Thursday, April 23, 2015

Phil Mickelson - The People's Champion

Phil's full profile.
I mentioned in my last post about my golf bucket list that out of all of my favorite players, Phil Mickelson is the one I want to meet.  Phil is such a great player, and even better, he is a great guy.  Currently Phil is ranked 48th in the FedEx Cup and 18th in the Official World Golf Ranking.  He turned pro in 1992 and has had 42 PGA Tour victories.  These wins include 3 Masters, 1 British Open, and 1 PGA Championship.  That means he has won every Major Tournament besides the U.S. Open, and I will really be routing for Phil in June when he looks for his first win at The U.S. Open finishing is Career Grand Slam.  Phil was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2012, and if you have never seen his speech, you need to watch it here.  This video, even though it doesn't show him playing, perfectly displays why I like Phil so much.

Phil truly loves the game of golf.  He explains his passion in his World Golf Hall of Fame speech.  He started 'playing' golf and swinging a club as soon as he could walk.  His dad gave him a sawed off club to play with before he was even 2 years old.  He claims that he slept with his clubs as a child while dreaming about golf.  Lefty is actually a righty.  When he was learning to play he would mirror his father, so he learned to play left handed from a young age and it has worked out pretty well for him.  He started playing in junior tournaments and then received a scholarship to play at Arizona State University.

"The object of golf is not just to win.  It's to play like a gentleman, and win."

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This quote also perfectly sums up why Phil is my favorite player.  To me golf and golfers should be full of respect, respect for the game, respect for other players, and respect for yourself.  That is what makes this sport so appealing.  Phil shows this respect on and off the course.  In 2006 he and his wife Amy started Birdies for the Brave, which was later adopted by the PGA Tour.  Phil is a big supporter of our military mend and women and is involved with many foundations and charities like Birdies for the Brave and Special Operations Warrior Foundation.  

Phil is really just fun to watch win.  As much as I enjoyed Spieth's amazing win at this years Masters, I was also really pulling for Phil Mickelson to come through.  He ended up tying for 2nd place with a great performance.  I will forever wish that I would have been able to watch him win his first major championship at the 2004 Masters.  I have seen the recaps, and it would have been awesome to watch him sink that put on 18 to win his first major.  

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