As long as I can remember I have loved Phil Mickelson. Maybe it’s because I’m a lefty too. Maybe it’s because we are so close in age. Or, maybe it’s because in all of Phil’s greatness we see his imperfections, and know that we are imperfect too.
Yesterday Mickelson took his legion of fans on another wild ride as he flirted with his first US Open Championship only to come agonizingly short once again. That is now SIX 2nd place finishes in the tournament. After yesterday’s near miss, Mickelson admitted what we all know. It is “heart-breaking” to come this close and not wrap your hands around that trophy.
Mickelson was as steady as ever throughout the weekend and seemed primed and ready to win his first Open. But, from the outset we could see this could be a struggle. He was missing fairways and even when he put himself in position to make a putt, he would either lip out or come within inches of hitting the bottom of the cup.
Phil Mickelson is a modern day Arnold Palmer in terms of how much he is beloved by his fans. While Tiger Woods was winning tournaments and giving us those cold icy answers, Mickelson would punctuate his greatness with those, “Oh shucks” moments. While Tiger was cavorting with strippers and porn stars, Mickelson was at home with his wife and his kids. While Tiger was living the high life, Mickelson was home nursing his wife through cancer.
We see the best in ourselves in Phil Mickelson, and this is why his losses hurt so much.
We can all relate to Phil Mickelson. We all have skills. We all have talents, but sometimes we just can’t meet our own lofty expectations. So is the case in being a fan of Phil, we see ourselves in his triumph. We see ourselves in his disappointments. Yet, we keep coming back to be part of Phil’s Army. Because if we give up on him, we give up on ourselves.