Houdini act on 18 from under the trees and sunk the winning putt. It doesn't get much more dramatic than that.
I spoke to a Colonial member on the green after the trophy presentation, and he was still shaking his head: "There's no way he makes that shot. ... We're over there all the time, and you just can't make it outta there. The space between the trees is like this," he said, holding his hands about a foot apart.
"I ordered another drink getting ready for the playoff."
Guess he can use it to toast to a fantastic finish.