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Hitting a driver off the deck is one of the coolest-looking shots in golf.

It’s also one of the trickiest – unless, of course, you happen to be Phil Mickelson.

Dispelling the notion that you need a clean lie to execute this shot to perfection, the five-time major winner provided yet another example of why people call him ‘Phil The Thrill’.

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Playing in the second round of this week’s Charles Schwab Series at Ozarks National – his first over-50s event – Mickelson found himself in an awkward spot off the ninth fairway, his ball sitting in tree bark underneath a tree. 

Most players would take an iron and chop it back out into play. 

Not Phil.

Watch what happened…

Phil being Phil, right?

Speaking to reporters after his round, he explained the thought process behind the shot.

“People say, you’re hitting a driver out of the bark, whatever. The fact is I had to hit a low cut and it was much easier to hit a low cut with that club than it was a 2-iron.

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“There was a post and I had left-to-right wind and I was going to have to play right of that post and the wind was going to take it further right and a 2-iron was going to have too much — it was going to be too hard for me to get it to cut back into that wind.

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“A driver off the deck cuts almost automatically, so I didn’t have to do anything to that shot. I could hit the driver right of that post and I felt it was going to cut back into the wind without having to do too much at impact.”

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With just 18 holes to play on his Champions Tour debut, Mickelson holds a four-shot lead over his nearest challengers Tim Petrovic and Rod Pampling, with Rocco Mediate a further shot adrift.

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