With Philip Alfred Mickelson being inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, the Golf Guy and Birdie Bailey decided to weigh in on what Mickelson means to them and the game they follow and cover.
By THE GOLF GUY
I’ve thought long and hard about why I love Phil Mickelson.
He’s my favorite golfer of all time (sorry, No. 2 Greg Norman) and he also happens to be one of my top-5 athletes across all sport (Bjorn Borg, Dr. J, Martina Navratilova, Phil and Kobe Bryant).
But why do I love Lefty?
Why do I continue to put all my chips behind a guy that seemingly disappoints me more often than he lets me enjoy a celebratory finish?
Look, I’m the biggest bandwagon fan in the world. I can hop off and on the success train of a team or player faster than Charlie Rymer can go through a plate of cookies (sorry Charlie, Chamblee put me up to that one).
But with Phil, I have happily – and at times not-so-happily – NEVER left my seat on his bandwagon.
Could it be as simple as the aw-shucks smile he carries on the golf course?
Was it the agonizingly long wait he (we) had to endure to earn his first major?
His non-stop signing of autographs for fans?
His always entertaining news conferences?
The endless list of mindbogglingly great golf shots, flop shots ... and dumb shots?
All of it.
Some call him Roller-Coaster Phil. I’m thinking more like Banana Split Phil. Strawberry, vanilla and chocolate ice cream. A banana. Chocolate syrup. Whipped cream. Cherries. And, of course … plenty of nuts. Just like watching Phil, it can be oh-so-delicious and satisfying (2004 Masters). And just like watching Phil, it can sometimes leave you feeling a little sick to you stomach (U.S. Open 2006 Winged Foot).
Like Mickelson has hinted over the last week or so leading into his induction, here's hoping there's plenty more tasty treats to enjoy in his career.
By BIRDIE BAILEY
Oh, Phil Mickelson. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…
Without Phil Mickelson … The press center would be full of grumpy old men.
Without Phil Mickelson … Arizona State would have less Spark-y.
Without Phil Mickelson … We would all still think white men can’t jump.
Without Phil Mickelson … Augusta’s 13th would pine (straw) for attention.
Without Phil Mickelson … We'd have to find some right-hander to call Lefty.
Without Phil Mickelson … We’d think that Five Guys was an entourage.
Without Phil Mickelson … We'd think that Bones was an HBO series.
Without Phil Mickelson … We'd think facing off against Tiger on a Sunday at Pebble Beach was hard.
Without Phil Mickelson … 'I am such an idiot' would simply be something you say to your wife.
Without Phil Mickelson … We’d never truly get our Phil.
In all seriousness, 40 PGA Tour wins, four major championships and an endless supply of memorable moments, Phil Mickelson is deserving of his induction into the Hall of Fame. Here’s hoping his 40s bring another 40 victories and much more.