Monday, April 12, 2010

Why I Like Phil

If you listen to "My Two Cents" or the WOSH Morning News Focus regularly, you know that I am a Phil Mickelson fan. This weekend's Masters pretty much summed up why.

On Saturday, Phil absolutely electrified Augusta National by making an eagle on the par 5 13th with a perfect approach shot and a clutch putt. That was followed by another eagle at 14 by holing out his approach shot from 130+ yards out. And then the place very nearly came unglued when Phil barely missed a record third eagle in a row on the par 5 15th from just under a hundred yards.

And then on Sunday, Phil collected his third green jacket in the last seven years--managing to avoid a bogey in the final round--making just enough knee-knocker putts for pars--to hold the rest of the field at bay. And there to greet him after victory on the 18th green was his wife Amy--who could barely get out of bed as she undergoes treatment for breast cancer. I'm sure more than a few people switched out of the "Tiger Camp" and became "Phil Guys (or Gals)' for just that purpose.

But the reason I am a Phil fan came ealier in the day back on the 13th. After a wayward drive put Phil in trees just over 200 yards from the green all of the talking heads on CBS (and a couple of guys watching the tournament with me) were imploring Phil to lay-up--just punch out and try to reach the green in three rather than trying to pull off a nearly impossible shot. So what does Phil do? Of course, he goes for it--launching the ball through a four foot gap between two trees--landing it a yard past the creek guarding the front of the green and rolling it to about three feet from the hole.

And that is why I love Phil. Not because he pulled off the shot--but because he went for it. Sure, it could have been an absolute disaster--off a tree and back at him--or in the creek and it's good-bye Green Jacket. But as he admitted in his post round press conference--that thought never entered his mind. As soon as he saw he had an opening--there was no doubt in his mind that he was going for it. Even if he had put it in the water and lost the tournament, I would still be as big a fan today--because I too want to be the guy who "goes for it".

Too many of us are "laying up" today--or waiting for someone else to take the shot for us--and not enough are going for it. Somewhere along the line we were told that failure is a bad thing to be avoided at any cost. Better to not even try--or to wait until there are safety nets in place before we start living. Well I'm sick of "laying up"--I want to go for the green if there is any chance to make it. I hope that you are ready to do the same.

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