Monday, June 5, 2017

The case for Phil Mickelson

Once upon a time, many years ago -- believe it or not -- I was actually recruited to write this nonsense. I didn't go looking to do it, but a certain editor sought me out. He was and remains a great guy, smart as they come, and has actually even been promoted in the interim, but it's probably a fair question to ask --- what the hell was he thinking when he brought a nitwit (me) on board? Maybe it was one too many bacon and cheese omelets that choked off blood flow to vital parts of his brain.

Nevertheless, back in the day, I was given a few commandments to abide by.

Thou shalt not get overly vulgar with cuss words.
Thou shalt not use racial, ethnic, gender, or any other terms that could be deemed derogatory in any way, shape, or form.
Though it was never spelled out, it was tacitly understood that this is supposed to be a sports blog, so staying away from the hot rails of politics and religion were also highly recommended.

And one more. If "borrowing" someone else's work, ALWAYS credit the source. That plagiarism stuff can land one in hot water in a hurry.

Editors are a bit god-like. One never knows when they're checking out your work product, but it's best to assume it's 24/7.

That said, I hereby acknowledge one Karen Crouse of the NY Times for originally providing most of the following.

It seems long-time PGA golfer Phil Mickelson finds himself in a dilemma. His daughter Amanda's commencement exercises (high school graduation) fall on the very same day as this year's opening round of the US Open -- June 15.

Phil and his family live in California but the Open will be in Wisconsin. So regardless of whatever tee-time he might be assigned, there's basically no way he can attend both.

It should be noted that the US Open is the only major golf title that has so far eluded Mickelson. He's already won the Masters, British Open, and the PGA. So you just know he really, REALLY wants to win a US Open to complete a career "grand slam" before he heads off to the senior circuit -- if he so chooses.

Lefty will turn 47 on the very day of his daughter's ceremonies and the opening round in Wisconsin.

In other words, his window of opportunity is rapidly closing. Father Time won't spare him any more than he has anybody else over the years. Given the plethora of young guns already on the Tour, it's unlikely Mickelson was going to win an Open anyway. But ya never know when an "old" guy might rear up and shoot four good rounds in a row on a very tough course. Could happen

Yet to his credit, Mickelson didn't have any problem making the choice. Of COURSE he was going to be there for his daughter. He's played in hundreds, probably over a thousand PGA tournaments in his long career, and this year's Open is but one more. But his daughter will only ever graduate high school one time.

Sure, Mickelson already likely has more money than he'll even be able to spend, but this is a man that has his priorities right. So even assuming he would have made the cut at the Open for another cha-ching, it took a back seat to more important matters.

A gentleman on and off the course, and nary a whisper of a scandal of any sort. You've never seen, nor will, Lefty cursing or throwing a club in frustration like another celebrated golfer of not long ago.

Yes, for every spectacular shot he's made over the years, he's probably had the "yips" on a 3 or 4 foot putt. Lots of those have gone wide left or right. But that's what makes him Phil.

A truly good man, faithful husband, and devoted father.

While it hasn't gathered much media attention to date, Phil Mickelson should indeed be applauded for having a hard choice and keeping it simple. He knew what the right thing to do was all along and didn't hesitate when it came time. In the same position, not just everybody would do the same.

Hear, hear. Bravo.

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