I am pulling for Phil Mickelson this weekend.
Now, I know Phil has had his name surface in the insider trading story a few weeks ago and we still aren’t sure if he is associated, if he is the target or exactly what he is-in terms of this investigation.
We also don’t know if it will be a distraction?
He’s also had health issues this year with a bad back.
2014 hasn’t been Phil’s year and considering this year, it appears that the only Major he hasn’t won seems even more elusive.
Phil has the Masters, the PGA Championship and then last year screaming down on a Sunday he goes on to win the British…..and while that was a jaw dropper of him streaking to the finish to win that last July, it gives him 3, only needing the US Open for the Career Slam,,,,,and where is the US Open this year?
15 years ago, when the world was at the daylight of Tiger mania, Phil Mickelson had won before, Mickelson was a name among golf, but Phil Mickelson became a household mainstream sports fan name when he squared off against Payne Stewart for the Us Open at Pinehurst.
A US Open in which Mickelson’s wife was pregnant with their first child and he had said-if my pager goes off, if Amy pages me, I quit, I am out, I am going to be with her.
(now first of all, who remembers pagers!! …..HOW OLD DOES THAT MAKE SOME OF YOU FEEL??
RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU HAD A PAGER!..
Mickelson said---look that pager goes off, Amy, his wife goes into labor, I am out of here…and you watched all weekend, as Phil stayed in contention, near the top of the leaderboard—you wondered if he would either win or have to quit.
You were watching to see if this man could go onto win,,,,,,,or if it would be on live TV that his pager goes off and he would haul off like many of you guys when your wife told you ,she was in labor…and he goes.
And then Sunday, when it was down to him and Payne Stewart on Fathers Day, the final day, the final holes, Phil matches Payne Stewart on 16, their balls basically land next to each other…..I remember my whole family—not just the guys, I remember our entire family, Mom Dad, aunts uncles, cousins, we were all together for Fathrs Day and nobody but nobody moved…..
And in the end Payne Stewart drops the putt to win on 18th……he has the fist pump, which is now a bronzed statue at Pinehurst,,,,and for some that’s the memory of Payne Stewart,,,,my favorite Payne Stewart moment was where he walks over to Phil Mickelson and grabs his face with both hands and says “You are going to be a Dad”….
And Payne Stewart a father of 2,,,,,just basically has this look of joy to Phil like—dude,forget the putt, forget the open, forget losing, you are going to get to do one of the greatest things on the earth and you are going to be a Dad….and it was so genuine and it was so emotional and it was one of my favorite moments in sports (and of all days Fathers Day)
And sadly, we know what happened after that—the next day Phil Mickelson does become a dad and then just months later Payne Stewart dies in a plane accident, ….
And I will talk about this with Damon Hack of the Golf Channel when he joins us later—if you saw it when it debuted last Sunday or if you get a chance or they reair this week---watch the 1 hour documentary done by NBC Sports on Payne Stewart. It’s called “Payne”….and as I put on Twitter Sunday after watching it, I challenge anybody to watch the last 15 minutes of it without welling up.
My bride totally nabbed me welling up on Sunday watching this thing……..but it so well done and tells the story of Payne Stewart, which I rmember him from his outfits and winning the US Open but I didn’t know much of his entire career---it is really well done and they interview his family,,,but the last 15 minutes of the Open and with Phil and then his death.
Good luck not welling up.
For that history and for Payne Stewart and for it being back at Pinehurst, this is why I am rooting for Phil this week. I’d like to see him get the US Open. I know Golf and NBC would love the ratings for him to be there on Sunday……but how great would it be if after 15 years, after that emotional day with Payne Stewart and Phil waiting to be a dad…..of all places for him to get it. It would be Hollywood in real life if Phil Mickelson could win his elusive US Open at Pinehurst.