A few tasty morsels are being served for fans of the game’s greatest left-hander today.
Coming on the heels of Alan Shipnuck’s superb ride along with Phil (as in, riding in Mickelson’s souped-up golf cart) the other day, Lefty had plenty of note to say at the Scottish Open (per John Huggan).
Question: Do you think the backlash has been over the top?
“You have to be accountable for yourself,” said Mickelson. “I do a lot of dumb stuff. I had that rules deal at Greenbrier last week. And last year at Greenbrier I picked up my ball in the middle of the fairway, marked it and cleaned it. I have these like just moments where I’m in a ‘cloud.’ I’m not really sure what I’m doing. I’m just going through the motions and not really aware of the moment. I’ve done that a bunch in my career. I keep doing stuff like that. That’s the way my mind works.”
Next question: “One of the confusing things for people is that you said after the round at the U.S. Open on Saturday that you thought about doing it a lot of times before, and that indicated that maybe it was premeditated what you did?”
“Not only was I not great on the course, I was not great after the round, either…So it was just not a great day, and it was my birthday. I tend to do dumb stuff on my birthday. The way I show anger is not the traditionally accepted way, throwing clubs and berating the fans and marshals. I tend to be a little more passive aggressive in my actions, and that was kind of what I was doing.”
And if that weren’t good enough, Golf.com filed a roundup of some great Mickelson stories, courtesy of his fellow Tour pros and others.
“I have a Phil story from Muirfield Village, at the 2013 Presidents Cup. We were doing really well, playing alternate shot, and we were dormie, 6 up with whatever left to play. And I had about a 5-foot putt on 13 to win the match — and it 360ed the hole. Lipped out. I got up on the next hole, it’s my tee and just a 3-iron, but I was rattled — I hit this 3-iron 100 yards right. So they win that hole. And then we get to the next hole, a par 5, and we get up there and I’ve got 5 feet for birdie; Graham DeLaet has about 25 feet for his birdie.”
“So all Graham has to do is miss his putt and we win the match. And Phil looks over at Graham and goes, ‘Pick it up, it’s good.’ And I looked over at Phil and I’m like, Are you kidding me? Now, if I miss the putt, we lose the hole. So I was pissed. But then, sure enough, I made the putt, we won the match. Now it’s funny — but if I’d missed the putt it wouldn’t have been funny. Now he says he knew I was rattled and he wanted me to make that putt to win the match. So, typical Phil, trying to teach lessons. But it was wild. I mean, a 25-footer!”
“This year, I played all four rounds at the Waste Management with Phil, and it was incredible. I feel like I got the full Phil experience. But the coolest moment I’ve had with him was when I was on the Web.com Tour. I played a pickup round with Phil and Charley Hoffman at The Grand, my home course in San Diego, and [laughs] there’s so much banter between those guys. This was sort of my introduction into what the top dogs do. So we’re on the second hole, and I think Charley was already up on him. You know, they always gamble a certain amount of money.
“Phil’s about to tee off, and he’s pretending to struggle. He was like, ‘Oh, gosh, it’s so hard to swing.’ I was like, what’s going on? And Phil goes, ‘Here Charley, you mind holding onto this?’ And he pulls this wad of cash out of his back pocket! The whole day, I was sitting in the cart, just lookin’ around, like, ‘I’m not gonna say anything here; I’m just gonna let these guys battle it out.’ And it was so much fun. Phil showed how competitive and fun he can make golf.”