A couple of links for your perusal:
Okay, first off, I agree totally that the kind of flack Phil Mickelson’s been getting is flat-out insane, and I find the inordinate weight given to the four “majors” (something the PGA itself doesn’t do) just mind-blowing. Let me also say for the record that it’s silly to make any sweeping pronouncements about a golfer who’s 31 years old. People, 31 in golf is like 16 in basketball; he’s just getting warmed up. Arnold Palmer is 72 years old, he got embarrassed out of the Masters for the 19th straight year, and only now is he even considering retirement.
What I will not buy, however, is the idea that playing conservatively, or settling for a top-3 or even top-10 finish, or hitting a layup shot anytime, anywhere (didn’t someone beat Mickelson with a layup on the 18th one time?) is evil. Good lord, you can get heckled for hitting a layup shot these days. Never mind that there’s a lake in front of the green and foot-deep rough behind it…no, apparently fundamentals like hitting fairways and hitting greens are too “boring” for the modern game.
Sweet Jesus…I always saw golf as one of the sports where you didn’t have to be a huge, grunting, macho-meathead Neanderthal. Where you had to think your way through each hole, and where having the strength of Hercules didn’t matter a lick if you couldn’t land the ball on the right surface. Of course Retief Goosen was boring…the whole game is boring. That’s something you have to live with. And it’d be a travesty if everyone turned into a free-swinging, grip-it-and-rip-it lunatic who didn’t give a damn where the ball landed. (Aside: Have any of you John Daly apologists actually seen his recent record? He’s starting to make Jean Van De Velde look good.)
And I don’t want to hear any nonsense about “picking up paychecks” being a crime against humanity. First off, they need the money, because that’s what determines who gets to keep their PGA Tour cards (the top 125 on the money list make it). And second, there’s a lot of money at stake, and every miss hurts. Mickelson himself recently missed a par putt which ended up costing him about $78,000. Even for a gambler like him, it can be tough to live with those kinds of losses.