Mickelson is “the man” in every way that matters

Phil Mickelson did not just win his third Masters championship with a flawless final round 67 Sunday.
Mickelson won the heart of anyone lucky enough to have one with not only his prolonged and emotional post-round embrace with his cancer-stricken wife, Amy, who left her hotel bed for the first time all week to see her husband hold off Lee Westwood, Anthony Kim and long-time nemesis Tiger Woods.
Mickelson showed the world, including chairman Billy Payne and the rest of those stuffed shirt phonies that run The Masters, how to exude poise, grace, dignity and class under pressure.
“I wasn’t sure if she was going to be there,” Mickelson said. “We’ve been through a lot this year. It means a lot to share some joy together.”
Speaking of Payne, where does he get stones big enough to tell me (and you) who my (and your) heroes are during that atrocity of a pre-tournament address to the media last week?
Don’t know about you, but my heroes are dodging IEDs in Iraq and Afghanistan, rebuilding people’s lives in Haiti and Chile and are forever entombed at Ground Zero.
They aren’t playing golf inside some fertile bubble at Augusta, and they certainly aren’t knocking up XXX porn stars.
Lefty also showed Tiger a thing or two Sunday, and that lesson had nothing to do with those back-to-back eagles on the back-nine to begin his surge Saturday.
Mickelson’s dedication to family was not just a hollow soundbite used to help get him through a controlled press conference filled with reporters afraid to asked the really uncomfortable questions.
When Mickelson speaks you can see the sincerity in his eyes, hear it in his voice and admire it via his actions.
Whether it’s with the child-like exuberance he showed after holing that second eagle Saturday, the tear-jerking embrace with Amy Sunday, or lifting his youngest daughter to the sky on the 18th green after winning his first green jacket in 2004 and making sure she knew “daddy won,” Mickelson is a man’s man with big skill set and an even bigger heart.
“What you see from Phil is exactly who he is,” Mickelson caddie Jim “Bones” Mackay said Sunday. “He’s just a great guy.”
Head-to-head, on the course, my money is still on Woods to finish with a lower score.
But in just about every other way imaginable, Mickelson became my guy Sunday.
Quite certain I am not alone.

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