My latest column for Sympatico tries to cut through the hyperbole about Phil Mickelson’s play and ask the bigger question: Is Phil really a rival for Tiger?
Here’s a taste:
Any time Tiger Woods wins it is good for golf. Could it be equally beneficial when he loses?
That surely isn’t always the case “ think Y.E. Yang and the PGA Championship. But when the world’s top golfer goes mano-a-mano with Phil Mickelson, the second-best player on the planet, as happened at the HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai, China, last weekend, a loss might actually help the sport more than Woods cruising to another expected win.
It is rare for Woods to want to flee from a golf course after a final round. About one-third of the time he’s forced to hang around, gathering trophies and those phony big cheques, posing for pictures and answering questions about yet another win.
That wasn’t the case on Sunday, when a final round 72 dropped him from second and into a tie for sixth, well behind Mickelson, with whom he was partnered with during the final round of the HSBC.
“I just want to get out of here,” Woods told the media after the round. He fled to Australia where he has received a reported $3-million appearance fee to play in the Australian Masters this week.
“Today was anything that could go wrong went front for me today,” Woods said in his characteristically blunt assessment of his play. “Just one of those days.”
Full column can be found at the Three Off The Tee site at Sympatico.