(May 20, 2019) – Despite not showing the kind of performance he would have liked, the true stars of the PGA Championship were Phil Mickelson’s calves and thumbs. Even with a T-71 finish, the fans at Bethpage Black and on social media went wild for “the Andre the Giant of calves” as Sports Illustrated put it.
Mickelson also set out to achieve the most thumbs-up in a single day at Bethpage Black. He bested his previous record of 984 with a total of 1,397 thumbs up. Phil celebrated his record break with a well-deserved Epsom salt thumb bath.
The calf-craze began months prior when Phil posted several self-produced instructional videos on social media in which he appeared in shorts and flip flops. Instead of being met with criticism from pants-only traditionalists, the comments were full of praise for Mickelson’s helpful lessons and exposed legs.
When the PGA announced pros would now be allowed to wear golf shorts during pro-am and practice rounds, Phil teased fans with a shot of his calves and cheekily attributed the new rule to the hype surrounding his “Insta-structionals.”
Garnering countless social media mentions and multiple feature stories, Mickelson may not have performed to his standard but in typical Lefty style, exhibited unparalleled sportsmanship and fan appreciation.
Phil’s social media presence throughout the PGA championship allowed his supporters to come along for the journey. Fans can expect more fun Twitter and Instagram posts from Phil in anticipation for the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, but make no mistake, Phil is there with a serious intention to win another major.
“There’s not much I could do right now that would do anything to redefine my career, but there’s one thing that I could do, and that’s win a U.S. Open,” said Mickelson on his mindset for the upcoming major. “If I could do that, it would change the way I viewed my career because there are only five guys who have won all the majors. You have to look at those guys differently, and if I ever join the that crowd, it would redefine my career.”
Mickelson will compete in the U.S. Open June 13-16 at Pebble Beach, the same course where his grandfather once worked as a caddy. The final round of the tournament happens to fall on Father’s Day, which also happens to be Phil’s 49th birthday.