Stewart had just rammed home a monster putt on the 16th green, an improbable, double-breaking downhiller from 25 feet to protect his tie atop the leaderboard with Mickelson. Stewart and Hicks began surveying Stewart’s putt, and Mickelson and his caddie, Jim “Bones” Mackay, began analyzing Mickelson’s putt.
“Later Payne told me he heard Phil and Bones reading that putt. Payne remembered that putt from his practice rounds, and he thought they were over-reading the break,” says Dick Coop, the Chapel Hill-based sports psychologist who counted Stewart as a client.
Mickelson missed his putt to the right. Hicks had no doubt that Stewart would pour his putt into the center of the cup for a birdie and a one-stroke lead.
“It was a gimme,” Hicks says. “He hadn’t missed inside 4 feet all week.”