Phil Mickelson, who we just learned had a second sports hernia surgery per a tweet from Jason Sobel, is now on the “no timetable for return” plan for 2017.
Phil Mickelson has undergone a second surgery for sports hernia since the end of last season. There is no specific timetable for his return.
— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelESPN) December 13, 2016
So for all the Phil Phanatics drying their tears, here’s a Mickelson story courtesy of Bones Mackay. Lefty’s long-serving looper appeared on the No Laying Up podcast and offered this vintage anecdote regarding his employer.
First, an important bit of context for this story: Phil is a really good tipper and throws around more cash than a rapper at a strip club. Also, locker room and bag room staff make serious bank during pro tournaments.
So, the scene: Phil Mickelson has just won the 2004 Masters. Take it away, Bones.
“There we are, he’s won the Masters, it’s 6:30 on a Sunday evening and I don’t see this guy for like three or four hours…So I’m sitting in this parking lot or near it outside the Augusta National clubhouse and it must have been 10 o’clock. I look out to his car and I see some figures, it’s pitch dark out there, and it’s Phil and these two or three other people around him.
“So I walk up there to kind of help with packing the bag, and as I walk up to him I see these guys are hugging Phil. They’re not just hugging him, it’s like an emotional hug. … I’m like, ‘Man, who are these guys hugging Phil?’
“It turns out these are the guys that work in the lower locker room at Augusta National (that) Phil’s been tipping all these years and taking such good care of. Now that Phil’s won the Masters he’s going to the champions locker room and these guys are losing him forever and they’re just devastated. So they’re hugging it out in the parking lot and I thought, ‘That’s really cool.’”
As Bones said, Mickelson as a Masters winner, (because Augusta National is Augusta National) would be moving to the champions locker room for future competitions, far removed from the peons in the general locker room.
Now there are two readings of Bones’ tale, depending on your level of cynicism: Either the guys were sad they wouldn’t be seeing their friend in the years ahead, or they were upset about the ramifications of Mickelson’s departure for their bank balances.