Golf Channel/PGA Tour
It may take the rest of the year for the sequence that unraveled on Friday at the WM Phoenix Open to repeat itself over the span of a week on the PGA Tour. It will almost certainly take much longer for the same sequence of events to happen to one player in the span of an hour.
That might sound crazy, but what happened to Maverick McNealy on Friday afternoon — a putt into the water, a chip-in bogey and a WD — is, well, crazy.
The unraveling started for McNealy on the 12th hole at TPC Scottsdale, a lakeside par-3 that has played particularly tough on account of Friday’s strong winds. As McNealy surveyed his tee shot on the 12th, he elected to play things safe. He was already five over, and a trip to the drop zone could toss him even out of cutline consideration. He clubbed down and aimed well left, hitting a tee shot that landed short and wide of the flagstick, which was tucked neatly next to the water. That would turn out to be his first mistake.
From the green, McNealy surveyed a lengthy downhill, downwind birdie putt.
“This one from way downtown,” an ESPN+ broadcaster noted, watching as McNealy’s putt tumbled down the slope and past the hole. “That ball’s gotta hang on…”
Just as it seemed McNealy’s putt would slow down, another gust of wind caught it, sending the ball tumbling down toward the edge of the green and into the water.
“Oh no,” the broadcaster called. “Oh wow!”
As fate would have it, the drama wouldn’t end there.
A few moments later, after a greenside drop, McNealy enlisted the help of a wedge to wrangle his fourth shot up near the flagstick. He struck his chip shot well, watching as it rolled right up to the hole and in. The ESPN+ broadcast team roared with delight.
“Just your routine bogey!”
But McNealy’s wild fortune wouldn’t last. Just a few minutes after his roller-coaster bogey on the 12th, he withdrew from the tournament on account of a “left shoulder injury,” per the PGA Tour.
Just like that, McNealy’s week at the WM Phoenix Open was over. But hey — at least it wasn’t with a whimper.