Following Phil Mickelson's withdraw from last week's Memorial Tournament, the report first came out that he was suffering from "mental fatigue". Then it came to light, courtesy of post round interviews with his playing partners Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler, that Phil was distracted by camera phone pictures being taken.
Then just yesterday, it was reported that Mickelson was so irritated with the use of cell phone cameras, that he was text messaging PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem from the golf course, during his round.
Now the question here isn't whether or not Phil's irritation was warranted or not. Personally, I think it was. I've played plenty of golf with donks who have left their phones on ringer, rather than turning them off or putting them on silent, and it is extremely bothersome when you're standing over a shot, and one of their goddamn cell phones goes off.
And donks like me and Beaver from Sterling are playing $5 nassaus, not the millions of dollars guys like Phil and Rickie Fowler compete for, so I get where he's coming from.
But the way he handled himself during and after the round leaves much to be desired. And it poses some interesting questions and talking points- most of which seem to have been ignored by the mainstream sports media.
First and foremost, if the report of Phil's on course texting to the commissioner was true, that is where the absurdity starts.
Mickelson or Bones- his caddy, could have more easily nipped this in the bud by simply saying something to the multiple tour officials who walk around with them, and who are present on the grounds. Not only is it ironic that Lefty was using his own phone during a round to bitch about the fans using their phones, but it seems like it was the most inefficient way to resolve the problem.
Secondly, once it became common knowledge that Phil was irritated with the gallery phones, you can officially call bullshit on his "mental fatigue" excuse. You actually shouldn't have to look any further than at the fact that Mickelson was coming off a 2 week break, after finishing an impressive T-7 at the Byron Nelson, to know that he probably wasn't tired.
And if we're calling bullshit on Phil's reason for withdraw, I'd like to take a closer look at Phil's round, specifically his final 6 holes.
Phil finished his "mentally fatiguing" round last Thursday with 6 straight 5s on his card. Now I'm not sure if non-golf geeks will be able to put this into perspective, but for lack of better terms, 6 straight 5s for a pro- let alone a player of Mickelson's caliber, is f**king awful.
In fact, prior to Phil's run of 6 straight Joe DiMaggios, he bogeyed the Par 3 12th. So in summary, Lefty played the final 7 holes (+7), en route to his weekend hacker-like 79.
That is so bad- specifically his final 6 holes, that one might think Mickelson wasn't trying. However, nobody even thought to question it, and it seemed to fall by the wayside as soon as Mickelson jokingly told reporters that he hadn't had that many 5s on his scorecard, "since I was 5 (years old)."
Now here at Yack Central, we don't have Phil's career numbers relative to consecutive 5s on his scorecard. But I did look at Mickelson's 2012 season numbers, and in light of the cell phone frustration, and subsequent rage texting? to Commissioner Finchem, its our opinion that a frustrated Mickelson more or less said, "Fuck It, I'm out", by the time him and Bones rolled up to the 13th tee box.
Prior to last week's round, Mickelson had played 46 rounds, or 828 holes of golf. He was and still is 7th on the money list, he had already won at Pebble Beach, and had only missed one cut. During that span, the most consecutive 5's that he ever took during a single round was 4 (Round 1 of the Farmers Insurance at Torrey Pines, Mickelson's only MC all year), and that just happened once.
In fact, going into last Thursday's WD round at the Memorial, Mickelson had made three consecutive 5s or more just three times. That makes last week's 6 hole debacle by him seem even more unusual. Could Mickelson have had a 6 hole stretch of golf that was that bad? No.
And since I'm not buying the mentally fatigued excuse, I started wondering why more people in the media didn't buy it either, and why they weren't pointing out the obvious, which is that it appeared Phil quit.
Can you imagine if Tiger had gotten so bent out of shape about gallery cell phones, that he had pulled his own cell phone out during the middle of the round, and like a little baby (which is how the media would've described him), started text messaging the Commissioner of the sport?
And then what if Tiger would've finished that same round 5-5-5-5-5-5, to post a 79, and then following the round, he told reporters he was mentally fatigued, even after two weeks of rest, and that he was now withdrawing from the only tournament on the calender that has the greatest living golfer's name attached to it?
Tiger would've been crucified, thats what would've happened.
But there was no one waiting to nail Mickelson to the cross. In fact, and ironically enough, by Tiger winning his 73rd tournament- tying the host Nicklaus for 2nd in most tournament wins, Tiger overshadowed Mickelson's bout with mental fatigue, and in a way, Tiger bailed Lefty out. And by the time they hit the media center next week at the Olympic Club, you can rest assured that Mickelson's hexagon of 5s and his subsequent WD from The Golden Bear's tournament, will be long forgotten.
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