I hear a lot of complaints and negativity, so from time to time, I like to point out the good in the world!
This last week, I was highly encouraged by the story of golfer Phil Mickelson. He is an excellent golfer–one of the best in the world–but he consistently chooses to put his family ahead of his career, and I commend him for it.
You may remember that in 1999, Phil was in a duel for the U.S. Open Championship with Payne Stewart. Phil’s wife Amy was pregnant and expecting any day back here in Arizona, so Phil wore a beeper and promised to leave immediately if she called to say she was in labor. Some applauded his stand; others condemned it. Nevertheless, he was serious about his intentions. Payne Stewart won that tournament on a 15 foot putt on the last hole, but right after he won, he cupped Phil’s face in his hands, and said, “You’re going to be a father! There is nothing as special as that.”
Within a few minutes, Phil left to fly home, and made it in plenty of time for the birth of his daughter the next day.
This year, that same daughter was a speaker at her 8th grade promotion on Wednesday of U.S. Open week. Phil changed his schedule and missed the practice rounds to attend her graduation in Southern California on Wednesday. He flew out of California late on Wednesday evening after the graduation and arrived in Pennsylvania early (about 4:00 am) on Thursday morning. He made it to the practice tees at 5:30 am, and teed off at 7:11 am. Again this year, he finished second in the tournament.
He may have been the second best golfer at the U.S. Open this last week, but I want to commend him for being an incredible father who consistently puts his family above his golf career.
Happy Father’s Day, Phil!