The People's Champion : Phil Mickelson

Dayne DurantiCorrespondent IJune 23, 2009

FARMINGDALE, NY - JUNE 22:  Phil Mickelson pitches to the 17th green during the continuation of the final round of the 109th U.S. Open on the Black Course at Bethpage State Park on June 22, 2009 in Farmingdale, New York.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

In golf, just like most sports there are winners and there are whiners.

There are those who win and graciously shake your hand, and there are those who win and pump their fist in your face.

There are those who lose and smile about it, and there are those who lose a pout all the way back to their 160ft yacht.

In the midst of them all there is Phil Mickelson. A gentleman, a role model and a champion.

He may not have won this years U.S. Slowpen, he came in second. Again.

I already forgot the name of the guy who won and its only Tuesday.

But there are images that I will never forget.

Fans, drenched to the bone in a washout on Long Island. Players like Furyk and Duval couldn't give them the time of day.

The phenom, Tiger, barely looking interested enough to acknowledge his fans.

And the there was Phil. Walking down the rain scared fairways next to his fans, and the fans of the game he loves so much. He was shaking hands, signing autographs, pumping fists and joking with the gallery.

That is a champion.

Even with his wife sick and waiting to go into Cancer treatment, Phil took the time for his fans.

Second place was first in my book this time around.

Win, lose or draw.....Phil Mickelson is a champion.