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19th Hole

Phil Mickelson once challenged writer to ‘throw the first punch’ at him during PGA Championship



The biography of Phil Mickelson, titled “Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorized) Biography of Golf’s Most Colorful Superstar”, by Alan Shipnuck continues to provide fascinating stories about the mercurial golfer.

One part of the book reveals that Mickelson told Shipnuck to “throw the first punch” in an exchange.

The comments took place at the 1999 PGA Championship. The event was most famous for producing Sergio Garcia’s scissor kick and for a Tiger Woods victory. Phil struggled that week finishing in a tie for 57th place.

At the time, Shipnuck was writing “a weekly reader mailbag” for The mailbag featured a discussion online about Mickelson’s physique.

A reader had referred to him as “Full Mickelson”. Another one had discussed who was pregnant, Mickelson or his wife Amy. “Lefty” was understandably offended by the comments.

At his post tournament press conference, Shipnuck asked Phil an unrelated question.

“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.”

“I’m not going to answer that because I don’t respect you as a writer,” Shipnuck claims Mickelson said.

Then there was silence. Shipnuck claims the two went and to speak in a private tunnel near the grandstand.

He claims Mickelson told him what he wrote in his “little web column” was “bull****”.

Mickelson is said to have told him: “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”.

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  1. Pingback: This hilarious tale suggests Phil Mickelson may not be the wine expert everyone thinks he is – GolfWRX

  2. Thomas Woodward

    Jun 2, 2022 at 9:43 pm

    Writers, journalists, Congressional members, CEO’s etc. etc. The majority of them are 100% oxygen wasters and should be put-down like rabid animals…

  3. Pingback: Lifelong friend of Phil Mickelson provides update on Lefty – GolfWRX

  4. Get Real

    Jun 2, 2022 at 10:00 am

    These comments are really cracking me up. Look, Shipnuck has been doing this for a long time and he’s well respected by his peers. Much like the golfers they cover, golf writers don’t take kindly to other writers lying or cheating. Now he’s written a book about Full Phil and folks are mad. Phil has always thought he was the smartest guy in the room and could get away with anything. Now the real stuff is coming out and he’s nowhere to be found. If this stuff weren’t true then Phil wouldn’t be on his self-imposed hiatus. Instead he would’ve just come out and said it wasn’t true and he would’ve played the Players, the Masters, and defended his PGA Championship. You can still love Phil but actions have consequences. It’s also interesting to note that few, if any, Of Phil’s peers have even tried to defend him or his actions.

  5. Ed Bobich

    Jun 1, 2022 at 1:37 pm

    I am not sure who looks worse, Shipnuck or Mickelson. I will say that nothing I have read about Mickelson surprises me. I have never liked him and I still cannot believe that he did not serve time for insider trading. On the other hand, Shipnuck comes across as someone with an axe to grind. If Shipnuck had any guts, he would have never written the book and instead confronted Phil face-to-face.

  6. PhilLacksIntegrity

    Jun 1, 2022 at 1:14 pm

    All the Phil fanboys coming out to protect the face of sports washing, looks like they lack integrity just like Phil. Phil is a gambaholic chasing the money, nothing more than that.


    Jun 1, 2022 at 10:58 am

    Shipnuck is a jerk who is just out to cause trouble and make money for it. Someday I hope someone does a bio on him and expose all the dirt this guy ever did in his life..

  8. Vas

    Jun 1, 2022 at 10:44 am

    Please stop! I already like Phil enough, I don’t need yet another reason to… like trying to bait some self-important gasbag into getting knocked out.

  9. cb

    Jun 1, 2022 at 10:36 am

    Thats actually pretty damn funny. Throw the first punch, whos pregnant you or Amy. LMFASOOOOOOO

  10. Pingback: Amateur golfer has reportedly received an unbelievable sum to play in LIV Golf series – GolfWRX

  11. Dave

    May 31, 2022 at 11:27 pm

    Way to go Phil!! Writers a bunch of p#&&!&$ that want no repercussions to their actions. Chalk one up for Phil.

  12. Andrew Smith

    May 31, 2022 at 11:23 pm

    I’m halfway through reading the book – its of a pathetically amateur standard. Gross sensationalising for 15 minutes of fame and to make a quick buck.

  13. Brandon

    May 31, 2022 at 8:41 pm

    Probably should have beat that dude’s ass 23 years ago.

  14. Johnny Penso

    May 31, 2022 at 6:19 pm

    Just when I didn’t think I could like Phil any more than I already do, Shipnuck comes through with a good one!

  15. Pingback: How many pro golfers use a 3-iron? The answer might surprise you – GolfWRX

  16. Joey5Picks

    May 31, 2022 at 1:30 pm

    FIGJAM quickly moving to the top of the leaderboard for least liked player. The more we hear, the more unlikable he becomes. Go to the Bonesaw Golf League, please.

    • Holden Tudiks

      May 31, 2022 at 10:01 pm

      I still like Phil, and you’ll do nothing about it.

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19th Hole

Shane Lowry and Justin Thomas take shots at Bryson’s awkward attempt to own viral rope incident



“If you can’t laugh at yourself, then who can you laugh at?”

According to those search engines, both quotes can be attributed to an awful lot of people over the years, including golf legends Payne Stewart and Tiger Woods.

Sometimes, though, others don’t find it as funny.

A week ago, we reported on a viral video from LIV Chicago that showed Bryson DeChambeau losing a battle with one of the gallery ropes .

Despite the histrionics and the supposed loss of vision in one eye, he completed the event at 6-under, and finishing in the top 10.

The incident brought more attention to the tour than anything Chicago winner Cam Smith could do, and the 2020 U.S Open winner probably thought he was onto a winner when recreating the event in a re-run of Bryson v Rope.

In it, the 29-year-old prepares for the challenge like a pro boxer, before ducking under the rope with no personal damage – to the whoops of the ‘onlookers’.

It was a bit of fun, but recent BMW PGA champion, and 2022 Masters third, Shane Lowry, wasn’t at all impressed.

The 2019 Open Championship winner has always stayed fairly neutral about the Greg Norman-led tour, but there was never a doubt that he was fully behind his good friend Rory McIlroy with his views.

However, after the win at Wentworth, Lowry was a tad more open with his views:

“I just think [LIV Golf] is bad for the game. I have always said I play for trophies, not for money. That’s why I didn’t entertain it, to be honest. The reason I have never even contemplated it is I don’t think it is good for the game.”

Whilst we can’t be sure if this had any effect on his Twitter post today, it was clear what he thinks of DeChambeau’s latest stunt:

Then JT got involved and made it clear what camp he was in…

The long-standing Dunhill Links weather is always unpredictable, but home players seem to thrive whatever the conditions.

What is definite is that Lowry will not stomach much more of the clownery on show, and probably won’t be cheering Bryson on as he reached the last 64 of the World’s Longest Drive Championship.

Just as we thought things might have been calming down…..

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19th Hole

Why Phil Mickelson decided to drop out of lawsuit against PGA Tour



Whatever the whys and wherefores, the disputes and disagreements, the one thing the LIV series has done is get people thinking.

Much water has crossed under the bridge and a recap could go on for many hours, but it remains that something somewhere caused the PGA Tour to look at a revised schedule.

Behind all this were a number of court cases, the first being 16 players fighting their cause against a DP World Tour ban, before 11 PGA Tour players sought temporary injunctions against the tour, seeking allowance into the FedEx Cup.

Since then,  Abraham Ancer, Jason Kokrak, Carlos Ortiz and Pat Perez have dropped out of the suit, the trial scheduled to commence in 2024, and now four more have fallen by the wayside.

Those four are Ian Poulter, Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford, and more vitally, Phil Mickelson.

The idea of a series challenging the golf status quo was always in the mind of Greg Norman and his backers, and Lefty was certainly the one player that launched the idea into orbit, after a revealing interview with golf writer Alan Shipnuck.

That now leaves just three of the original 11 – Bryson DeChambeau, Matt Jones and Peter Uihlein – who are still being backed by LIV Golf.

The organization released a recent statement, commenting:

“Nothing has changed,’” confirmed LIV. “The merits of the lawsuit—the PGA Tour’s anti-competitive conduct—still stand and will be fully tested in court, and we look forward to it.”

The statement confirmed the reasons why they believe they have a strong case.

“We stand by the players who the PGA Tour has treated so poorly, but we also recognize to be successful we no longer need a wide variety of players to be on the suit. We have our players’ backs and will press our case in court against the PGA’s anti-competitive behavior.”

Losing the bigger names might be a blow to the plaintiff’s case, and Mickelson’s comments were always going to be of interest.

Lefty explained the reasons for his withdrawal to Sports Illustrated:

“I am focused on moving forward and extremely happy being a part of LIV, while also grateful for my time on the (PGA) Tour. I am pleased that the players on Tour are finally being heard, respected and valued and are benefitting from the changes recently implemented.”

He summed up:

“With LIV’s involvement in these issues, the players’ rights will be protected and I no longer feel it is necessary for me to be part of the proceedings.”

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19th Hole

Patrick Reed includes three golf journalists in fresh defamation lawsuit



Last month, Patrick Reed filed a defamation lawsuit against Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee. The suit has since been withdrawn, but the former Masters champion isn’t done yet.

Reed has just filed a new lawsuit against golf journalists Damon Hack, Shane Bacon and Eamon Lynch. In addition to the writers, the suit includes both PGA Tour and DP World Tour and their commissioners Jay Monahan and Keith Pelley.

The suit alleges that those mentioned are guilty of “conspiracy, defamation, injurious falsehood and tortious interference”.

The lawsuit is a whopping 96-pages long and it lists 42 “causes of action.” The causes of action include “a pattern and practice of defaming Mr. Reed.”

“These malicious attacks have created hate, aided and abetted a hostile workplace environment, and have caused substantial financial and emotional damage and harm to Mr. Reed and his family,” Reed’s attorney Larry Klayman said in a statement.

The suit claims that the defendants have cost Reed opportunities at multi-million-dollar sponsorships over the course of his career.

The documents also allege that the defendants have been “intentionally and maliciously destroying” the reputation and sales of Reed and his wife’s company, grindworksUSA, which distributes golf equipment made by the Chinese company.

Reed was set to tee it up at the Alfred Dunhill Links this week, but was forced to withdraw due to back issues resulting from a soft mattress at a French hotel.

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