In Mickelson's defense, he let tournament officials know weeks in advance that, even though he was the defending champion, he didn't want to be part of the glitz. Conventional wisdom among the players says playing with the celebrities the first four days of this 90-hole event will cost three to four strokes because of all the distractions.
Again in Mickelson's defense: He signs more autographs than almost anybody on Tour and he is one of the best clubhouse tippers in professional golf. He cares about people. It's his judgment on issues like the Hope controversy that sometimes let him down.
Mickelson tied for sixth. The player who replaced him in the celebrity draw, Joey Sindelar finished 16th. The difference in their 90-hole stroke totals? Three shots.
This is a stunning fact. But watch how many daily newspaper sports editors assign their golf writers to cover Annika in New York instead of the men across the pond. You might be surprised.
Norman's is probably THE sympathetic figure in the tournament's storied history. But Masters chairman Hootie Johnson isn't finding much sympathy in his heart for anybody these days. Johnson is a progressive at heart. He's just having a bad year.
Come to think of it, Jack may bow out after next year, thereby having the satisfaction of leaving the tournament on his own terms. A Masters without six-time champion Nicklaus doesn't sound right either.