Mickelson inspired by wife

The U.S. Open might have one tough act to follow. Tiger Woods was pure theatre at Torrey Pines last year, playing on a left leg so badly injured that the U.S. Open turned out to be his last event of the year.

Phil Mickelson signs autographs following his practice round for the U.S. Open Golf Championship at Bethpage State Park's Black Course in Farmingdale

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — The U.S. Open might have one tough act to follow.

Tiger Woods was pure theatre at Torrey Pines last year, playing on a left leg so badly injured that the U.S. Open turned out to be his last event of the year. He made two eagles on the final six holes in prime time Saturday to take the lead, forced a playoff with a 12-foot birdie putt on the final hole Sunday, then battled Rocco Mediate over 19 holes to capture his 14th career major.

“I’m not sure we can duplicate that drama,” USGA president Jim Vernon said Wednesday.

Try telling that to thousands of fans who trudged through the soggy turf of Bethpage Black for five hours on the final day of practice, all because it was their first glimpse of Phil Mickelson.

The New York gallery has always loved Lefty, even as he broke their hearts with runner-up finishes in the U.S. Open at Bethpage in 2002, Shinnecock Hills in 2004 and Winged Foot in 2006 with that double bogey on the final hole.

The support now is louder and more tangible than ever.

Mickelson wasn’t even sure he could return to Bethpage Black upon learning last month that his wife, Amy, had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Only after getting some optimistic news that the cancer might have been caught early did Mickelson feel comfortable leaving California in search of a major that has caused him so much grief.

How much he plays the rest of the year depends on what doctors find then his wife has surgery two weeks after the U.S. Open.

“I’m putting everything I have into this week, because I don’t anticipate being able to play for a little while,” Mickelson said. “And the fact that my normal support system — Amy and the kids and so forth — aren’t going to make the trip this week, I’m kind of hoping to feel that support to help me through the week.”

Mickelson started his practice round on the 10th tee, the farthest corner of Bethpage Black, yet they were waiting for him. He wore a pink ribbon sewn into his white cap, and some of the fans also wore pink. It was the largest crowd of the week when he made the turn, every grandstand full, every step accompanied by applause.

This was for a practice round Wednesday, typically a quiet day on the eve of the U.S. Open. Imagine the energy if Lefty works his way into contention on Sunday, with his wife at home facing such uncertainty.

Mickelson found inspiration from so many messages from his wife.

“She has left me a number of little notes, texts, cards, hints, that she would like to have a silver trophy in her hospital room,” Mickelson said. “So I’m going to try to accommodate that.”

Just Posted

Forest fire smoke alert for Central Alberta

Poor air quality and reduced visibility

Ponoka liquor store robbed

One suspect charged so far

Women’s Outreach looking for school supplies for low income Central Albertans

With the back-to-school season upon us, Women’s Outreach is looking to the… Continue reading

Red Deerian spreads kindness with one card at a time

One Red Deerian wants to combat bullying by spreading kindness in the… Continue reading

Men posing as repo men attempt to steal vehicle in Red Deer County

Two men attempted to steal a utility vehicle from a Red Deer… Continue reading

WATCH: Annual Family Picnic at Central Spray and Play

Blue Grass Sod Farms Ltd. held the Annual Family Picnic at the… Continue reading

Turning on Trump doesn’t buy credibility for black Americans

WASHINGTON — For years, Omarosa Manigault Newman stood at Donald Trump’s side,… Continue reading

Senior Chinese monk accused of sexual misconduct quits post

BEIJING — One of China’s most high-profile Buddhist monks has resigned from… Continue reading

Priests molested 1,000 children in Pennsylvania, report says

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A priest raped a 7-year-old girl while he was… Continue reading

Death toll hits 39 in Italy bridge collapse; blame begins

GENOA, Italy — Italian emergency workers pulled two more bodies out of… Continue reading

Constellation Brands spending $5 billion to increase stake in Canopy Growth

SMITH FALLS, Ont. — Constellation Brands has signed a deal to invest… Continue reading

Women-owned businesses generate $68,000 less revenue than men’s: survey

TORONTO — When Dionne Laslo-Baker sought a bank loan to expand her… Continue reading

Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard’s alleged sex offences case returns to court

TORONTO — The case of Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard, who faces three… Continue reading

Fredericton woman recounts terrifying moments after gunshots rang out

FREDERICTON — She awoke to the crack of gunfire, the shots fired… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month