Phil Mickelson, the famous left-handed golf champion, has a number of impressive titles: winner of four major golf championships and the winner of 39 PGA events. But he also has another more impressive title: a cancer supporter.
Rewind the clock a couple years when Phil’s wife, Amy, was diagnosed with the shocking news of her breast cancer in May, 2009. More shocking: only six weeks later, Phil’s mom, Mary, was also diagnosed with breast cancer. While prayers and support were being sent out in abundance for Amy and Mary, it became evident that Phil’s world was rocked, too. To support his wife, Phil had serious decisions to make. How should he use his time? What would be best for the children? What type of support did Amy need? His decision to then withdraw from two major golf events shortly after his wife’s diagnosis displayed Phil’s character, wisdom and fortitude.
Phil also took a brief leave of absence from the PGA Tour after hearing of his mother’s diagnosis. What an example of solid priorities. Phil’s absence resulted in a “Pink Out” event created and hosted at the Crowne Plaza International shortly after the PGA Tour in 2009. His fellow golfers all wore pink in support of the Mickelson family. Phil, like the rest of us, sometimes needed to depend on the strength of the people around him so he could stay focused where it was needed most. A true champion.
Mickelson won the 2010 Masters Tournament on April 11, 2010. In a poignant finish, Amy and the children joined Phil to celebrate the win. The embrace was recorded for the entire world to see. It’s moments like these that make golf history.
Phil and Amy show themselves to be true champions in spirit as they continue to thrive through the health challenges of cancer. Earlier this year, Amy was back to walking the course to follow Phil’s game after being forced to stay away during her recovery last year. In the meantime, Phil continues to play an amazing golf game, which makes him different from most of us. It’s hard to list, let alone remember, all of the prizes he has won in his career. But his biggest prize: maintaining his role as a supportive family man when faced with cancer in his world.
It is a role that we can each aspire to imitate!