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Keeping up with the Jones: Old versus classic

By |  June 2, 2021 0 Comments
A photo of Mickelson with Golfdom Publisher Craig MacGregor helped soften Seth’s icy take on the surprise 2021 PGA Championship winner.

A photo of Mickelson with Golfdom Publisher Craig MacGregor helped soften Seth’s icy take on the surprise 2021 PGA Championship winner. (Photo courtesy of Golfdom Staff)

I have had many memorable interviews with professional golfers, and I always root for those people because they gave me some of their valuable time. Conversely, I have a few guys I tend to root against because when I see them, I’m reminded of times I crashed and burned. My two most epic fails are with guys who stole headlines at this year’s PGA Championship: John Daly and Phil Mickelson.

Both Daly (age 55) and Mickelson (age 50) were in the spotlight at the beautiful Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. For Daly, first it was his new look, sporting a bushy beard. Then it was for his brief outright lead when he wedged out on his first hole of the tournament. Finally, it was when his golf cart got stuck in sand and needed to be unwedged by fans.

Then there was Mickelson who stole the whole show when he won the tournament, becoming the oldest player to ever win a major.

I root against both Lefty and Daly because they are undefeated in shooting me down for interviews, but my dislike for Phil has softened over the years because of his sense of humor and because he took time for a photo with Golfdom Publisher Craig MacGregor at a recent Wells Fargo Championship. Granted, I pushed Craig at Mickelson like a dad trying to use his son to secure his favorite Hall of Fame baseball player’s autograph, but he smiled and took the photo, leading my friends to once again question how I could root against the affable pro.

Turns out, they’re right. During the 2021 PGA Championship, I couldn’t help but quietly root for Mickelson. Part of it was that he’s been so good for so long, sustaining his level of play for the last three decades. And part of it was age: He showed the world that 50 shouldn’t be considered old.

In this issue of Golfdom, we celebrate some oldies, or maybe classics. See Karl Danneberger’s “old school” take on QoI fungicides or Jim Kerns’ research on Pythium resistance to fungicides. In our regular department Golfdom Files, we celebrate the magazine’s 94-year history by dusting off an article from our past.

We also look to the future with Managing Editor Sarah Webb’s Tech Talk story, featuring superintendents talking in their own words about using new technologies. Also check out my story on the soon-to-be-released spring dead spot research from Virginia Tech. In the research section, we look at the GreenKeeper app and Deacon, two new technologies designed to make superintendents more efficient.

Despite my epic fails in getting interviews with Mickelson and Daly, I’ve learned to appreciate both of these golfers over the years. At least they still make for good stories when I’m talking professional golf with friends. Maybe it’s my own old age showing, but I hardly root against anyone anymore. I just want to see a thrilling battle down the stretch.

Mickelson’s win at the 2021 PGA Championship was a thrill, a historic win for the game and a reminder that there’s a difference between being old and being classic.

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