Saturday, February 2, 2013

Mickelson Misses: We Lose

Phil Mickelson flirted with, then horseshoed out a putt for a magical 59 in the first round of the Phoenix (now Waste Management) Open. 

Lefty took it all in in typically good humor, accentuating the positive and recounting the thrill of the journey.   

"Six feet to go, it was in the center, three feet to go, it was in the center. A foot to go, it was in the center, and even as it's approaching the hole, I couldn't envision which side of the hole it could possibly miss on, and it ended up somehow just dying off at the end, catching the lip. At that speed, to lip out as much as it did is very rare. I'm excited to shoot 60, but to see that last putt lip out the way it did and not go in, it's crushing because you don't get that chance very often to shoot 59. Well, 60 is awesome."
The near accomplishment drowned out snark directed Phil’s way during the last couple of weeks, because he had the gall to add up all the taxes he is obligated to pay, and point out the confiscatory result.  The verbal jabs were only partially pulled when Mickelson took a mulligan on his comments, but not the underlying argument.

Phil is in his forties.  He's grappling with the reality that his PGA Tour career is winding down and is intent on using his talent, drive, competitiveness and resources to become Lefty, the business man.  Mickelson is finding that difficult in the high tax, intrusive regulatory environment in his home state of California and now in a country led by a president dedicated to dictating economic outcomes, who is obsessed with taxing the rich, and who has bought off large chunks of the population by promising to do that again and again.

Oh my, think of the evil that could occur if Lefty were to put his income and savings to work.  I mean, look at his predecessors.  Ben Hogan, for example, established a golf club manufacturing company that operated continuously for more than half a century.  Hogan’s company came to be best known for its Apex irons, including a set that Justin Leonard used to win the 1997 British Open.  Arnold Palmer founded his Golf Company in 1961; it engaged the design, manufacturing and marketing of golf clubs, balls, bags, gloves, and other golf accessories for more than 40 years.  Jack Nicklaus followed in kind, forming a company that produced golf clubs and golf equipment for decades (disclosure, I played Nicklaus clubs for ten years).  Tommy Armour Golf is going strong to this day (I played Tommy Armour irons for 2 years).  Greg Norman put in a stint as co-owner of Cobra Golf, bringing it to prominence.    

In the zero sum game progressives play, Phil Mickelson is a target.  There is only so much wealth; it’s a question of how the pie is cut.  But of course, there is not one pie but many pies.  Pies need to be produced in right sizes, in the right places, at needed times and with appropriate ingredients, serving a wide variety of markets and an almost infinite range of tastes and preferences.  But the progressives protest they aren't stopping Lefty, he can find a niche just like everyone else.  In their zero sum world the progressives are happy to see Lefty play a role -- as a celebrity endorser for Nike.  Get on board Bro'.   

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