There was a fascinating item hidden in the middle of the Associated Press notebook from the Tour Championship on Wednesday.
AP Golf Writer Doug Ferguson reported that Phil Mickelson brought young Jordan Spieth into his practice-round ''money game'' on Wednesday at East Lake. Mickelson, as most golf fans know, loves to play for some significant scratch in these pre-tournament rounds, partly because he enjoys the high stakes and also because he likes to help some of the younger players get ready for, as Ferguson writes, ''matches that really matter.''
A couple of years ago, he famously brought Keegan Bradley into his games. And not only did Bradley go on to win a PGA Championship, he also teamed with Mickelson for a 3-0 record in team play in the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah.
Mickelson had planned to include Spieth in his game at the BMW Championship, but, because he arrived so late at Conway Farms, they put it off until East Lake, where Mickelson and Bradley took on Spieth and Steve Stricker.
Spieth and Stricker not only won the match but also captured every press – with Stricker doing most of the damage, Ferguson reported. Butch Harmon, who followed the group around, said he saw Stricker make seven birdies and an eagle.
Even if the 46-year-old Stricker carried the load, he obviously thrived with the 20-year-old Spieth on his team. Everyone assumes that Stricker would be teamed with Tiger Woods at the upcoming Presidents Cup, but Wednesday seems to raise the possibility that Stricker also might spend some time paired up with Spieth at Muirfield Village.
And if Spieth plays well under the Presidents Cup spotlight, regardless of his partner, Mickelson likely deserves a little bit of credit for his latest bit of high-stakes mentoring.