Mickelson Enjoying Life With His Green Jacket
'I said Sunday night that it was going to be hard to wipe away the smile and take away the jacket,' said a beaming Mickelson, clad in green again Tuesday at La Jolla Country Club.
'They tried to pry it away when I left, but I'd have none of it. So here it is,' added Mickelson, who won the Masters with a thrilling 18-foot birdie putt on the last hole.
Mickelson must have had the jacket pressed, because his wife, Amy, said he slept in it Sunday night.
'It was me, Phil and the green jacket,' she said. 'We might be sleeping with that green jacket for a while.'
Lefty returned to the Left Coast on Monday, spending what he called a relaxing day with his family. On Tuesday, he held a news conference at La Jolla Country Club, where he's a member, before heading to Burbank to appear on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.'
Mickelson was reminded that he went from being labeled as the best player to have never won a major to being the only guy with a shot at the Grand Slam this year.
'Yeah, how quickly it changes,' said Mickelson, who had been 0-for-42 in majors as a professional. 'It's been such a nice change. I'm certainly not thinking that far in advance. I really just want to spend the next few weeks enjoying this.
'But I can't wait to get out and play,' he quickly added. 'I'm enjoying playing the game so much. I'm enjoying all my practice sessions, I'm enjoying my time off the course with my family. It's just been such a wonderful year starting out, and this just makes it special.'
Mickelson knows the next few weeks will be hectic, but otherwise, he doesn't anticipate that his life or career will change.
He said Mondays and Tuesdays will remain family days. He won't play again until New Orleans at the end of the month, which will give him time to take his three kids to the zoo, Sea World and Legoland.
Mickelson said it was special sharing the Masters victory with his family.
'To have my children there was awesome, to walk off the 18th green there and to see my wife experiencing the whole thing with me and feeling the same emotion that I felt,' Mickelson said.
'I'm very lucky because of that, to have such a wonderful spouse, to have three wonderful healthy kids. I'm just very lucky, especially given what we went through last year.'
Amy Mickelson nearly died during the birth of their third child, son Evan.
With his family OK, Mickelson can concentrate on golf - and, now, on trying to win another major.
'I do feel that the second will not be as difficult as the first,' said Mickelson, who smiled all the way through his back nine Sunday, when he shot 31 with birdies on five of the last seven holes.
'Because every time I would get in contention, it was almost as though it was an opportunity not to succeed, but an opportunity to fail. I never looked at it like that, but at times, when things began to slide, it was harder for me to turn it around.'
Mickelson also divulged what President Bush told him in a phone call shortly after his jump for joy on the 18th green.
'It was awesome that he called,' Mickelson said. 'And he roughed me up. The President of the United States roughed me up. He said, 'Now I understand why last year you tried to throw a baseball instead of a basketball.' I said, 'What do you mean?' and he said, `I saw you try to jump.'
'So my seven-inch rise wasn't good enough for him, I guess.'
Last summer, Mickelson threw batting practice to 18 Toledo Mud Hens players, most of them pitchers, hoping to earn a chance to pitch in a real game for Detroit's Triple-A affiliate. But the Tigers didn't offer him a minor league contract.
Asked what he'll have on the menu for the Champion's Dinner before next year's Masters, he said: 'I hadn't really thought about it, but I love a little lobster ravioli in a creamy tomato sauce, a little garlic bread and Caesar's salad.
'But who's thinking about it?' he said, smiling.
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
What's in the bag: API winner McIlroy
Rory McIlroy closed in 64 to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Here's a look inside the winners' bag.
Driver: TaylorMade M3 (8.5 degrees), with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 70X shaft
Fairway woods: TaylorMade M3 (15 degrees) with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 80TX, (19 degrees) with Fujikura Rombax P95X shaft
Irons: TaylorMade P-750 (4), P-730 RORS prototype (5-9), with Project X 7.0 shafts
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (48, 52, 56 degrees), Hi-Toe(60 degrees), with Project X Rifle 6.5 shafts
Putter: TaylorMade TP Black Copper Soto prototype
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
API purse payout: What Rory, Tiger, field made
Rory McIlroy won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and collected one of the biggest non-major paychecks of the year. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out at Bay Hill.
|T14||Charles Howell III||-6||$137,950|
|T14||Byeong Hun An||-6||$137,950|
After Further Review: Woods wisely keeping things in perspective
Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.
On Tiger Woods' career comeback ...
Tiger Woods seems to be the only one keeping his comeback in the proper perspective. Asked after his tie for fifth at Bay Hill whether he could ever have envisioned his game being in this shape heading into Augusta, he replied: “If you would have given me this opportunity in December and January, I would have taken it in a heartbeat.” He’s healthy. He’s been in contention. He’s had two realistic chances to win. There’s no box unchecked as he heads to the Masters, and no one, especially not Woods, could have seen that coming a few months ago. – Ryan Lavner
On Tiger carrying momentum into API, Masters ...
Expect Jordan Spieth to leave Austin with the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play trophy next week.
After all, Spieth is seemingly the only top-ranked player who has yet to lift some hardware in the early part of 2018. Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas have all gotten it done, as have Jason Day, Phil Mickelson and most recently Rory McIlroy.
Throw in the sudden resurgence of Tiger Woods, and with two more weeks until the Masters there seem to be more azalea-laden storylines than ever before.
A Spieth victory in Austin would certainly add fuel to that fire, but even if he comes up short the 2015 champ will certainly be a focus of attention in a few short weeks when the golf world descends upon Magnolia Lane with no shortage of players able to point to a recent victory as proof that they’re in prime position to don a green jacket. – Will Gray
Davies not giving up on win, HOF after close call
PHOENIX – Laura Davies knows the odds are long now, but she won’t let go of that dream of making the LPGA Hall of Fame.
At 54, she was emboldened by her weekend run at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup. She tied for second, five shots behind Inbee Park.
“The more I get up there, I might have a chance of winning again,” Davies said. “I'm not saying I will ever win, but today was close. Maybe one day I can go closer.”
Davies is a World Golf Hall of Famer, but she has been sitting just outside the qualification standard needed to get into the LPGA Hall of Fame for a long time. She needs 27 points, but she has been stuck on 25 since her last victory in 2001. A regular tour title is worth one point, a major championship is worth two points.
Over her career, she has won 20 LPGA titles, four of them major championships. She was the tour’s Rolex Player of the Year in 1996. She probably would have locked up Hall of Fame status if she hadn’t been so loyal to the Ladies European Tour, where she won 45 titles.
Though Davies didn’t win Sunday in Phoenix, there was more than consolation in her run into contention.
“Now people might stop asking me when I'm going to retire,” she said.