One of the most watched and most fascinating Master's tournaments in history came to a conclusion Sunday and it was not the surly Tiger Woods who dominated attention but the somewhat unheralded Phil Mickelson.
You see while Tiger was trying to overcome infidelity problems with his wife Michelson was dedicating the exciting victory to his wife Amy.
Fighting off challenges from two Englishmen, a Korean-American, a Korean, another fan favorite Fred Couples and Tiger Woods, Michelson won his third Masters for mothers, wives and women facing the difficulty of breast cancer.
In fact, both his mother and wife have suffered breast cancer and his wife, whose doctors would not let her walk the course with her husband, did get to greet him at the 18th green. It was a fairytale ending to a terrific championship in which he swept her into his arms and kissed her, long and passionate, while the fans in the gallery and millions of television viewers were wiping tears from their own eyes.
First staged in 1934, it has been a long time since the Masters has given us a great human interest story. Even longer since the tournament has given us the feel good stories that seem to surround the champions like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Tom Watson and many others.
To know Mickelson, who has been pushed from the golf stories since the Tiger Woods dynasty began, just check out the following that appeared in the Los Angeles Times. These are the characteristics that make for real champions.
Los Angeles Times
April 10, 2010|Bill Plaschke
With a giant clink, the ball disappeared into the mass of people crowding the left side of the 18th green.
Everyone but Crystal Hodges scattered. The young medical worker from Myrtle Beach, S.C., was not allowed to move. The ball had landed directly under her green folding chair. She was ordered to sit still until her hero arrived.
"Hey, how are you doing?" said Phil Mickelson, approaching with a smile.
"Um, good," she said. "How are you doing?"
How is he doing? Hodges spends her days working with cancer patients. She came to Augusta National for her first Masters on Saturday to cheer Mickelson because he is helping his wife and mother battle cancer. Out of nowhere, her chair had just stopped his ball from further trouble.
How do you think Phil Mickelson is doing? The chair was moved, Hodges was resettled, Mickelson calmly chipped onto the green and saved par to appropriately finish perhaps the most fortuitous round of his life.
"All that he's going through, and he asks how I'm doing?" Hodges said later. "How could anybody not cheer for him?"
Phil Mickelson has made a major contribution to helping golf overcome the Tiger problems and turning attention to what makes sports in America so fascinating. There are a lot of good guys in sports doing a lot for family values, charitable causes, and genuine concern for their fellow man. Thank you Phil for reminding us of that.
Here were the wives of Phil and Tiger together at the last Ryder Cup meet.