How are Amy and the kids? I saw that you are looking to sell the Rancho Santa Fe house. I hope you didn’t get caught up in the credit crunch. Although the remnants of Hurricane Ike blew through Kentucky and made a mess of Valhalla, crews are hard at work making repairs for you and your teammates.
Speaking of the Ryder Cup, a lot of people are saying that this is the strongest European team ever, and that the Americans are bigger underdogs than Troy at Ohio State. But instead of worrying about getting trounced again, American golf fans from sea to shining sea are hoping that you look at this Ryder Cup as a potentially career-defining week.
Here are three reasons why this is a great opportunity for you:
1. This Ryder Cup could save you season. You’re the second-ranked player in the world, and after Tiger Woods went down with his knee injury, everyone thought you would become the BMOC. Instead, you’ve been MIA. Almost any other player would call a season that included wins at Colonial and Riviera a success, but you’re not Jay Williamson, Marco Dawson or J.P. Hayes—you’re Phil The Thrill! We expect more from you, and we know that you expect more from yourself. Light it up at Valhalla and you can finish your 2008 campaign on a high note.
2. The United States needs a ‘Mr. Ryder Cup.’ Walter Hagan went 7-1-1 when playing in the Ryder Cup. Arnold Palmer was 22-8-2, Jack Nicklaus was 17-8-3, Lee Trevino was 17-7-6 and Hale Irwin was 13-5-2. These players not only won majors, they dominated in the Ryder Cup.
In your generation, there hasn’t been a Ryder Cup stud that the United States could depend on. Europe always knew it would get a great performance from Seve Ballesteros, Colin Montgomerie and Darren Clarke. Sergio Garcia always brings his best game to the Ryder Cup too.
If you start a run of great Ryder Cup play this week, your legend will grow even if you never win a fourth major.
3. This is a chance for you to outshine Tiger. EA Sports doesn’t make a Phil Mickelson video game. You don’t have your own Gatorade flavors. The press doesn’t get alerted about what clothing you’ll be wearing at Augusta. But if you win four points and lead the United States to an upset win, you’ll be a bigger star than Tiger. At least for a day or two.