Lucas Glover won the 109th US Open Golf Tournament. A remarkable accomplishment, arguably one of the most difficult in sport.
My friend Phil Mickelson failed to win the allusive US Open Championship (again). Phil has taken a lot of grief in his golfing career for not training hard enough (he is some what portly), making bad choices (put the driver away!), and for lacking a killer instinct (why can't we all be a Tiger). He has been characterized as a disappointment - a man full of potential but the aforementioned short comings his Achilles heel. The chubby guy is always a top money winner but his performance in major championships has been called a result of lack of focus when the chips are down. The awkward left hander has been seen too many times with his hat over his eyes teeming with regret and frustration for executing perfectly on 71 of 72 holes.
Despite the barrage of criticism Phil has always remained positive: a dimpled smile and words of encouragement through a camera to himself.
But a few weeks back at the St. Jude Classic Phil Mickelson broke down into tears at a press conference. "...there are times when I am alone in my car and I can't keep myself from crying...", he proclaimed. The tears not an effect of lack of effort or focus but the effect of the news that his beloved wife Amy has breast cancer.
At Beth Page Black, Mr. Glover hoisted a silver trophy over his head...to polite hand claps. The real ovation came from the good people of New York as 'Lefty' Phil Mickelson stormed the fair ways. Fathers and Sons stood to their feet to applaud him on Father's Day, young ladies watched him as their mother's whispered in their ears that he is a father of three little girls like them, and everyone stopped for a moment to raise their cup to a man who is more than an athlete.
So in the last few months Lefty has revealed himself to us: A husband and dad first, a golfer second. He lacks killer instinct at times, he makes bad club selection and he could stand to do some sit ups. But Phil Mickelson appreciates the privilege of being a father and a husband and when his wife got sick he put down his clubs to be by her side.
There has never been more pressure in our lives to perform at the highest level...there has never been a time when excuses are less excusable. To paraphrase Phil "...Amy had told me that she would like a sliver trophy by her hospital bed...I thought I had a chance to win today, I made every effort to do that and it didn't work out...and that's OK..."
Don't Forget to Remember!