Saturday, April 7, 2012

Phil: Your best friend and mine

For as great as Tiger Woods once was (he's not back yet), it was always a different experience watching him, as opposed to Phil Mickelson.

When Woods dominates, it's like watching greatness from afar. You don't dare try to approach him to shake his hand or pat him on the back. When Mickelson dominates, you want to high-five him, hug him and pat him on the back.

The reason is simple: Mickelson is always smiling, cordial and inviting. He's like your best friend. That was the scene following Mickelson's awesome round on Saturday at the Masters and his dramatic birdie on the 18th hole.

CBS' cameras followed Mickelson off the green with fans and well-wishers lining his trek. He joined the fun, fist-pumping, slapping high-fives and even hugged two people he appeared to know.

Woods would never do that after a third-round at the Masters. The fans wouldn't dare try to interact, either, which further demonstrates the difference between golf's most recognizable players.

When Mickelson's in contention, it's easy to smile. When Woods is in contention, it's awe-inspiring.

I'll take some Phil on Easter Sunday. Thank you very much.

- Mark Podolski | @mpodo


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