I spent Wednesday morning at The Country Club expecting to find a mob of fans chasing Phil Mickelson down the fairway with torches.
I mean that was the media’s storyline, right?
Oddly, I couldn’t find a single spectator who sounded anything like the foaming-at-the-mouth media assassins, such as Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee, Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch, USA Today’s Christine Brennan and the Washington Post’s Sally Jenkins.
Instead, the love for the left-handed legend was overwhelming and irrefutable, as shown in this video from Golf Digest.
A lot of love for Lefty at The Country Club. 👍 pic.twitter.com/iNOsY5l6AR
— Golf Digest (@GolfDigest) June 14, 2022
The most critical response I heard came from Mark of Somerville, Mass., who said, “I don’t agree with his decision.” But quickly added, “I still respect him, though – he’s been great for the game.”
Other spectators said they were on the fence, but the media’s cancel campaign made them more sympathetic to Phil.
“I was sort of split from the start but the way they’ve treated him is disgusting – as if he’s a criminal,” said Kathy from Lynnfield, Mass. “It’s despicable that they actually tried to tie him to 9/11 – that was the ‘jump the shark’ for the media, in my opinion.”
Many also brought up the media’s white-washing of China’s sports-washing.
“All sports people and teams are in bed with China, and they are far worse than Saudi Arabia, yet we get nothing from the media about the China connections. It’s selective outrage,” added her friend Jim, a software engineer from Danvers, Mass.
“Doesn’t the PGA [Tour] play in China?”
(Yes, they do, and it goes far beyond a single golf tournament.)
“The media is the enemy of the people,” blurted Tom from Dedham, Mass., who was holding a hot dog in one hand and a soda in the other, when I asked his thoughts.
He added, “I love Phil!”
He kept walking.
The response was similar last month at Southern Hills.
A full report of the survey’s questions will be posted later this evening.