Even if your wife is the paragon of perfect health, you ignore her wishes at your own peril. If she’s oh, diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, “no” or “sorry” simply isn’t an option–especially with limited opportunities to fulfill her wishes.
So Phil Mickelson, in his second tournament back after his wife Amy’s diagnosis with breast cancer, is the overwhelming fan favorite to win the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black. It’s almost unfair what type of support he’s garnering; he’s already hugely popular in New York, and now sentiment will be overwhelming in light of his wife’s illness. And if he fails, he’s… well, he’d better not:
Phil Mickelson has arrived at the U.S. Open with a series of text messages and notes from wife Amy, who is home preparing to fight breast cancer.
“She has left me a number of notes, texts, cards, hints that she would like a silver trophy in her hospital room,” Mickelson said Wednesday. “I’m going to try to accommodate that.”
That is necessarily a reference to the Open trophy. Why? Because after this, according to the GUARDIAN, he’s not playing golf for a good, long while:
Phil Mickelson will probably skip next month’s British Open in order to be with his wife Amy as she undergoes breast cancer treatment.
“I’m putting everything I have into this week because I don’t anticipate being able to play for a little while,” Mickelson told reporters on the eve of the U.S. Open.
Asked if he was ruling out playing at the Turnberry championship which starts on July 16, the world number two said: “Most likely.”
In lots of ways, the Mickelson situation closely resembles Michigan State’s run at the NCAA basketball title this past March. Everyone’s pulling for them for reasons completely unrelated to the sport, wanting the dramatic storyline to carry them to a more meaningful title.
And yet, they’re facing long odds, odds that won easily in March - North Carolina absolutely mauled the Spartans - and probably will again this weekend. It’s nothing personal against Mickelson himself, of course; even before Amy’s cancer diagnosis, his own foibles have helped endear him to the “common” fan. You can’t not root for him. And yet, by the sheer laws of probability, the more emotion people attach to the tournament, the more they’re setting themselves up for what will, in all likelihood, be crushing disappointment.