As Tiger Woods walked off the golf course after yet another blah round, a kid waiting in line for Mickelson’s autograph yelled, “Say goodbye to No. 1, Tiger! Kiss it goodbye.”
According to Steve Elling, Phil said to the boy, “Be polite.”
Ouch. I know, I know, everybody loves Phil because he’s such a class act. No word whether Phil said that with a straight face.
Meanwhile, he got a little testy when reporters wouldn’t stop asking him about surpassing Tiger as the number-one ranked player. From his press conference:
Q. At any point in your career, whether it was because where Tiger was with the ranking or where you were in your career, did you think that No. 1 was not possible for you or not going to happen?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don’t know why you keep asking about that. I mean, we’re right in the middle of a tournament here. That’s the last thing on my mind right now. I’m trying to get ready for tomorrow’s round and again, get in striking distance, and you keep changing the subject.
Yeah, guys, don’t jinx him! Perhaps he just didn’t like how the question was worded. We all know Phil would love nothing other than to taking over as world’s number one. But can he do it? He has to come back from a five-stroke deficit and Tiger has to finish outside of the top-five. Well, the second half of that is pretty much a given. Who knows, Phil or Tiger could “pull a McIlroy or Ryo.”
If I’m a gambling gal, I don’t put my money on either. I know Phil is playing really well, but there’s a lot room for error on those final two holes, like missing the island green on 17 or pushing it into the drink off the tee on 18. If the wind starts blowing and Phil needs to finish birdie-birdie for a chance to win (and become number one), well, let’s just say I hope he stays dry. Maybe I’m just pessimistic, though. But, really, I’m biased.