Phil Being Phil

He's taken his tired act to the Senior TOUR—err!—Champions TOUR.

Jim Rome
August 26, 2020 - 11:43 am
Phil Mickelson

USA Today


It’s Wednesday which means the PGA TOUR doesn’t currently have a tournament round in progress. But Phil Mickelson does. And that’s because Phil Mickelson has taken his tired act to the Senior TOUR—err!—Champions TOUR.

You see—while the best 70 sticks in the world are getting in their final preparations for the second leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs tomorrow—Phil is out at Ozarks National teeing it up and taking it to the likes of Colin Montgomerie and Jesper Parnevik.

And he’s in the lead. Which is—something—I guess.

So what is this? Practice? A publicity stunt? A paycheck?

I know what it’s not. It’s not worth that nauseating Phil-Fawning that Phil-Fan can’t help but do every time they see this dude’s mug on their television screen giving some phony hat tip and disingenuous thumbs up.

Phil Fan—which includes a whole helluva lot of golf media—will tell you how awesome it is that this walking-talking billboard huckster is out there with the old-timers beating them up.

I’ll keep it real and tell you how lame it is. All Phil Mickelson playing on the Champions TOUR right now says is two things; 1) He couldn’t hack it in the PGA playoffs. Which he couldn’t. And 2) He’s old. Which he is. Old enough to play with 75-year-old Hale Irwin. No disrespect, H.

And what in the hell is anyone supposed to take away from Phil Mickelson winning this tournament today—which he probably will. That he beat a bunch of yesteryears? And he did it on shorter holes, wider fairways, slower greens, and middle-of-the-dance-floor flagsticks?

You’re the 54th best golfer on the planet according to this weeks’ rankings. The dude chasing you by 4 strokes coming into the final round today hasn’t been on that list—in 10 years! And was last ranked 178th in the world. Back in 2010!

I know, I know, Phil Fan—the US Open is at Winged Foot this year and it’s only three weeks out, and Phil wants to stay sharp, because this is the one that got away, and it means more to him than anything, and if he can’t play the BMW tomorrow then he might as well go to a spot where he’s eligible and get some work in.

Ok, fine. Now tell me how playing a super easy track out in the Ozarks against a bunch of old dudes he’s beating up on is doing anything for his game that will translate to the US Open. Like—what’s Phil going to take away from beating Tim Petrovic that’s gonna help him against Brooks and Rahm-bo, and JT?

So I’m not buying the practice angle. If this guy wanted to practice he could go to Winged Foot and get his work in now. Or better yet—go home and practice there. Torrey Pines is down the road from him and it’s longer and harder than Ozarks. Hell, it hosted a US Open not too long ago.

So it’s not about practice. To me this is about ripping some headlines and getting his paws on that 450-grr cardboard check. Because Torrey and his local club aren’t about to chip off half-a-mill if he shows up at either of their places this week. But Ozarks will. And all you gotta do is go through Brad Faxton and Retief Goosen to get it.

Phil’s been about two things forever. The money and the pub. And he’s getting both this week. And all he had to do is what he loves to do—namely not go home.

Remember this is the same guy who back in 2017 left a leaked voicemail to an undisclosed friend—about hustling Charlie Hoffman out of some serious cash on his off day. 

It’s the same guy who was once a part of a three-year FBI investigation into insider trading in which he ducked charges but ended up paying back nearly 1 million dollars he earned off second-hand info. 

I’m not saying he did anything wrong. How would I know? I just think it’s great that an alleged gambling addict who hustles on his off-days was also wrapped up in insider trading. Just like it’s great that Phil also had to send out a tweet in 2019 denying any wrongdoing when he was found to have hired Rick Singer to help his kids with the college admissions process. The same Rick Singer who pleaded guilty to money laundering, racketeering, obstruction of justice and tax evasion last March.

Nothing ever sticks to this guy. It’s a gift. So it’s no wonder when he shows up at Ozarks to collect some easy money in a lucrative publicity stunt against some old-timers—his fans just eat it up.

Phil being Phil. Dude’s a grinder. He’s putting in the work.

Sure he’s not.