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I Wish I Could Like Phil Mickelson, But I Can’t

Feb. 26, 2009     By     Comments (45)

Let the supporters of Philip Alfred ready their arms..

Thrash TalkMentioning Lefty in my column last week seems to have a beneficial effect on the golfer's play. When, last week, I jokingly suggested Mickelson had lost the ability to compete at the highest level, he went out and won the Northern Trust Open, collecting a cool 1.1 million dollars in the process. I only make reference to the preceding as a way of saying "Phil, I hope the following published objection to you makes you richer and more victorious." Recent history, and the fallacy of false cause, suggest it will.

It isn't that I dislike Phil personally, it's just that, representationally or symbolically I find him tough to stomach. It isn't as though I haven't tried to like the guy. I have. However, despite my best efforts, I find myself rooting against him, amused by his two way miss off the tee and quite delighted when his umpteenth unnecessary flop shot doesn't come off as planned.

A few years ago, Rick Reilly wrote an article entitled "You A Tiger Guy Or A Phil Guy?" Reilly's main contention is one is either a supporter of Mickelson or Woods; advocacy of both parties is an impossibility. To support both, as Reilly states, would be the same as enjoying the political/cultural insights of both Michael Moore and Ann Coulter.

Phil Being Photographed

As my large and ravenous fan base knows from past columns, I am a rather shameless Tiger Guy. This element of full disclosure aside, I'll try to make my major complaints first. I concede that I am more perturbed by relatively minor (and perhaps insignificant) details than the larger elements of the Phil Mickelson persona. For example, the fact that Phil's website (featuring the Phil Mickelson "silhouette of my 4½ inch vertical jump" logo) is sponsored by Sports Scope… you know, these things.

I absolutely respect Phil Mickelson. I think his short game is incredible (while his mental game and decision making appear quite weak, at times). I think he is a gentleman and an entirely reputable individual. He seems to be an exemplar of family values (all discussions of a swinger lifestyle aside). Additionally, Phil normally appears kind and candid in interviews, with a real love for his fans.

Nevertheless, I have a number of complaints. I am tired of the Mickelson family swarming the green, the visor, the haircut, the style of play, and the unnecessarily small shirt. I don't respect the way in which he sold out Titleist right before a Ryder Cup or his apparent lack of a killer instinct. Just a few moments ago, I saw Phil's post-round interview from the opening day of the Accenture Match Play Championship.

Mickelson was four up on Angel Cabrera after thirteen holes. He then proceeded to lose four straight holes. Of course, anything can happen in match play; losing four straight isn't what bothered me. What irked me, specifically, was Phil's answer when asked what his thoughts were as Cabrera began making a charge and the Mickelson lead vanished. I don't remember his specific words, after an initial "you don't want to know." The point is, the right answer would have been something like "Well, you never know what will happen in match play, you just have to stay patient, confident and capitalize on opportunities as they present themselves." Which is a polite way of saying, "I knew I was going to put this guy away." I heard nothing of the sort from Phil.

Winged Foot is, in some sense, the prime example of what I can't stand about Mickelson: a gambling go-for-broke style of play which often results in disaster. Of course, the argument can always be made that the golfer wouldn't have won half of the 35 (or 42) times he has without this uber-aggressive style of play. However, my feeling on the subject is basically as follows. Phil Mickelson has been blessed with incredible natural abilities which, if filtered through a sieve of prudent course management, would not be so routinely wasted. In a real way, I think he has an obligation to do so rather than simply "having fun" on the golf course (or at the casino, another favorite Mickelson institution).

The fan favorite Mickelson, basking in the roars at Bethpage or annually at the FBR Open, bothers me also. Phil seems to not only enjoy, but in some sense need, the adoration of the masses. "He's just like us," Phil fans cheer. Why is this, because he's overweight and likes blondes? Phil is nothing like you, unless you're raking in about $62M this year, wear $2,000 belts, and sport a Rolex on the golf course (actually, if you wear any watch on the golf course, please tell me why for, truly, I am mystified by this practice). If you want a "man of the people" golfer, Boo Weekley is a much better choice, even if his act is contrived.

Phil Joking

If it weren't for the meltdowns, the stupid putter, the endless black and gray, the Callaway commercials, the nasally voice, the dynamics of his professional relationship with Bones, the whining and self loathing, the Ryder Cup record, the 4½ inch leap, the racing striped shirts, the San Diego Chargers fan thing (has anyone really liked the Chargers for more three years) as well as a hundred other things that don't come to mind now, I might like Phil. I've tried, but you see the tremendous uphill climb which I have before me. As I said, I respect Mickelson. I wish I could like him, but I can't.

Photo Credits: © The Sand Trap .com. All rights reserved.

Discussion

  1. Kurt Ehlert says:

    Awesome! Your post is dead on.

    I have never been able to figure out the man love that so many fans have for Philly. He strikes me as a phony, though I have no personal knowledge that that is true. With Tiger, I think we know how he feels at any given moment. With Phil, I always think I'm seeing a facade and the real Phil is quite different. You never know about famous people's public persona - Kirby Puckett, anyone? - but Philly Mick just doesn't seem right to me.
    Great post!

  2. I saw the same post-round interview you did. He said something like "Can we move on to the next question" and then completely avoided giving any sort of answer. What gives?

  3. Del Coro says:

    I wasn't aware ANYONE liked Phil Mickelson. Really, I didn't think this was even an issue.

  4. BASHER says:

    I really like Phil. I like a player who likes to let it all hang out and Phil does do this to a certain extent. i like Phil's demeanour on the course too, all happy and as if 'hes got a little secret' (Peter Aliss's words and not mine). But Ben, you re right, Phil just looks so silly with his skin tight shirt on..maybe he wants some one to ask him: 'Hey Phil, have you been working out?'.

    I desperately want Phil to challenge Tiger this year but i think Tiger is a class above everybody.

  5. Ben says:

    The better golfer I become, the more I appreciate Tiger Woods. I am, and have been since I was 12 years old, a Phil Mickelson fan. There has been something about having watched him lose close in the Majors (the 01 PGA comes to mind more than others) that made watching him win 3 majors that much sweeter.

    Yeah, I can understand why the guy comes across fake, but so do a lot of pro athletes (The Manning brothers anyone?)

    I feel like a lot of people who criticize Phil, specifically his golf game, hold him to this Tiger like status. He is not, nor will he ever be Tiger Woods. Can you imagine the flack people would be giving him right now if he had lost yesterday ala Sergio Garcia or Padrig Harrington? 35 Wins and 3 majors is a hall of fame career folks.

  6. 300 says:

    I agree with Ben, if everyone walks and talks like Tiger, then what fun would it be to watch golf or any other sports for that matter?

    And just cause Phil didnt speak the words that you would have spoken on an interview doesnt mean anything, you're not Phil and Phil's not you.

  7. Lefty says:

    As another Lefty - I have to support Phil and all other southpaws. Also, rooting for Tiger is like rooting for the Yankees or for the casino to win at blackjack.

  8. Shorty says:

    I desperately want Phil to challenge Tiger this year but i think Tiger is a class above everybody.

    Why do people persist? Good as he is, Phil will never "challenge" Tiger. He will win the odd tournament where Tiger is also playing, perhaps even in a major or two, but, good as he is, the idea of a "challenge" is ludicrous and has been demonstrated conclusively throughout both of their careers.

    I find Phil's style of play entertaining and love it when he is in "thrill" mode, don't particularly like him - primarily because I hate orchestrated moves like immaculately dressed kiddies running on the green and Daddy's wide eyed "Daddy did it" stunts for the camera.

  9. Scott Trimble says:

    (My first post.) There's no doubt that Tiger is the better golfer, but I personally like Phil more.

    For me, there's two reasons. First, it's the demeanor on the course. Tiger's superhuman intensity is part of what makes him so amazing, but I just can't relate to that attitude on the golf course. I like how you can tell that Phil is having fun out there.

    Second, it's the style of play. I'm a big fan of Phil's flop shots and touch around the greens. Compared to TIger, who uses a high-spinning ball and seems to be overpowering the contours of the greens with his spin, I like how Phil naturally incorporates the slope of the greens into his shots. Both styles work, of course, but I personally prefer the aesthetics and style of Phil's game.

    (Also, Tiger's game is basically impossible for amateurs to imitate to any degree, whereas I feel that we can learn a lot from watching Phil's shots around the green.)

  10. 300 says:

    shorty said:

    I hate orchestrated moves like immaculately dressed kiddies running on the green and Daddy's wide eyed "Daddy did it" stunts for the camera.

    So I guess if you was to win a tournament on national tv with milions watching, you would tell your wife and kids to put on the ugliest outfit they have and oh, when the kids come running over with joy because their dad has just won the tournament, I will have no expression on my face.

    Yea okay, whatever.......

  11. Shorty says:

    So I guess if you was to win a tournament on national tv with milions watching, you would tell your wife and kids to put on the ugliest outfit they have and oh, when the kids come running over with joy because their dad has just won the tournament, I will have no expression on my face.

    Yea okay, whatever.......

    The point I was making was that I dislike rehearsed spontaneity.
    This is one of the reasons why a lot of people think Phil is a phony.

  12. dano says:

    hey, i agree....
    phil is tough to like. no argument there.
    the thing that intrigued me most was the insinuation that Boo Weekley is an act? Is this really ture? Someone please shed some light for me.

  13. Mark Eldridge says:

    The way I look at it is that life is too short to dislike someone without truly knowing them. I believe everyone was created with different strengths and weaknesses. That is what makes each of us unique.

    As far as Phil, I don't think he's fake. I've had a couple of conversations with him, and both times he seemed very genuine. But that's just my opinion.

  14. bIGwIRE says:

    I wish I could like him,too. lol

    What I find most irksome about Phil-billy is that he should be so much better than he is. He should be a consistent #2. The Tiger vs Phil retardation should make more sense than it does. He has the skills and tools, maybe lacks the drive? (get it?)

    But, would you care enough to push for the top when you could make 62 mil a year being a smiley pudgy playboy?

  15. Mark says:

    I wish I could like Ben Alberstadt but I can't.

    He likes all facets of the game particularly swing theory, but he plays off nine. If he's got swing theory down, imagine how bad his course management and putting must be.

    I absolutely respect Ben Alberstadt. I think his writing is incredible.

    If you want a "man of the people" golfer/writer, Erik J. Barzeski is a much better choice, even if his act is contrived.

  16. thepiratedoc says:

    I don't particularly like Phil, but my 13 yr old son loves him. Phil was the winner of the first Masters my son ever watched on TV, and it was a great back nine (something we'll probably never get to witness again thanks to the Green StraightJackets). We went to Pinehurst for the '05 Open and watched Phil play - poorly. My son wanted Phil's autograph, and when a crowd rushed his car as he left after the final round, the little kid was squeezed out. Despite a crappy round and obviously ready to hit the road with wife in tow, Phil signed autographs for 15 minutes through his car window, including my kid's hat. He was kind and gracious, and it meant the world to my boy. So I still don't really like Phil, but I appreciate his willingness to give a little back to his fans. Even if it's an act, it's a class act.

  17. Chris H says:

    :roll: I agree, you can only take so much of Phil before he becomes annoying. It's one thing to be confident about your golf game, but Phil seems to be going down the Great White Shark road of " go hard or go home " with every shot. Phil " PLEASE - FAIRWAYS and GREENS ".

  18. J_Bone says:

    I've been a Charger fan since I can remember. I guess it's because I was born and raised there too.. :razz:

  19. Sullivan says:

    He wears the watch on the course because Rolex pays him to do so.

  20. F1re says:

    "Nevertheless, I have a number of complaints. I am tired of the Mickelson family swarming the green..."

    All the subjective reasonings to like or dislike someone aside, I just find this to be sad...

  21. All the subjective reasonings to like or dislike someone aside, I just find this to be sad...

    I've never cared for it. It feels so contrived. The kids seemed to do it even when they had no idea what they were doing. Amy would have to coach them on what to do, and being good children, they'd run out and then look around like "okay, now what?"

  22. F1re says:

    I've never cared for it. It feels so contrived. The kids seemed to do it even when they had no idea what they were doing. Amy would have to coach them on what to do, and being good children, they'd run out and then look around like "okay, now what?"

    Unless there was hard proof to the contrary, I would never call someone’s love of family contrived. I wish more people thought of their family first.

  23. Unless there was hard proof to the contrary, I would never call someone’s love of family contrived. I wish more people thought of their family first.

    I said it "feels" contrived, which is understood to mean "to me, it feels contrived." I don't need to offer proof. It's just an opinion about how something feels. Clearly you feel differently, and that's fine.

    I also didn't say his love for his family felt contrived, nor his family's love for him. I limited my commentary specifically to the act of Amy Mickelson pushing what appears (to me) to be a disinterested two-year-old onto the green to "make a show of it."

    It feels contrived to me. Like he's trying to hard to show us something. you feel differently. We'll have to agree to disagree, and the beauty of the world is, we can.

  24. Lefty says:

    It's funny, people say they respect Phil, then they bad mouth him. From an integrity standpoint, that's not very genuine.

    I was lefty before lefty was born, so I'm not necessarily in his court. But what I do like about him is that he is genuine, which I believe Tiger is not. He makes mistakes, and he's as good as he wants to be. He got a family that cares about him, and he gives a damn about the fans. Tiger just wants our adulation and our money. His answers are much more coy and rehearsed than Phil's ever were. People just accept it because "he's the best" , so he can say whatever he wants and its ok. You may think Phil's actions are contrived. I would offer that perhaps you don't like the fact that those actions may not be, that he's honestly just a nice, goofy guy who can shoot the lights out. Tiger is none of those, for better or worse.

    Tiger is the best there is, and Phil's not even close. Of that there is no doubt. But it's purposeful blindness to think that makes him a better person or (since that's not really important) a better golf ambassador.

    Golf is our game, not theirs. I'd rather have Phil represent it than Tiger any day, if only because he doesn't talk down to us like the great one does.

    You're right, we will disagree, and that, between two Western PA guys, is quite ok.

  25. eagle3 says:

    I can honestly can say I have often tried not to not like Phil. I can not begin to count the number of times I have tried to be fair in my assesment of him, all the way back to his early years on tour.

    Aside from the never ending disappointment with his outrageous critical decsion making, two things come to mind that just grate on my nerves: that contrived, sheepish grin that seems to be saying "Gee, humble me....I'm sorry for being so good"; and the countless post round interviews with the canned, predictable response to golf writers' questions. And yes those Brady Bunch scenes on the 18th green are beyond gaggy. Unfortunately the media plays right into it.

    With all due respect I believe that Phil is a good person...that his life off the course is one to be respected and admired. I recall seeing something recently on T.V. that indicates that charity is a very important part of the Mickelson's lives and is intentionally kept very quiet.

    It seems to me that in every age of greatness we have this same kind of polarization, i.e., the question Tiger or Phil. My first experience came with the Nicklaus/Palmer era. Fans were either routing for one or the other. Did we not experience a smiliar situation in the Norman/Faldo era to some degree?

    I saw the interview after his Thursday round. It was not canned and contrived as I might have expected. Phil actually expressed annoyance.

    Maybe I'll once again try not to not like Phil.

  26. Flatswinger says:

    Fortunately, it can’t possibly matter to Phil Mickelson, either way, whether we like him or not. It isn’t Michelson’s obligation to impress us, or to act in any certain way at all. What is he but a golfer who makes a lot of money?

    Many of us have a vague uneasiness about him that obviously can’t be described very well. Seeing him being ripped for what is in most cases nothing but insignificant details, convinces me that either some of us need a life, or, more likely, need to figure out what it is that really does bug us about this player.

    I have found myself rooting against him too sometimes. It’s not like we’re watching the scowling Colin Montgomery, though. Mostly his behavior is exemplary. And even if it weren’t -- so what?

    Apparently, the guy’s a gambler. Normally, we love to watch gamblers compete. In this case he’s despised because he’s not reaching his potential [to entertain us]. We’ve got our own failures to worry about and why we’d be obsessed with his I do not know.

    And if you want to see a small shirt, check out Camillo sometime sporting his white belt & painters’ cap. It’s not hard to identify why that guy drives me up a wall!

  27. Sid says:

    :?:
    The thing I really like about Mickelson is the fact that he enjoys his job, playing golf. Most of the miserable looking guys on tour really get my goat - oh dear you missed a putt, look on the bright side you got 45 grand for turning out, smile, you miserable so-and-so. Whereas big Phil just smiles on regardless, good for him, good for having a really great left hander.

    Wasn't Phil Mickelson the guy who had the good sportsman within him to join in the post-Ryder Cup celebrations when Europe won at the Belfry a few years back? Think he was. Good on you, Phil Mickelson keep on smiling, fella.

  28. JimmyG says:

    First, I'm confused -- are you suggesting that the Mickelsons are swingers? Is this a fact, or are you just throwing things out there to slander Phil because you don't like him?

    Next, I find it amusing that you don't like Phil because he has too much fun on the course. There are a lot of Americans right now that would kill to have a job they had fun at. I think it is awesome that he enjoys the game and plays it for the fun of it. It bothers you that Phil doesn't get upset if he's not winning -- but I think he realizes how fortunate he is to be playing a game that he loves for a living. If only the rest of us could be so lucky. Perhaps he should be more like your man Tiger and only play in a handful of tournaments each year, maybe then his "fun-having" wouldn't annoy you as much.

    As great as Tiger is, if he loved golf half as much as Phil does, I would hate to think he could he might really be.

  29. egehoski says:

    I can't seem to find any reasons to like Ben Alberstadt. My guess is, Ben Alberstadt is a huge supporter of the Great American John Daly Campaign. And he is probably also one of those guys who thinks that David Duval is "so close" to winning again.
    He also most definitely voted for Barack Obama. These are just some of the reasons, why I cannot find a reason to like Ben Alberstadt.

  30. First, I'm confused -- are you suggesting that the Mickelsons are swingers?

    Many people believe that golf clubs were not the only thing Phil used to swing, yes. And in saying that, I've already given it more "ink" than Ben did in his article, so…

    My guess is, Ben Alberstadt is a huge supporter of the Great American John Daly Campaign. And he is probably also one of those guys who thinks that David Duval is "so close" to winning again.

    And I'm fairly certain you'd be wrong on both counts.

  31. Kurt Ehlert says:

    It is amazing to me the response this post has gotten. I think it is great - especially when outsiders (golf-haters) say golf is boring and golf fans have no passion. Just bring up Mickelson vs. Tiger and the fur flies. That is a great for the health of our sport!

  32. sid says:

    Awesome! Your post is dead on.

    I have never been able to figure out the man love that so many fans have for Philly. He strikes me as a phony, though I have no personal knowledge that that is true. With Tiger, I think we know how he feels at any given moment. With Phil, I always think I'm seeing a facade and the real Phil is quite different. You never know about famous people's public persona - Kirby Puckett, anyone? - but Philly Mick just doesn't seem right to me.
    Great post!

    Couldn't agree more - sour face apart from when he's doing well - or someone who enjoys playing golf - know which one I'd want to be in the company of for more than five minutes and it ain't TW
    :wink:

  33. Coach says:

    Dead on. I couldn't have said it any better myself. I don't hate the guy I just don't like him. I think it's the smug little smile when he screws up.

  34. kelvin says:

    I finally found someone or many others that have said what I've been saying for years....I feel like I found my twin....I can't stand Phil.....Can he just get that smug little grin off of his face just once!

  35. JP says:

    I don't know, but your article actually sounds envious.

    I like Phil. I don't think I'd call myself a "fan;" I don't follow him closely, or root for him every week, but I like him. I like his style of play. His combination of being sort of boyish and a "Carnac" type person is funny. I think he's a gentleman, I think he has a great sense of humor, and I think he has tremendous skills.

    Unlike many, I don't think he's wasted his talent. Look on the list of tournament victories and majors, and there are very few people with career records better. He's also playing against probably the greatest golfer ever, in his prime.

    My wife hates the shirts. I just laugh. It's just Phil.

    There are many, many athletes I find much easier to hate. It always surprises me that, at least for a while, John Daly was loved, even among hardcore golf fans. Yet Mickelson, who definitely has the admiration of what I think are more casual golf fans, hard core enthusiasts seem to hate him.

    I don't think the swipes at his family situation are very nice. The girl is his high school sweetheart. One very interesting thing about them is that they appear to have an extremely strong marriage, which has survived Phil's transformation from childhood to uber-rich sports star. Most people in his situation end up "trading in" the old reliable sweetheart for a new, hotter, turbocharged model in mid-life. On the contrary, Phil seems to have a very solid family life. To me, this is a very strong reason to like and respect him.

    I have found people are all over the map on how family love and affection is displayed. In my extended families, affection is dealt very openly; male uncles and cousins will kiss each other, in a very old world Italian way, and newcomers to the family are hugged and kissed. So to me, there's nothing at all strange, contrived or silly about Mickelson's 18th green family antics--if I were him, that's exactly how my family would treat me. However, I guess I can see how it might make some people roll their eyes. Still...sort of a silly thing to "hate" someone over.

    Phil's a hall of fame golfer, that's all I know, and a decent guy. You can do alot worse than rooting for Phil Mickelson.

  36. Danny says:

    I don't think the swipes at his family situation are very nice. The girl is his high school sweetheart.

    No, she's not. They began dating in 1992. I know the girl he dated prior to Amy.

    Regardless, I like Phil for the most part. Although I can understand people's problems with him. I mean I don't think Amy Mickelson ever met a camera she didn't want to stand in front of. And Phil just has that feeling of fakeness.

    That being said my dad has played golf with Phil on two occasions and has nothing but nice things to say about him. I have to go with that over anything imagined or felt.

  37. JP says:

    No, she's not. They began dating in 1992. I know the girl he dated prior to Amy.

    Really? I could swear I read she was his childhood sweetheart.

    Did they go to school together, though? ASU? Or high school? I thought he knew her as a child.

    In any event...glad to see we're taking the opportunity to bash his wife, too.

  38. V-man says:

    Interesting post. We are often seem to be annoyed by (not necessarily hate) by people who know that you know that they are just so gooooooood and all attempts aside simply can't hide it...

    No matter how hard they try with 'sincerity' to identify with less gifted and accomplished like most of us with a generally I'm-just-like-you facade (I do believe his is a bit theatrical if not completely insincere), the superiority complex and certain sense of entitlement are simply hard not to notice like certain portions of his unsupported upper body anatomy embarrasingly resembling that of the opposite gender's pushing through ill-fitting tight shirts.

    The repeated 'theatrical' attempts assume we are buying it, which in itself a insult to intelligence of some, which I guess, annoys most. ...."just get a bigger shirt for pete's sake!"

    I do agree with some on this post that nuances of personality and portrayal aside, the guy is a genuinely talented underdog to the 'great one' and it's hard to hate a perennial no.2 who never stops trying. As someone mentioned; regardless of the view, folks, it's all just great theatre!

  39. Billy Barue says:

    Sorry Tiger slobber knockers. The annoying one is your boy Tiger. No manners, angry, spitting, and would not sign an autograph to save his life. I guess Daddy green beret yelling at him took away any sort of personality. Tiger is exceedingly boring to watch, just a long hitting robot. Think Charles Howell III with more spittle.

  40. Butchie says:

    Tiger is exceedingly boring to watch, just a long hitting robot.

    Tiger shows more personality - good and bad - than anyone else on the PGA Tour these days. Some may not like it - and I guess you're one of those guys - but boring? Please. Anything but.

  41. Napa George says:

    Phuck Phil ! If he ever tips his little kpmg hat within 100 yards of me I will take him out with my wedge with glee!

  42. Aimster of sd says:

    All you Phil Haters are seeming paralyzed and myopic. With all sports, you have valid reasons for liking and disliking players, teams etc. I for one, dislike Tiger, not as a golfer, but how he contradicts his "greatness". If you are going to be known as the best of all time, you need to give back in excess to the fans (that pay you all that ridiculous monet). Tiger rarely if ever stays after or before to sign autographs and be with his fans. He skips out on interviews (as he did at the Masters after his 30 second mandated time with CBS). Buck up young man and talk about your performance as the biggest athlete on the planet. Phil, Kenny and Chad certainly spent a gracious amount of time (as they alwasys do) with the media and the fans. Again, Tiger was angry and frustrated, so he went home. Furthermore, I understand passion and desire, but quit throwing you golfclubs in a tantrum-like style when your shot goes array. This is a gentleman's sport and any and all other golfers are smacked in the media for poor sportmanship, but for Tiger---it is okay---he is passionate and intense. Whatever gang. Bottom line...Phil mans up and talks about his pitiful shots as much as he accepts kudos for his great shots. He is a professional and never throws his clubs, curses or shows negative emotion. Napa George----Phil has a great right hook---your wedge would not get close to his grill.

    PS--Taking shots at his wife is weak, but seems to make you guys feel more manly. Nice work.

  43. TJ McGuire says:

    You got a nice column. Like others have stated, you have described this man to a tee. What bothers me the most about Phil is that "sh*t-eating" grin he always has on his face. The kind of money this guy banks and he has that "I am sooooooo much better than you" look all the time just does not sit with me as a college-educated hard working regular guy. Maybe it is me, me I just don't get it.

    Anyway, great site!
    TJ

  44. Len Nosal says:

    In the early years of his career I used to feel sorry for Mickelson. He was often blowing tournaments on Sunday, never smiling on the course and walking around looking like someone in clinical depression. He didn't seem to like what he was doing.

    I remember hearing golf writer Al Barkow interviewed by Peter Kessler a year or two ago. They were discussing Mickelson and Barkow mentioned a time when he was speaking with the golfer early in the season the year Phil would win his first Masters. He asked Phil if he was working on anything in particular, meaning his game. Phil replied, (and I'm paraphrasing what I recall Barkow said), that he was mainly working on schmoozing the gallery, smiling a lot and glad-handing them in order to get them on his side.

    It worked. He's become a favorite of a lot of the fans. But it's an act.

    One other thing I dislike about Mickelson is his penchant for making snide remarks about Tiger Woods in the press tent. I even recall him doing this at Winged Foot in the US Open when Tiger was grieving over the recent loss of his father. Examples... Q. Do you think Tiger will be back in form for this tournament? A. I hope he's not. Q. What do you think about the possibility that Tiger may miss the cut in the US Open? A. I'm sure not going to cry about it! It seemed to me that Mickelson could have been more polite and perhaps said that under the circumstances he could understand why Woods might be off his game. So it amuses me to read the comments of his supporters who regard him as a gentleman.

  1. [... Mentioning Lefty in my column last week seems to have a beneficial effect on the golfer's play. When, last week, I jokingly suggested Mickelson had lost the ability to compete ...]

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