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Thursday
May182017

Phil Commits To Colonial, Columnist Welcomes Him Back With Tough Love

I don't think Star-Telegram columnist Mac Engel will be getting many warm and fuzzy vibes next week from Phil Mickelson at the 2017 Dean and Deluca Invitational.

Even though Mickelson has committed for the first time since 2010 to set off a potential three week run into the U.S. Open (he's also committed to the Memorial), Engel welcomes Lefty back to Fort Worth with multiple jabs.

“With the (course) redesign, I’m afraid I won’t be playing it (Colonial) anymore,” Phil said in 2011. “It doesn’t give me a power advantage. I know all the shotmakers will be there every year. But I don’t see any of the long hitters playing there anymore. There’s no decision making now. It’s all irons, irons, irons.”

It was a tee-shot blast at course designer Keith Foster, and a tone-deaf comment about his own game. Phil sounded like a coward.

Most (all?) of the tournament directors and club members were furious and insulted. Phil wanted to play tournaments where he could birdie a Par 5. Colonial wanted PGAers who at least expressed some degree of gratitude for their hospitality, which in Phil’s case was generously extensive.

By 2011, the happily married couple only shared mutual middle fingers.

Welcome back!

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Reader Comments (21)

As a loyal Phil fan who was in the gallery on the 18th at Winged Foot, I say he should be running TOWARDS any set-up that minimizes decision-making.
05.19.2017 | Unregistered Commenter3foot1
Phil can't play every tournament. He is a private contractor after all and makes perfect sense for him to chose those opportunities where he has the best chance of winning. As a viewer I am happy to see variety in course layout and strategy - especially if it means we don't have to watch a "long driving contest" every week.
05.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterDavid
3and1 got it right ; Phil gets in his own way in the same way as Spieth . Too much thinking and talking about every shot. Dustin Johnson is getting it right. Let your freak flag fly out there. It's not necessary to have long conversations about a 120 yard shot and "talk" yourself into hitting a bad one. Does Phil still think he is a bomber ? I see his iron play as a real strength these days , if he can get out of his own way.
05.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterJJBeck
Funny considering Phil's last win was at a "shot-maker's" venue like Muirfield, where he didn't need to bomb driver and actually think his way off the tee. Obviously Phil realized by 2013 and 2014 that any power advantage he used to have was slipping away. Now he'll be welcoming more opportunities to play courses that take that wild Epic driver out of his hands.

Whatever he had working in 2013 he should go back to because his driving of the ball stinks. 3&1 is absolutely right in that Phil is his own worst enemy sometimes, but that long, wild driver swing has always been the bane of his golfing consistency.
05.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterThanks King
Of course people who were involved in the reno back then would be hurt by his criticism, they think they've done the greatest thing in the world and don't like to hear otherwise. However, Phil is a world-class player and is more than deserving of his own opinion, and quite frankly his opinion is worth more than the average club members. Sorry if that hurts their feelings.

The writer is a moron. Regardless of why, he should be happy that Phil is coming back and should keep his mouth shut. The players are the show, without them there is nothing......... Also his description of the treatment that Phil gets at tournaments is a pathetic attempt to taint the reader against him - ALL the players are treated the same way!!! I mean, the Dean and Deluca Open? Only in their dreams would they have thought Phil Mickelson might be playing.
05.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
JJbeck, Phil said that back in 2011 - which is clearly stated. Even with not being able to get out of their own way, I'll take Phil's and Spieth's career against yours any day.


Describing Murfield as a shot-makers venue is funny King. LOL
05.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
Phil's best finish so far this year was at the the WGC in Mexico, which to me was a course that looked very much like Colonial. So yes, I think going forward courses the demand stellar iron play, along with around the greens, will be his best chance to win, along with any course in the Open Rota.
05.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
play golf for crissakes....never mind the BS from years ago....things change and people change....golf has too many Rona Barrett and Harvey Levin wannabes hanging around the range from Mon- Wed trying to dig up a story for their blog or column....bunch of crap.
05.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterKeith - NYC
Love the Rona reference, Keith!
05.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterD. maculata
This is not unusual. Phil has been forced to eat his words many times and usually keeps an assortment of condiments handy.
05.19.2017 | Unregistered Commentersteve elling
Press Agent - did I misunderstand or are you smoking crack? The Dean and Deluca Invitational is just the latest name given to one of golf's most storied professional tournaments; played on an historic course. The Colonial National Invitation started in 1946 and the Wall of Champions includes the sport's biggest names and stars (Phil twice). The course even hosted the U.S. Open in 1941. Colonial and the Dean and Deluca Invitational don't have to "dream" that any current player wants to play.
05.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterThinking Out Loud
Sure. The tour has a dozen 'storied professional tournaments' that can't scratch together a decent field these days. But it's all good, i hear the sponsor puts out a nice spread of gourmet grocery items for the players to munch on. yum yum. Maybe someone, somewhere will even be watching this weekend - at least with Phil playing the chances are better.
05.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
I still don't know who (what?) Dean and Deluca are; isn't this the third year they have sponsored the tournament?

I am a Phil fan; I hope he can win one more tournament (never mind one more major) before he retires. That said, I think his only chances to win are on shorter courses like Colonial, Pebble, Shinnecock, Open Rota, etc. where golf intelligence helps.
05.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterRandom Fan
"Dozens of storied tournaments"? I just looked at the schedule and generously count 5 contested for a substantial period of time on the same course.. The ones played at Pebble, Riviera, Muirfield Village, Firestone and Harbour Town. None have the gravitas of Colinial
05.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterThinking Out Loud
Agent - I do agree with you that the course, the history behind it, or the players on it (even Phil) won't bring eyeballs to the tv screen this weekend.
05.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterThinking Out Loud
I'm assuming the RC points awarded went up once Phil decided to come back?
05.19.2017 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
Phil played his best golf with a 2-wood off the tee, and no driver in the bag. Disciplined and effective: so unlike Phil.
05.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterHardy Greaves
Ol Harv +1 "I'm assuming the RC points awarded went up once Phil decided to come back?" You know that was what he was waiting for........
05.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPro From Dover
Memo to writer: A 100-yard shot over trees, is not a "Phil Flop."
05.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBedard
The 'Phil Flop' is a Drive that hits the Merchandise Tent.
05.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Peterson

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