Why playing at Torrey Pines this year could make Phil Mickelson a very bitter man

Sharon Wong


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Phil Mickelson might be far from his usual cheerful self as he plays at Torrey Pines, where his good memories have been tainted by a sticky situation with some bureaucratic red tape. As a native of San Diego, Mickelson has cultivated a healthy appreciation for the beautiful golf course and wanted to do his bit to make it an even better place. However, his ongoing plans to become a designer for the even more stunning Torrey Pines North were eventually shelved by the California Fair Political Practice Commission in September and given instead to one Tom Weiskopf. After a direct snub like that, you can’t blame the man for being somewhat bitter.

“It’s certainly disappointing for me, but I understand the politics of it all…” Mickelson tried to put on a good face before faltering, “Actually, I don’t understand the politics of it at all. It makes no sense. I think it’s terrible business practices, but it’s what we live with here.”

So what was the hold-up? Apparently, he was involved in some preliminary discussions to improve the North Course, a decision which directly disqualified him. It’s an inexplicable rule of the CFPPC’s that you can’t bid on a project if you have anything to do with its preliminary work. Their reasoning makes as much sense to us as it does to Phil Mickelson.

“I love Torrey Pines. I want to see it continue to create memories and moments in people’s lives, families playing together, friends playing together. It’s certainly disappointing that I won’t be part of it.”