Mizzen Or Masterful: Will We Be Doing "The Phil"?

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Phil Mickelson's surprising choice to unveil a Mizzen+Main long sleeve at The Masters may have turned a few heads and earned a "really" from Tiger Woods, but now that he's all-in as a part owner he is, well, in. All in. And it's spectacular.

Sporting the Manhattan shirt he's worn a few times--minus his logo-clad tour golf version--Mickelson breaks out his best dance moves in a, uh, more focused effort to show off how these performance fabric shirts work. It's set to Ghostland Observatory's "Viberate," and I only know that because of Shazam.

Phil makes a convincing case for the mobility and style factor of the shirt maligned after his Masters moment. He also makes a case for the most fluid hamstrings in golf.

The fashion-friendliness of the shirt is greatly enhanced--actually, night and day--when not paired with golf slacks and without his corporate partner logos screaming 1960s gas station attendant. 

Even more solid? This lands in a Ryder Cup year! Oh to hear the team room comments about The Phil... 

Phil Chimes In On Shinnecock, Carnoustie, Le Golf National And More

Joking that he would only talk about the last month and would not discuss his opening 70 at Gullane, former Scottish Open winner Phil Mickelson chimed in on a number of topics. Including, under fairly steady questioning from the UK's finest, his 2018 U.S. Open.

My roundup from Gullane for Golfweek.

Poll: What Would You Pay To View A Woods-Mickelson Match For $10 Million?

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Alan Shipnuck reveals for Golf.com that Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have been plotting a $10 million, winner-takes-all (right!) match with major sponsors and television. It sounds like the concept is a burgeoning franchise in the vein of All-Star Golf and Challenge Golf matches from the past (Google it precious generation).

An initial match in Las Vegas — Shadow Creek is the likely venue — is just the beginning of their shared vision.  Mickelson says he and Woods hope to play a couple exhibitions a year, around the world. Sometimes they could partner up — depending on how the Ryder Cup goes, it's easy to envision Tiger and Phil taking on two top Europeans (a match with Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter as the opposition could be particularly juicy). Woods and Mickelson are both shrewd businessmen, and they are trying to set up this new venture so they essentially own the matches and thus will get a chunk of the TV revenue, merchandising, and sponsorship dough.

That sounds like a pay-per-view model to me.

The value has decreased a bit with the whole kumbaya, bonding-over-hating-Tom-Watson, cart-driving mania. But, maybe the lovebirds can create some dramatic tension with the winner-takes-all approach even if we don't really believe it.

Tiger could bring his tailer to the first tell to help Phil get a better-fitting Mizzen & Main shirt.

Phil could replace brother Tim with Stevie Williams.

Anyway, we have time to work on theatrics.

So...assuming this is a pay-per-view model, what would you pay?

How much would you pay to watch a Phil v. Tiger winner-takes-all $10 million match?
 
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Phil Admits: It Really Wasn't About Saving Strokes

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In Chicago to help KPMG kick off the Women's PGA Championship, Randall Mell reports that Phil Mickelson had a fun time promoting junior golf and took time to answer a few questions from Golf Central's Todd Lewis.

Regarding this 13th hole meltdown at Shinnecock Hills:

“I certainly wasn’t thinking of that at the time, but I have pretty thick skin,” Mickelson said. “I will probably hear about this for some time.

“Fortunately, I can take it and hopefully at some point we will be able to laugh about it.”

Mickelson intimated his intentionally hitting a moving ball wasn’t really about saving strokes.

“At the time, I didn’t really care about the stroke difference,” he said.

The full interview:

Does USGA's Response To Mickelson Mean We Need A New Rule Of Golf?

That's the case Golf.com's Dylan Dethier makes quite well. It comes after Lee Westwood posted this Tweet in response to hearing Phil Mickelson say he'd been thinking of stopping his moving ball at Augusta National's 15th over the years.

The Tweet:

Dethier writes of the USGA ultimately citing 14-5 over 1-2, rightfully so based on a strict interpretation of their rules and the "precedent now set". 

The so-called Phil Rule will be simple: anyone who intentionally strikes a moving ball will be disqualified.

Mickelson entered the week hoping to add his name to the USGA's record books — he'll have to settle for its rulebooks. Otherwise the awkward jogging alley-oop will just be left hanging there as a strange loophole option, tempting players in tight spots. "I took the two-shot penalty and moved on," Mickelson said.

I would normally argue that the honesty of the players and fear of being ostracized by their peers would make this unnecessary. But with the USGA coming to Mickelson's rescue week without even a single word of disdain for his behavior, and in a world of backstopping and players snickering at Mickelson's actions, it's time to cook up the new rule before this shameful stuff happens again. 

But this is the place we've reached in golf: to explore such a decision in the next rules of golf, the USGA would first have to come to terms with not condemning the behavior in any way that might deter repeat offenders. Strange times.

Now That We Have Phil's Statement We Can Move Along, But First...

Phil Mickelson, a tad late in summing up his 13th green boondoggle at the 2018 U.S. Open, but better late than never:

“I know this should've come sooner, but it's taken me a few days to calm down. My anger and frustration got the best of me last weekend. I'm embarrassed and disappointed by my actions. It was clearly not my finest moment and I’m sorry.”

So in review: 

(A) he was not forced into his behavior

(B) it was not that funny

(C) it was potentially legacy-tainting

(D) there is no need for detractors to toughen up

(E) this was a disastrous look for someone with an untarnished track record of playing by the Rules of Golf

(F) the USGA will still not condemn his actions for reasons unknown

(G) children, don't try this at home

Jason Day Finds Phil's U.S. Open Antics Disappointing, Spieth Finds It Really Funny

Will Gray's Travelers report on  Jason Day's views of the U.S. Open and Phil Mickelson's 13th green meltdown.

“It’s obviously disappointing to see what Phil did,” he said. “I think a lot of people have mixed reviews about what he did.”

And from Dylan Dethier's Golf.com item on Jordan Spieth's Travelers Championship press conference where the defending champ commented on Mickelson's antics.

"I laughed, I thought it was really funny," he said. In the aftermath of the incident, much was made about Mickelson's intent, but count Spieth among those who believes Mickelson's explanation that there was a strategic element to the decision. "Phil knows the rules," he said. "There was a chance it was going to go back behind the bunker and he's got to chip back, or he was going to play off the green anyways, so he was potentially saving himself a shot. So if that was the intent, then what's the harm in that? He's playing the best score he can."

Fascinating to admire someone for using a technicality to get out of taking personal responsibility for a really bad putt. But this is where we are in the game. 

"Golfer Phil Mickelson Invests in Robot-Delivered Food"

I'm not sure this was the best-timed news release I've ever seen given the weekend's events, the quotes and the job-killing passion behind the venture. But, it's Phil!

Golfer Phil Mickelson Invests in Robot-Delivered Food

Geration NEXT Franchise Brands, Inc. announced that its flagship subsidiary, Reis & Irvy’s, has inked a deal with five-time major championship golfer and World Golf Hall of Famer, Phil Mickelson, and his career-long business manager and business partner, Steve Loy, for 30 new Reis & Irvy’s locations to be installed throughout San Diego County (where Phil is a native and resides with his family).

Reis & Irvy’s-branded signature robot characters of the same name can dispense servings of frozen yogurt, ice cream, gelatos and sorbet topped with a selection of six delicious toppings in under 60 seconds. With self-checkout touch screen ordering and payment options, video animation, music and delicious frozen dessert provided exclusively by Dannon, robot vendors meet consumer demand for convenience, entertainment and a superior quality product.  

Phil Mickelson and Steve Loy continue to expand upon their business portfolio with the investment in Reis & Irvy’s that is challenging the status quo in food retail by catering to this generation’s expectations of immersive, entertaining and on-demand shopping experiences.  “We have seen the development of Reis and Irvy’s over the last eight months and became intrigued with the advancement and benefits of robotics which enhance the delivery of quality products to the consumer while reducing overhead cost,” says Steve Loy.

People are expensive! Right Phil?

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be part of such transformative industry change,” says Mickelson. “I’ve pushed boundaries my whole career and that mindset carries over into the business world. The energy and passion from the Generation NEXT team to both deliver a quality product and disrupt food retail is exciting.”

Like disrupting the spirit of the rules because you hit a (really) bad putt.

Describing “the new arms race in retail,” John Bird of Forbes wrote that “unattended retail storefronts”—with their speed, flexibility and improved customer experience — are the future of retail. Brands like McDonald’s are successfully innovating their customer experience and “it will change forever the landscape” of casual dining, with “Gen-Xers, millennials, and successive generations already used to a computer interface for making most of their daily choices.”

With over $130 million in franchise and licensing contracts, Generation NEXT Franchise Brands, Inc. is leading the way with frozen desserts, fully autonomous robotic delivery, visual and audio entertainment, and a unique retail experience.

Phil Mickelson Roundup And Poll: Etiquette Breach DQ Or No DQ?

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We are a couple of days removed from Phil Mickelson's U.S. Open outburst and its not aging well, nor is the USGA's timid response earning raves either.  I hate belaboring this as a Phil fan but the reaction to this incident mirrors a disturbing justification for rules bending we've seen with the backstopping nonsense. 

In Mickelson's case, the media and former player reactions have been harsh. 

Having had a chance to do some reading, here's a presentation of just some reactions to Mickelson striking a moving ball in what he claimed was his intent to take advantage of the rules after hitting an awful putt. I present this with a poll awaiting at the end asking a very simple question.

The USGA "clarified" confusion over the Phil Mickelson situation Sunday, as Jeff Williams notes for Newsday. The statement ignored the serious breach of etiquette talk you hear from former players appalled by Mickelson's actions, starting with Paul Azinger to start Sunday's Fox broadcast. 

And to be clear: The USGA took a rain check at every opportunity to slap Phil with a line about not finding his antics to be living up to the spirit of the game. According to Amy Mickelson, her husband offered to WD and the USGA either declined or discouraged the action. Beth Ann Nichols also notes a curious quote from Phil before ducking more questions.

Mickelson's post-round explanation appears to have backfired based on media reaction. My Golfweek column received much pushback for suggesting Mickelson's legacy might be tainted by the incident. I'm sticking by my stance. A surprising number suggested Mickelson's legacy gave him the right to mis-behave. 

Kyle Porter asks if this is what we want golf to be and makes this amongst many vital points:

So Mickelson wriggles through a preposterous loophole (not his first or last loophole wriggle!) because he pulled his club back and made a stroke. Maybe I'm wrong, but Rule 14-5 does not appear to have been created for this type of situation. That's why Rule 1-2 exists.

John Feinstein wonders for Golf World why the USGA did not go after Mickelson for an etiquette breach.

One last piece of rules mumbo-jumbo: Rule 33-7 is the catch-all here. It gives the committee the wherewithal to disqualify a player it if believes a serious breach has been committed but also to not disqualify a player if it believes there are mitigating circumstances.

It was 33-7 that Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley, then the chairman of the championship committee for the Masters, fell back on in 2013 in deciding not to disqualify Tiger Woods for signing an incorrect scorecard after the second round that year.

Ian O'Connor of ESPN.com called for Phil to WD and summed up the debacle like this:

The cover-up is always worse than the crime. Mickelson turned the one major championship he has failed to win into a mini-golf misadventure, minus the windmill and clown's mouth. Now it's time for him to pick up his ball and go home.

Brian Wacker at GolfDigest.com:

In the end, though, Mickelson’s actions—and words—made him look lamer than those button downs, rather than the smartest guy in the room.

“I don’t believe he really knows that rule,” the USGA’s former chief executive David Fay said on Fox of Mickelson. “I think his explanation made things complicated. I would’ve thought long and hard about it and after hearing everything I’ve heard I would’ve lobbied for disqualification.”

Eamon Lynch at Golfweek with a superb read on Mickelson's career Grand Slam effectively ending with his Shinnecock performance.

In that single stroke, Mickelson’s carefully constructed veneer fell away, the years of pained diplomacy and outward optimism with which he greeted every failed, painful tilt at the national Open. It was a quiet scream, seen but not heard.

So it's a simple question that probably is easier in hindsight given Mickelson's tone and admission of a calculated effort to bend, if not break the rules. And probably even easier given the USGA's coddling of a player not living up to basic standards for play. But here goes...

Should the USGA have disqualified Phil Mickelson for a serious breach of etiquette?
 
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Mickelson Returns To Shinnecock, Before Heading Out Until Thursday

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It took him to get rolling thanks to some loud sounds and the usual ebb and flow of conversation. But Phil Mickelson's Monday press conference ultimately yielded all sorts of fun stuff. The runner up here in 2004 is a favorite again this week.

I summarize the session's key moments here for Golfweek, including his plans to go off property until Thursday.

Mickelson is not making changes to his bag that are course specific, notes David Dusek. 

Eamon Lynch with the age old question for Phil and the U.S. Open, which Lefty answered well Monday.

There were two answers in full I thought were worth your time. The first came in response to a question I asked about the course since he was last year. Check out what he says about his notes for the course and what he documents. 

PHIL MICKELSON: So the notes that I had in 2004 are all accurate. In fact, they were 100 percent the same from 2004 as they are today. But the notes that I took weren't precise, like this putt breaks X amount. The notes were that you must stay here for this pin, you must go here for this pin, the odds of getting up and down from this spot are 50 percent, 10 percent.

So it just guided me on where I need to be for different pin placements and how I want to attack the hole, and that stayed the same from 2004.

Odds!

The other answer involved the 2004 setup. This about says it all and should be noted for those who struggle with the USGA's direction. There are tournaments not fitting the setup idea of some, and there are tournaments where the outcome is tainted. In answer to ESPN's Tom Rinaldi asking about the value of protecting par.

I think it's a very fine line, and it's not a job I would want. And I know that the USGA is doing the best they can to find that line, and a lot of times they do, and sometimes they cross over it, but it's not an easy job. It's easy for all of us to criticize.

The difficulty is, when you dream of a championship as a child -- whether it's U.S. Open or the Masters, whatever event -- and you dream of winning these tournaments as a child and you work hours and hours and you fly in days and days and do all this prep work, and then you are left to chance the outcome, as opposed to skill, that's a problem. That's the problem that I have with it.

For instance, Saturday in 2004, the barometer for watering the 7th green was did anybody make double or triple? So if nobody double or triple bogeyed in the group in front of you, the green did not get water. If your group made a double or triple, the green got water for the group behind you.

That type of chance is -- it bothers me, given that we put so much into this tournament and the dreams and the hopes. And to have it left to something like that is disappointing. But I don't mean to discount anything, because I know what a tough job it is to find that fine line.

USGA Reacts To Phil's Shinnecock Comment: Yeah We Can't Really Speak

Tim Rosaforte reports the reaction of the USGA's Jeff Hall to Phil Mickelson's recent comments on Shinnecock Hills and specifically what happens when they get ahold of the seventh hole (Rex Hoggard's GolfChannel.com item explains).

 And wisely, the events of 2004, to be recounted next week on Golf Channel and Fox, really were spectacularly bad. So as Rosaforte notes, the USGA is wisely not pushing back.

 

 

 

Tiger And Phil Issue Their First Impressions Of Shinnecock Hills 2018

 

Following their reconnaissance trips to Shinnecock Hills, Tiger Woods prefaced his assessment by noting the rainy weather and extreme length of the par-70 course. But as Brentley Romine reports for Golfweek, Phil Mickelson offered a rave review of the course where he finished second in 2004.

Mickelson spent Tuesday at Shinnecock. He went around with assistant pro Matt Cahill and raved at the changes, particularly the widened fairways and shaved run-off areas around the greens.

“Phenomenal,” Mickelson said. “It’s really well done. They renovated it a little bit and some of the fairways are a little bit wider, certainly the rough is as penalizing or more so than I’ve seen it, but the fairways are fair and the greens are as healthy as I’ve seen them.”

Puffy Shirt Return: Phil Signs With Mizzen+Main To Allow "Move From The Board Room To The Golf Course"

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The Forecaddie on Thursday-and-beyond's return of...the shirt. 

The full, and frankly spectacular, press release here:

Mizzen+Main Announces Partnership with American Golfer Phil Mickelson

Dallas, Texas, May 10, 2018: Transformative menswear brand Mizzen+Main announces a new partnership with one of the most renowned golfers and professional athletes of all time, Phil Mickelson. The five-time major champion has signed on as an official Brand Ambassador of the hyper growth, performance menswear line that has transformed an industry with its “best damn dress shirt.”

The long-term partnership makes Mickelson an equity holder in the company, joining Houston’s JJ Watt as a major partner in Mizzen+Main.

“I was waiting to find the perfect apparel partner that allowed me to move from the board room to the golf course. Mizzen+Main’s performance dress shirts enable me to do that. A big part of why I’m so thrilled to partner with them is I know all my endorsement partners and the thousands of professionals that work at those companies will love this shirt for their day to day too. These dress shirts not only look incredible but are so comfortable and versatile I can actually play golf in them. It’s remarkable to have a dress shirt I can wear from a meeting to the course. The game has changed,” remarked Mickelson.

Mickelson made waves in the sports world after wearing Mizzen+Main in a practice round with Tiger Woods at Augusta in April this year. His record as one of the best golfers of all time who represents several of the world’s greatest companies, along with being a maverick who charts his own path makes him a perfect fit for the brand.

“I started Mizzen+Main six years ago to make a dress shirt that performed at the same level as athletic apparel. Partnering with Phil is an extraordinary opportunity as one of the most renowned global athletes puts our product to the test on the course in a fun and unique way. We’re thrilled to have Lefty lead the way in the years ahead,” said Mizzen+Main Founder and CEO Kevin Lavelle.

As Brand Ambassador, Mickelson will wear Mizzen+Main’s performance fabric dress shirts regularly in tournament play, kicking off this week at the Players Championship®.

Rare Vintage Tiger-Phil Pairing Nears, And The Talk Leading Up To It Is Just As Fun

Thanks to the PGA Tour making the rare move to pair Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, accompanied by the equally rare sight of Phil Mickelson making his way into an interview room, we have some fun stories and revelations to amp up excitement for Thursday's 1:52 pm ET grouping with Rickie Fowler. 

Tiger remains upbeat and seems even more unphased by any burden to win, which I noted in this Golfweek assessment that also includes a few other fun comments from Woods' press session.

Maybe most surprising of all was Tiger's revelation that Phil offered short game help in 2015 during the chip-yip phase.

Shoot, at this pace we'll soon find out Tiger spent days Googling holistic arthritis remedies for Mickelson and that Phil offered to visit Orlando to help find Tiger's Escalade the right auto repair shop. After that, it could be the ultimate sign of a bond: sharing jet rides to tournaments. Sky's the limit!

ESPN.com's Bob Harig focuses on Phil's assertion that Tiger's peak will never be repeated by any golfer ever, and reviews the head-to-head match up, which this time around lacks some of the creative tension of past pairings.

In all, they have played in the same group just 35 times, with Woods holding a slight edge in their round-by-round scores at 16-15-4. Woods' scoring average is also slightly better, 69.60 to 69.91.

Woods won five of the tournaments in which they were grouped at some point, including the 2006 PGA Championship and the 2008 U.S. Open. Mickelson won three.

 

Brian Wacker notes at Golf World that the harmony is all the more touching giving where these two have been at times, though this is also hardly Ali-Frazier kissing and making up, either.

Convicted Inside-Trader Billy Walters Is Not Pleased With Phil Mickelson

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As he sits in a Florida minimum-security prison, sports gambler and businessman Billy Walters awaits an appeals court ruling and stews about the role Phil Mickelson played in his conviction, reports ESPN.com's Mike Fish.

Over several interviews recounted in a compelling piece by Fish, Walters is mostly still unhappy with his former golf buddy Mickelson.

"Here is a guy that all he had to do was come forward and tell the truth," Walters said in October, as he leaned forward in a chair behind his nearly 10-foot-wide office desk, its marble top home to three computer monitors. "That was all he had to do. The guy wouldn't do that because he was concerned about his image. He was concerned about his endorsements.

"My God, in the meantime a man's life is on the line. He's going to go to prison. And you got prosecutors up there during the entire trial, the entire month -- all they talked about over and over was me giving my friends insider information. That is all they talked about. And they knew those jurors were all up on the internet reading that stuff about Phil [profiting from the Dean Foods stock purchase]."

Alternate Shot: Will Mickelson Get 50 Wins?

Jaime Diaz and I discuss whether Phil Mickelson will win fifty tour events following his 43rd title at the WGC Mexico City.  Jaime says no, I saw Phil has a chance to go the Sam Snead route and compete into his fifties thanks to his flexibility, power, confidence and apparent enjoyment playing the game. Plus, he's a better putter and has a private jet.

Phil! WGC Mexico City Ratings Up 21%

A stacked leaderboard, dreadful weather in most parts of the U.S. and the Phil Mickelson factor helped the 2018 WGC Mexico City climb 21% Sunday. 

Roundup: Mickelson Finally Returns To The Winner Circle!

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The already compelling Masters picture got more interesting with Phil Mickelson breaking a stubborn winless drought at the WGC Mexico City.

According to Doug Ferguson's game story, Phil Mickelson's win over Justin Thomas in sudden death means more to Phil than we'll ever know. 

Phil feels he has a little less work to do to make the Ryder Cup team, writes Rex Hoggard.

After win No. 43, the 47-year-old is still hoping to get to 50 PGA Tour wins, writes Brentley Romine.

Nick Menta with some of the key social and video highlights from a topsy-turvy final round.

The winner's bag, which included a new fairway wood at Mexico City.

For a roundup of all the week's action, check out the March 5 Golfweek digital edition.

Thomas’s approach shot hole-out at 18: