We'll admit, we're a sucker for chicken soup that feeds the soul. The feel-good kinda feeling you can enjoy by watching shows like "Extreme Makeover" or "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution." It's a feeling impossible to bring unto yourself, as it can only be provided by the compassion felt towards others. A feeling of happiness for something or someone else, so indescribable, but somehow reignites our human instincts to love and be loved.
If you watched The Masters Sunday afternoon, you absolutely experienced that same awesome feeling. With one ping of the ball, Phil Mickelson won his third Masters tournament, but this time it was different, so much different then any time before. Sure, the other wins happened on the same Augusta Course, same settings, even close to the same roster of competition, however life's circumstances set this win apart for Phil Mickelson. This year, he wasn't playing for the green jacket, he was playing for his family.
Eleven months ago Phil Mickelson's wife of fourteen years, Amy, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Just three months later his mother would succumb to the same diagnosis. Both courageous women underwent the same procedures, the same surgeries, in the same hospital. Mickelson announced he would suspend his time on the PGA tour indefinitely to take care of his mother, his wife, and their three children. The outpouring of support for Phil and his family was remarkable. His lifelong friends, and teammates on the tour put their competitive edge aside, and brought forth an outpouring of love, devotion, and friendship forefront. Fellow competitor, John Daly wore bright pink pants during the 2009 BMW PGA Championship in support of the Mickelson family, and several other golfers hosted a "Pink Out" event to support Phil, and his leading ladies.
After a brief hiatus, and with encouragement from his gals, Phil returned to the world of golf and competed in The Tour Championship for the second time in his career. He won, though noticeably missing from the crowd were the women he holds most dear, still far too weak to attend. Phil Mickelson would go on to win a number of tournaments there after, but he'd win with little celebration, for his ladies were still unable to make the trip.
Sunday afternoon, Phil Mickelson won the 2010 Masters. He came in 16-under-par, and won by three strokes over British phenom, Lee Westwood. After his final shot, he stood there quietly, looking down at the green. Slowly he lifted up his head, the camera closed in on his face. His eyes were red, and noticeably tears were welling in his eyes. He looked over his shoulder, and there stood Amy, front and center, a smile on her face, cheering for the man who cheered for her in a time of need. Today, she'd be there for him. Though unable to walk around the entire course, Amy was able to spend the weekend nearby, and most importantly she was with him upon his winning shot. Not a dry eye on the course or through all of TV land.
One word to describe Phil Mickelson. Incredible. After the fanfare, the cheering, the hugs and kisses with family and friends, he went directly over to 2nd place winner, Lee Westwood's trailer. Phil Mickelson paid Westwood a visit to shake his hand and give him dear words of encouragement. You see, Lee Westwood was top of the leader board until Sunday afternoon, and absolutely had the chops to win The Masters. Phil Mickelson acknowledged his amazing competitor, and encouraged him never to give up, saying "Westwood was good enough to win Sunday, and he'll surely be good enough to win again."
This is what we call Classy Competition. Class act. All around. For stories like this, we die.
Stay Lovely and Inspired,