On Monday, a remorseful Mickelson opened up about the U.S. Open controversy he stirred up a couple weeks ago at Shinnecock Hills on the 13th green. This was lefty's first public appearance since that moment, although he did apologize via text to reporters a few days later.
He was at Soldier Field for the KPMG Windy City Skills Challenge that benefits youth and KPMG's Future Leaders Program (fitting the people's champ really lead the narrative for the U.S. Open!).
Mickelson expressed, “It took me a few days to kind of let my anger and frustration of the whole thing subside to where I could see clearer that it wasn’t the greatest moment. And since I apologized, the best thing I can do now is help promote the game in a positive way, which is why I’m here today.”
Of Course Phil wants to receive some positive media commentary about him, and whether or not this controversy happened I still believe Mickelson would be at this event trying to promote the game anyways. I was a little frustrated with Todd Lewis asking whether or not he thought this would tarnish his legacy, however.
Obviously, Phil isn't going to think so. The guy has 43 PGA Tour wins that include 3 green jackets, a PGA Championship , & an Open Championship. That's pretty good! Not to mention 6 second place finishes in the U.S. Open that would have completed the grand slam for Phil if he were to have won any of those.
When Phil said, “I certainly wasn’t thinking of that at the time, but I have pretty thick skin. I will probably hear about this for some time," He was aware that this would follow him for a long time perhaps but, he's also aware that this isn't going to define the man or golfer he is.
Phil's legacy isn't in any harm whatsoever in my opinion. Golf fans all around the world love Mickelson and it will continue to stay that way. Media reporters even reported that the little kids were chanting 'Phil! Phil Phil!' and giving him just as much if not more attention than some of the Chicago Bears football players that were also at the skills challenge.
He's the people's champ for a reason, “Fortunately, I can take it and hopefully at some point we will be able to laugh about it.”
I hope so too, Phil.