It is still curious that golf, with all its elitist paraphernalia and demodé on its back, is the most democratic and modernized sport of those who make up the Olympic and professional scene today. No other throws so many different winners over a season, very few discriminate less by physical and age. He just demonstrated Phil Mickelson once again, winner of the AT & T of Pebble Beach at age 48, 27 after having debuted as a professional in the same field that, in Galicia, and as a curious fact, is known as "La Toja de Monterrey, California".
It happened at the end of June, in 1992. The U.S. Open celebrated its 92nd edition in the majestic links Carmel Bay and Mickelson became the sensation of the first day to deliver a 68-shot card, just two of the leader, also American Gil Morgan. The truly exceptional thing about his performance is that it would not come as a surprise to almost anyone. That voluminous left-hander, looking like a well-to-do postal official, had already won an American professional circuit tournament like amateur, a feat within the reach of a handful of elected, and its three university championships conferred legend status among the Sun Devils of Arizona State. Many years later, a young student from the same university would defeat him in a singular duel. "I accepted his bet of 60 dollars even though he only had 40 in his wallet and I won him", said the man with rounded forms, resounding like a sacred ox: his name was Jon Rahm.
Pebble Beach and U.S. Open is part of Mickelson's personal story in its own right, for good and for bad. Last weekend was the fifth trophy that he raised in Californian paradise, the same one in which his grandfather worked as caddy since its inauguration, in 1919. He did it, also, using as a marker a dollar of silver that the old Al Santos had obtained as a tip: he promised to keep it to give luck to the family. In the other tournaments, Mickelson uses a replica of it; the original is reserved for the grass that he so often toured, with a bag in tow, grandfather Al. Who knows if superstition could be his great ally to put an end, once and for all, to the curse that accompanies his multiple disagreements with the US Open.
Six times he has finished as a second tournament that this summer returns to La Toja de Monterrey: Pebble Beach. There he resides -among many other celebrities- Bill Murray, the protagonist of the film that best summarizes the tortuous idyll of Mickelson with his particular day of the marmot: Caught in time. The defeat against Henrik Stenson, in the 2017 Open, will go down in history as one of the most epic duels in the history of this sport but for months it was considered the swan song of a legend that began-or seemed to-languish . His victory over the past weekend seems to justify the illusions of those who still dream of seeing Phil Mickelson completing the Grand Slam. He has the experience, the illusion of the reborn and the silver dollar he inherited from his grandfather: he would do well not to bet against his brother Tim's favorite pupil.