You know you are a big fan when you can remember where you were when a player had something big happen in their career and I can remember being at my mother’s home watching The Masters in 2004 and hoping Phil Mickelson might finally win.
Watching it was nerve-racking and I actually felt on-edge because “Lefty” (that’s his nickname) had come so close to winning a major so many times and had not won a major since his career began in 1992. So in 2004, at that point in his career, he was known as the best player to have never won a major. When he won, I remember feeling actual joy — cheering & clapping & yelling “finally” out loud. He went on to win two more green jackets (2006 and 2010) and I hope he wins another before his career ends.
By the way, it is not easy to win multiple jackets — Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods have four and the legendary Jack Nicklaus has six green jackets. Not many people think anyone will break Jack’s record; especially given the number of young players challenging seasoned pros that have been playing poorly.
So why am I a “Lefty” Fan? Originally he caught my eye because he was so creative and daring in his sort game (I love to watch him hit a flop shot) and he can be very inconsistent with wild shots of the tee (so that adds drama to his game). He was the one player during the height of Tiger’s era that really was a “rival” of Tiger’s and that made the game exciting. Over the years he has not only been entertaining on course but in watching him “off course” (with fans and the press) he just seemed like one of the “good guys.”
In recent years, he has had adversity in his personal life — both his wife and mother were diagnosed with breast cancer (something that hits home for me because my mother had breast cancer) and in 2010 he announced he has psoriatic arthritis. Sounds awful but he says it is “treatable” and is now a spokesperson on TV and has lent his name to a website, On Course With Phil.
By the way, Callaway Golf sponsors Phil and I guess I am a marketer’s dream because I am a Callaway consumer (so much so that my friends gave me a new Callaway golf bag as a gift). I even have GalCallaway as my user name for Fantasy Golf and Twitter.
So needless to say, I am a huge fan and will be cheering for “Lefty” in 2012.