This Phil Mickelson interview at Colonial with ‘Scoops Callahan’ may be his best ever

May 23, 2019

One of Phil Mickelson’s most spectacular wins on the PGA Tour came at Colonial, the site of this week’s Charles Schwab Challenge, in 2008, when he birdied the 72nd hole to win by one shot. It also led to one of his oddest interviews: A two-question back-and-forth with pseudo-old school reporter Scoops Callahan.

First, let’s get to that winning hole. Mickelson was in a share of the lead at the then-named Crowne Plaza Invitational as he stepped to No. 18 tee — and hit it left.

“Was that the famous U.S. Open…that left miss?” asked Nick Faldo on the broadcast.

Mickelson, facing a blind shot over trees and a bunker to a short-sided pin, hoisted a 64-degree that flew the perfect yardage, just carrying the front bunker and settling inside 10 feet. He poured it in from there, securing a one-shot win over Tim Clark and Rod Pampling.

It also set up a particularly strange post-round interview that went viral — and stands the test of time. Scoops Callahan, who fancies himself an old-school radio broadcaster (or something to that effect) got up close and personal with Lefty. I’d challenge you to watch this and not laugh.

For your personal use, here’s a transcript of the exchange.

Scoops Callahan: “Champ, champ! Was the key to winning today’s tournament bringing out the old Billy Baroo and sinking those putts like a Tommy Gun on Valentine’s Day?

Note: That’s champ, which is, I guess, what sporty people used to call each other. It’s also factually accurate, since Mickelson was, in fact, the champ. … “The old Billy Baroo” is a nod to Judge Smails’ putter in Caddyshack, which is a rather modern reference for Scoops, who generally sticks to the 1920s. … As for that vivid Tommy Gun reference? That nods back to the 1929 St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, a particularly gruesome chapter in Chicago’s history of gang violence.

Phil Mickelson: “Why are you yelling? You’re a foot from me.”

Callahan: Callahan from the Ticket here, Phil. Congratulations.

Mickelson: Thank you, Scoops. Y’know it was a fun round and to birdie the last hole to win by one was an awesome feeling…Scoops.”

Feel free to take a trek down the Scoops Callahan YouTube rabbit hole if you’re looking for top athletes tackling questions about “speakeasies,” “flapper girls,” or “doing the Charleston.”

Mickelson isn’t playing at this week’s Charles Schwab Challenge. Time will tell if Callahan, who has ID’d himself as being from “1310 The Ticket,” will resurface in Fort Worth.