TIM WILDMON: Mickelson's class act at Masters restores lost image of PGA Tour

By Tim Wildmon

Boy, it sure was great to see Phil Mickelson win his third Masters championship last Sunday. Mickelson is one of the good guys in professional golf and in the world of professional sports in general.
For years, Mickelson was considered the best golfer in the world never to have won a major tournament. He played in the shadow of Tiger Woods, who was won 14 majors. A “major,” for those who do not follow golf, is one of the four tournaments played in a calendar year that are the standard by which players are judged. Only the legendary Jack Nicklaus has won more majors than Woods, having totaled 18, far and away the most of any golfer since the 1950s. Now, Mickelson has won four and has to be considered one of the top 10 males who has ever teed it up.
What made last weekend’s win at The Masters so special was the fact that Mickelson’s wife, Amy, has been fighting breast cancer, As has Phil’s mom. That is a heavy load for anyone to carry, but the Mickelson family has done so with class and grace. Amy, who stayed away from the tournament the first three days, was there to embrace her husband as he came off the 18th green to claim the traditional green jacket. Again, his third.
Mickelson used to be known as a “choker.” That is a derogatory term often misused by sports fans meant to imply that the person folds under pressure. If that picture of Phil were ever warranted in the first place, it certainly can never be said of him again. In fact, quite the opposite can be said. He is a money player, a role model and, by all accounts, a wonderful family man with three children.
After all the slime and sleaze the PGA has had to endure with the world’s #1 player the last few months, I know the golf world is pleased that a positive image will take center stage for at least the next few weeks.

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I know we are nearly a month removed from the health care debate in Congress, but I have to revisit it for some classic quotes from of some of the best and brightest our country as to offer. Let’s take Florida Democrat Alcee Hastings – a once-impeached federal judge – for starters. He sits on the House Rules Committee. As the members of this committee were trying to determine the rules for the process the House would use to get to a vote Hastings, angered at his GOP counterparts, uttered these words, according to online columnist Mark Whittington, “There ain’t no rules here, we’re trying to accomplish something … All this talk about rules… When the deal goes down … we make ‘em up as we go along.”
Then from the Land of Lincoln comes this story. Confronted by an angry constituent with a camera, U.S. Rep. Phil Hare, D-Ill., told other constituents at a town hall that he doesn’t care whether the new health care law violates the Constitution, as some critics have claimed. When asked which part of the Constitution authorizes the government to mandate that all Americans buy a private product such as health insurance, Hare replied: “I don’t worry about the Constitution on this.”
And from the great state of Michigan, powerful and bluntly honest Congressman John Dingell (D) had this to say about implementing the federal government’s takeover of the health care industry by the year 2014: ”Let me remind you this has been going on for years. We are bringing it to a halt. The harsh fact of the matter is when you’re going to pass legislation that will cover 300 (million) American people in different ways it takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people.”
Control the people? I guess that is what all this is about. Again, have to give him points for honesty.
And finally, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro was himself giddy about the passage of the health care bill here in the states and sent congratulations to President Obama with this quote: “We consider health reform to have been an important battle and a success of his (Obama’s) government.” Castro went on to pat himself on the back, contrasting our backwards country with his paradise of the people: “It is really incredible that 234 years after the Declaration of Independence … the government of that country has approved medical attention for the majority of its citizens, something that Cuba was able to do half a century ago.”
What are those Cubans thinking – fleeing their native utopia on makeshift rafts to escape Castro’s caring and compassionate regime?

Tim Wildmon, a resident of Baldwyn, writes as a community columnist. Contact him at twildmon@afa.net.