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Phil Being Phil

Phil Mickelson handled this random dagger from a reporter asking about Tiger Woods quite well

February 02, 2022

Oisin Keniry

You'd imagine a six-time major champ being treated with the utmost respect wherever he goes, but that hasn't quite been the case for Phil Mickelson this week in Saudi Arabia. First, an Australian Tour pro was bold enough to post a video mocking Mickelson after outdriving him in a Monday practice round. And in a Wednesday press conference, it was a reporter's turn to take a little shot at Lefty.

The question in question revolved around the 25th anniversary of Tiger Woods' landmark victory at the 1997 Masters. And while there's no doubt Phil has had his fill of Tiger questions—and accomplishments—throughout his career, he would have been happy to answer another. But the way this one was worded, was, well, see for yourself.

Q. It's the 25th anniversary of Tiger Woods's first win at the Masters this year. I just wondered if you had any abiding memories of that week, if you watched it when you went home after sadly missing the cut?

Ouch! What's next? The first-tee starter mis-pronouncing his name on Thursday?

Of course, as was the case with the practice video, Mickelson handled this like the seasoned pro that he is.

"Thank you for bringing it about that I missed the cut that week," he responded. "I felt like that was a really critical part of the question."

Well played, Phil. And then the man who has only missed three cuts in 29 career Masters starts gave a great answer as well.

"What I get out of that week as I remember and look back on Tiger's first win in the '97 Masters is how he shot 40 on the front nine and he turned it around and shot 30 on the back nine on Thursday," Mickelson added. "And I thought that the way he fought, hung in there after a terrible start with expectations on him to perform and to win and he opens up with a 40 on the front nine, he didn't back down, he didn't wilt, he came out and brought his best golf on the back nine and shot 30 to open with a 70 and ultimately won by 12 shots or so. It was one of the most impressive performances ever in the game of golf."

Almost as impressive as a Phil Mickelson press conference.