Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Can I Fall Back in Love With Phil Mickelson?
I must admit this -- my favorite PGA Tour golf memory involves Phil Mickelson. It was 2004, when he won that dramatic first major championship, and my family was huddled around a small television in the back of a lake house, hoping that the putt would fall and we'd get to see Phil finally toss the majorless monkey off his back and join the ranks of winners (or maybe I was secretly hoping to hear that the following year he'd had In-N-Out as his champion's dinner).
After that tournament, my love faded. He wasn't the lovable loser anymore, and like bad fashion movements, Phil's capri pants weren't cool anymore. We loved him because he was as batty as most of us on the golf course, but when he finally started to win, we didn't love him as much. Not all of his fans, but some.
This year has changed a lot with Phil. White belt and terrible clothes not withstanding, Phil has had to endure a lot and it has made him human again. We can relate to Mickelson once more, because like us, he is having a shitty year. He can't hide from life just because he's worth millions of dollars and can hit the ball better than any of us could ever dream of.
I find myself cringing at negative Phil articles again. I take offense when people question his weight. (Honestly, who doesn't gain a couple of pounds when the two most important females in their life come down with the same, horrible disease?) I think I'm slowly loving Phil again.
His fake smile won't go away, but his charisma seems to be back. Reader Ted e-mailed me this photo today of Phil and Ted's friend's mother. The backdrop? A Wal-Mart.
Phil Mickelson at a Wal-Mart.
You're turning it around, Phil. Keep it up and you might just win one more fan back in your corner. Lefty's are supposed to unite, right?