Phil Mickelson slid out of the U.S. Open on the oil slick he oozed in on not a penny richer from his appearance in Brookline, Mass. He missed the cut after a 3-over round Friday that put him at +11 after 36 holes, and if you don’t make it to the final two days of the tournament, you don’t get a cent toward your outstanding gambling debts.
It’s not a fair practice, and isn’t great for lesser players without a bank account full of blood money. However, I’ll make an exception for Mickelson and the nine other LIV tour golfers who didn’t get a (legit) payday.
It hasn’t been a great showing for any LIV player, with 10 of 15 current or soon-to-be LIV members no longer playing. The most notable names outside of Mickelson were Sergio Garcia, Kevin Na, and Louis Oosthuizen. Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed performed the best with each sitting at +1.
Declining to talk to the media until Friday, Johnson broke his silence after making the cut, and perhaps the shunning should’ve continued.
“I haven’t really noticed any difference,” he said after the round. “Obviously, any time coming to a U.S. Open, it’s a great event. You know it’s going to be a good one. Felt like I’m playing pretty well. Just need to tighten it up just a little bit come the weekend.”
It’s a pretty harmless quote on first read, then you realize you’re so numb to the way rich people normalize capitalism at any cost that you weren’t bothered by Johnson’s dismissal. Not noticing a difference is the problem. Just because your dreams aren’t haunted by the ghost of Saudi present doesn’t mean your conscience should be clear.
That’s behavior befitting a sociopath, kind of like Mickelson saying, “I missed competing, but I also enjoyed some time away” after finishing a major tournament in which he and his LIV mercenaries hijacked. No one wants to hear that you had a splendid holiday. They want stories of a man wrestling with this decision.
He also “spoke” via a USGA transcript because he didn’t talk to the media following Friday’s round. Great way to insulate Leftie, guys. It’s almost as sickening as the fans who complimented his calves and wished him a happy birthday. Per the transcript, Mickelson praised the golf supporters at the US Open.
“The fans here have always been terrific, and they really support all sports. I love it when we bring golf here because they create a really special atmosphere.”
Thankfully, a few unafraid Massholes gave him the “You think you’re better than me” treatment. One yelled, “Ya sellout!” while another asserted “Greed is good, Phil! Greed is good!” according to Golf Digest.
There also was an audible “Boo!” on the tee box at No. 6 on Thursday, followed by a “We hate you Phil!” (Another admonished Mickelson for blocking him on Twitter, which is one way to blow an opportunity.)
That said, those outspoken hecklers were outliers, according to the Golf Digest article, which is no shock to anyone who covers sports. Fans are more than happy to overlook surreptitious behavior of their favorite athletes and lend the kind of support that makes it easier for LIV golfers to come to grips with their unholy crusade.
There’s no number of massage therapist lawsuits that’ll get every fan to believe Deshaun Watson did the atrocious things he’s accused of doing. And the LIV players broke no law, so it’s lunacy to expect enough golf enthusiasts to make the major tournaments so uncomfortable for the LIV contingent that they don’t want to return.
I’d love it if Richard Kiel and a blood-thirsty gallery chased every immoral asshole off the grounds of The Country Club in slow motion. That was never going to happen, though, and after the anger subsides, the scorn of signing onto the LIV tour will be a greasy footnote like the ones that accompany the careers of so many athletes whose awful choices got excused.
All there is left to do is be extremely petty and take even more pleasure in things like Phil and a bunch of his cronies missing the cut and leaving the U.S. Open with nothing but Ls as souvenirs.