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Entries in Phil Mickelson (2)


What Tiger Could Have Said

Tiger Woods

World's Greatest Golfer Just Doesn't Get It

One Great Season

The 2010 Masters tournament is in the record books and Phil Mickelson has won his third Green Jacket.

But what inquiring minds want to know is … what kind of a jerk is Tiger Woods?

The most obvious next question is how many kinds of jerks are there, but let's not digress.

When interviewed by CBS' Peter Kostis after signing his scorecard, Tiger was asked some questions about what happened to him on the course and his emotional mindset. Tiger could have said, "Well Peter, if you haven't heard, I've had some problems at home lately and I've been away from the game for a while, so I guess it showed."


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Possibly that would have been something to endear him to his nay-sayers, but instead Tiger fumed and said, "I lost. It's that simple."

Kostis stayed with the subject and further inquired about the difference between shutting off all emotions and maybe when that didn't work, possibly channeling some of those emotions back into his golf swing.

Tiger could have replied, "Well Peter, I tried my best out there today and you know the Masters. Sometimes the more you push the harder it gets and well, I was just happy to be part of it all today. The folks here at Augusta -- the galleries and the tournament organizers -- went out of their way to make me feel welcome here this week and I thank them for their dedication to the tournament and the game itself."

Instead, he said, "Every time I tee it up I expect to win and that didn't happen. So that's about it. I'll have to go back and re-evaluate a few things."

So what Kostis could have said might have been something like, "Well Tiger I guess one of the things you'll have to re-evaluate is how to improve your immature behavior on the course. At times you looked like a 14-year-old out there, whining and complaining because things weren't going your way. But maybe you should also re-evaluate how other people such as Gary Player, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus have always spoken about how great the game has been to them and how they just hope that they have been able to give back a little." But Kostis didn't go there.

But if he did, then Tiger could have said, "Yea, I guess you're right Peter."

For Tiger to not act like some kind of jerk would have taken some class and, it's pretty obvious to those inquiring minds that well, he's no Phil Mickelson.

McIntosh is a New York-based writer and publisher of the McIntosh Golf Guides.


Moral Victory Just As Memorable As Masters Win For Mickelson

Phil Mickelson

Tiger Falls Short At Augusta And In Interviews

One Great Season

I learned my lesson about moral victories nearly 20 years ago. After my Cincinnati Bearcats nearly beat a highly ranked Penn State football team, I bumped into some UC players I knew as I was leaving a bar and they were walking in about 90 minutes after almost pulling off the improbable upset.

I can't recall if I tried to steal a page from Knute Rockne, but I do remember knocking that speech out of the park. Or maybe it was weak as hell. I told the fellas I knew they weren't just trying to be competitive; they thought they were good enough to win. And they were that night. Just a year after that 81-0 debacle in State College, Tim Murphy's men were poised to be better than Joe Paterno's squad on that Saturday night.

And although Cincinnati lost, I told those Cats I was proud to be a UC student and surely so were thousands more. Instead of drinking the usual 16 beers that night, my dudes and me probably downed 20 each and a few shots, too.

But again, moral victories are supposed to be for losers seeking silver linings, right? Tiger Woods hates silver linings.

The world's greatest golfer finished eleven under par at the Masters Sunday. I repeat, eleven under par this weekend after 72 holes at Augusta. In his first competiton since before Thanksgiving more than four months ago, Woods finished tied for fourth place out of the 48 golfers who beat the cut. He was all over the course for much of Sunday, yet until the final six or eight holes remained in contention to win his fifth Green Jacket at what is arguably the most prestigious event on the PGA tour each year.

And yet the man who claimed he was going to dial back his habit of vulgarities and basically be more fan-friendly couldn't help but resort to being his usual self: a complete a-hole with no sense of perspective.

Tiger spent 45 days in sex rehab around the new year after his high-profile dalliances with celebrity-seeking whores. He could certainly use some therapy, but not for his womanizing and his unfaithfulness -- for that I propose another seven-letter remedy called divorce. Instead, he could benefit from some professional advice on how to act like a man.

Shortly after his final round Sunday, Woods put on a concrete face, which is to say that he changed nothing, and told a gaggle of reporters afterward: "I came here to win the event and I finished fourth. I made way too many mistakes."

Dude, we get it. You're one of the most competitive guys out there and you have a deep desire to be the best at any competition. That's great. You are certainly the best golfer of our time and will eventually be the best ever, and even at the age of just 34, you are one of the most recognized people on the globe.

If I was lucky enough to spend five minutes alone in a room with Woods, after asking for a few of his groupies' phone numbers, I'd never dare to preach to him the importance of embracing moral victories. He finished fourth in his first golf tournament after a long layoff and an embarrassing personal turd-in-the-punch-bowl. Most of us would be thrilled at such an outcome, but Tiger Woods is far more than just a long par five away from most of us.

We often think it's impressive when we hear former athletes talk about the glory days and tell interviewers things like, "Yeah, Michael hated to lose more than anybody I ever saw. He'd want to fight you if you just beat him in checkers on the plane." Is that seriously supposed to be cute?

We teach children about good sportsmanship and frown upon the idea of being a sore loser. But with adults, we talk about that fiery competitor who really wants to win. Don't we all want to win?

The funny thing is that even the guy who won, the guy who once was regarded as the good, happy golfer who could never win the big one, soft-breasted Phil Mickelson, now has three green jackets in his closet to Tiger's four. And it looks like Mickelson could not possibly care less. Had the roles been reversed Sunday, Mickelson would have been more of a gentleman in defeat than Tiger in victory. The man sometimes referred to as FIGJAM has fun, he smiles and unlike Tiger, he knows how to pull off a high-five with his caddie.

It also appears Mickelson knows how to play through adversity. You see, there's this thing called cancer; both his wife and mother are fighting it. And had Mickelson not won the Masters Sunday, that tender, post-round embrace with wife Amy still would have taken place, just maybe not in front of a CBS camera. And then Lefty would have given Kostis an interview that, if you were to set your TV on mute, would have still looked like an interview with the champion. That's because even a moral victory can make a good man feel like a winner.