It was a few years ago, before Phil Mickelson – playing like the best golfer in the world then – would win a U.S. Open at Winged Foot all the way until late Sunday afternoon, all the way until he missed one more fairway with a driver that was behaving that day about as well as Tiger Woods on date night, all the way until he got behind a tree left of the 72nd fairway that looked like the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.
He tried to go over the tree. Of course he did. He’s Mickelson, which means the Arnold Palmer of his time. His ball hit the tree and he ended up making a double and lost another Open he should have won.
This was a few days before that and Mickelson was walking out of an interview through the parking lot and I was with him, asking a question:
“How come when Tiger loses, it’s because the poor guy didn’t bring his ‘A’ game and when you lose, you’re some kind of choking dog?”
Mickelson laughed and said, “Welcome to my world.”