Phil Mickelson withdraws from ING Par-3 Shootout at Treetops
Phil Mickelson’s fans and foes alike are wondering how his collapse in the final round of the 2006 U.S. Open is affecting him, and will affect his game (if at all) for the rest of the season (and beyond).
“I’m sorry to have to miss the ING Par-3 Shootout,” said Mickelson, who finished tied for second at last week’s U.S. Open. “It’s always about having fun and I didn’t think it was fair to the event to act like I could have a lot of fun right now. I talked with the producers of the event and asked to be replaced if possible. Fortunately, ESPN was very accommodating.”
Replacing Mickelson, who has finished second in the event five times and has won $960,000 in it over the seven years, is the only player to compete in the Shootout all seven years since its inception. The Shootout takes place over two days, and is played on the Threetops par-3 course at the resort. This year, the event will air same-day tape-delayed on ESPN2 Monday, June 26, from 10 p.m.-midnight ET and Tuesday, June 27 from 8 p.m.-10 p.m. ET.
This made for TV event may seem like a blip on the radar, but I know personally that Mickelson loves going up to Treetops. He generally makes the trip into a family vacation, often bringing along his wife, his parents, and his brother and his family. One year, while I was covering the event, I had a very pleasant chat with the elder Mickelson. Another year, Phil picked me up in his golf cart during the pro-am and allowed me to ride with him the entire round, chatting about family, golf, and psychology (his major in college).
Heck, he likes Treetops so much that he became co-owner of the resort in 2002 with his friend and instructor Rick Smith.
So while his withdrawal from this event is not exactly on par with Tiger’s withdrawal from The Memorial, it speaks volumes about his present emotional state.
And you don’t need a psychology degree to be able to figure that out.
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That's a journalistic double-bogey for me.