Phil Mickelson has been the most fearless golfer of his time. The golfer doesn’t hesitate in speaking the truth and defending himself when required. Siding with LIV Golf while most golfers were hesitant, is truly a depiction of Mickelson’s courage. Today we look back at a young Phil Mickelson, who had a heated exchange with a popular golf reporter nearly 23 years ago.
Long before his 6 Major championships, Phil Mickelson was catching the attention of the golf world with his emerging talent. In the year 1999, Lefty had the first opportunity to claim his maiden Major win at the US Open.
However, he fell short with only a single shot difference to lose against Payne Stewart. The golfer was touching the hearts of many worldwide with his rise in ranks until he had a heated exchange with a golf reporter in that year’s PGA Championship. The young reporter was none other than Sports Illustrated’s famous writer, Alan Shipnuck.
Alan Shipnuck’s altercation with Phil Mickelson
Most new golf fans must be quite familiar with Alan Shipnuck’s name being associated with Phil Mickelson. The writer wrote the popular unofficial autobiography book of the 6-time Major Champion, named “Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorized!) Biography of Golf’s Most Colorful Superstar”. The book was released earlier this year and quickly received a wide reaction on Mickelson’s personal life.
Along with many of other stories, Shipnuck also shared the incident of the 1999 PGA Championship in the book. The writer claimed to have seen Mickelson’s other side as the golfer seemed to be unhappy over a past story he didn’t like.
Shipnuck was writing “a weekly reader mailbag” for CNNSI.com at the time. Lefty was informed of a conversation concerning Mickelson’s body that had taken place online. He had been called “Full Mickelson” by a reader. Another person trolled by asking if Mickelson or his wife Amy was expecting a child.
Alan Shipnuck wrote, “I’m not sure if he conflated readers’ words and made them mine or if he was miffed that I was giving a platform to such sophomoric discourse (in retrospect, a valid objection); either way, Phil was spoiling for a fight when, back at Medinah, I asked him a benign question for a Ryder Cup preview story.”
An unhappy Phil Mickelson responded by saying, “I’m not going to answer that because I don’t respect you as a writer”. This led to utter silence among the reporters. According to Shipnuck, the two moved to a more secluded tunnel close to the grandstand and had a chat there.
Shipnuck claims Mickelson told him what he wrote in his “little web column” was “bull****”. Mickelson then reportedly told the reporter to throw a punch. Lefty said, “If you have a problem with me, just throw the first punch”. Shipnuck claimed that Mickelson stepped in closer and said: “Just throw the first punch”. Lefty then, when faced with stunned silence, said: “That’s what I thought”. He then marched away, Shipnuck claimed.
Phil Mickelson has been the victim of criticism from such a young age. Despite the hate, the left-handed golfer has overcome the odds to become one of the best talents of this generation.
When will Phil Mickelson claim his first LIV Golf win? Let us know in the comments section below.