A Master of Inspiration and The Leaf.

Years ago, when I was a young sportswriter I commented on the fact that Phil Mickelson was the greatest golfer never to win a major tournament. Of course, “Lefty” rectified that dubious title with multiple wins including his third Master’s title this past Sunday.

I also remember thinking to myself back then how Mickelson’s imperfect physical condition didn’t connote that of a super athlete. Perhaps yesterday the man showed us all a little something about the strength of his spirit.

AmyMany of you may not know that both Mickelson’s beloved wife and his mother are battling cancer.  In fact, his beautiful wife spent most of the tournament in bed and only when his victory appeared imminent did she summon the strength to greet Phil at the 18th hole. Their tender embrace and kiss will be long remembered, like the iconic lip-lock of the returning soldier and his girl in Times Square after WWII.

Mickelson’s feat is ironic, given the article we published yesterday about how the struggles of a butterfly to leave its cocoon enable it to fly. The struggle, the story shows, is the price we pay for greatness. Note, that story was put together long before Phil won the tournament in Augusta.

It is even more ironic that the victory comes as the world watched Tiger Woods, the media magnet who has had a tough year too, albeit for entirely different reasons. As Woods divided viewers into two camps- want him to win and don’t want him to win, Mickelson quietly executed his game plan with a lot more on his mind than his media image.

And then on one critical hole as he was putting, a leaf fell into Mickelson’s line and caused a ball headed to the hole to go in a different, shot-losing direction.  One wonders what went through Mickelson’s mind as this event changed his score and hurt his chances to win.

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But Mickelson didn’t falter, didn’t throw his club in the pond or shake his fist at The Almighty. He finished the hole, won the tournament, and told the world that adversity can be overcome, that greatness courts failure and the strength of spirit and human character will indeed endure.

We may not all have to deal with a cancer stricken wife or mother at the same time, God-willing. But we will all at some point have a flat tire on the way to work, an unexpected bill we hadn’t planned for, or even a leaf fall into our putting line.

The next time that happens to me I’m just going to take my next putt and go onto the next hole. Just like Phil Mickelson.

Lefty has done a whole lot more than simply win a Major.

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22 Responses to “A Master of Inspiration and The Leaf.”

  1. Naomi says:

    Heartfelt of course my heart goes out to Michleson; through my years watching golf I loved to watch him because of his character and sense of humor. I love that he maintain laughter; when I first heard about his wife and breast cancer I couldn’t believe it, but things come across our lives and you either take it or leave it. Watching the love he has for his wife and family just goes to show what a great man he is and the love which he has shown to her? Most men couldn’t handle it! He took it and ran with it with his wife by his side. I know that God is on his side and that Michleson will be a stronger person because of it. My prayers to him, his wife and family.

  2. Mercedes says:

    It is God’s willing..

  3. Shirley Jean, B.C. Canada says:

    Yes he did win more than just another green jacket. I watched the most of the golf tournament and was so very glad to see this man win. It was a win for his wife as well as himself. This man knows god. Maybe Tiger has yet to learn that.

  4. Deanna says:

    What a beautiful story. One could feel the humbleness in Phil’s heart. His family mattered, the crowd mattered and winning the game mattered. He was a true gentleman in all he did. And the leaf falling to the ground in front of his ball was like a sign from God. Something in the way has changed the course of the ball, but it is still in my hands who wins. God had a winner all the time. The right man won!

  5. Sharon Knopping says:

    Mr. Mikelson is THE MAN!!!! What a great lesson he has taught us all! What a great example he has set for the generation growing up now. May God bless him and his family! And bring both his wife and mom back to good health. My prayers are with them.

  6. Mona says:

    Great story and a great guy, also our love goes out for his wife.

  7. Frank says:

    God bless you and your family. As you will be in our prayers.

    “For He has not ignored the suffering of the needy. He has not turned and
    walked away. He has listened to their cries for help.” Psalms 22:24

  8. Ben says:

    just another example that one should learn to accept the faults and cracks in life, either to repair them or step over and move on. Be a better person because of it.

  9. Gwenda. AUSTRALIA says:

    Bless you and your family Phil Michelson may God restore your wife and mother to full health. You are in our prayers.

  10. Joseph Kwan says:

    God is indeed great in the life of our bro.Phil Michelson. God was simply showing His greatness in bro Phili’s life. He is a living testimony and his focus with God is firmed. He is passing through difficulties in life and yet wins the battle..This is awsome…I have had lots of failures in life as well but I keep on holding to my Jesus, who would ever think that I’ll be owning a business in Singapore, from a small employee to managing director of a company. To God be the glory alone…I love this passage ….during our journey on earth that is full of uncertainty in ,when God leads us to the edge of the cliff, trust Him fully and let go, only 1 of 2 things will happen, either He’ll catch you when you fall, or He’ll teach you how to fly…

    May God heals his wife and mother in Jesus Christ’s Name…By His strife,
    they are healed right now..Hallelujah..

    Mr Abraham Lincoln is one of my influences in life when it comes to dealing with failures…God said if you put yourself in God’s plan , you will succeed in all your ways..The reason why sometimes we dont see and receive the blessings its because we close our eyes to see them…Reading God’s word every day with application, is my strength in evreyday living..I still experience faillures up to this time, but I know where to go every time it happens….TO OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST—

    Join me in our Ministries called INVESTMENT IN HEAVEN MINSTRIES…It deals with sharing the gospel of Jesus, helping the poor, healing the sick, and casting out demons…Please pray for us my beloved brethren wherever you are in the world today, that God may continue to use our God given company as a channel of His blessings..So far, our company has been using by God as a main resource of our mission ( IIHM), I bring my family every year ( Me as basist,my wife Arlene -pianist-back up singer, Children– Joseph Isaac 17 -Drummer -guitarist, David 15 – drummer, mark 11 -singer pianist and samuel 6 -singer -pianist), to do a crusade in Philippines, we already had two major evangelistic concerts crusades in Philippines last year..( june and Dec)..God has used us to touched the lives of more two hundred people..After our crusade, we support the local pastors for follow up ministry…We support them by giving financial assistance to sustain their needs..All glory belongs to God…We will have crusade again in June 2010, we all need your prayers ..this time will be in Bohol Philppines..One of the Islands in the south…Gibeon ( our company – Please read Joshua chp 10- all baout Gibeon), has plans to expand our ministries to the US by reaching Nursing homes..to spread the good news…and all over the world as God lead us…Do pray for us for the up coming huge projects …we dont have much capital but God is gracious and provider…He has touched big companies in singapore to invest in our small Company- this is God’s moving and favor…

    About Gibeon, it started and incorprated in feb 2008, in Singapore..It deals with supply of electrical, mechanical and hydraulic control systems and equipment for oil rigs ..please view our website..www.gibeonoffshore.com.sg….May God continue to use this company to help the poor in philippines and other countries to rescue them from great poverty, and to come to know Christ…Please watch Sis Cindy Jacob’s prophecy in Youtube for Philippines…May God redeem Philippines…..

    God bless you all my brothers and sisters..

    Let us be salt and light if tghis world to glorify Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour..

    In Christ love,

    Bro Joseph Kwan

  11. Peggy Bland says:

    In one major tournament, Michelson was winning. His wife was expecting their first baby. Sunday morning , a reporter asked Michelson what if he got word that his wife had gone to the hospital. He replied that’s what that jet is setting out there for”. Think Tiger would leave and miss winning the tournament? You decide. Phil has his priorities in order

  12. Mervyn Shaya says:

    This man is simply the GREATEST i have ever known. May the Almighty look after him, his dear wife and all his family. Reading all og this it has taught me a lesson to accept everything that comes from G-d. I would love to meet him in person to embrace him. WHAT A VERY GREAT MAN.

  13. noah says:

    Dear, Friend. Thank you so mush for that, God bless you. I have interest to your testimony.
    Ps, Noah.

  14. allan bishop says:

    may god bless you and your family and make you whole again

  15. janet tibaldo madayag says:

    if obstacles came in our way cause us to dismay we lost im not fun of golf because i dont understand the game but nice to see sport player not dissapointed instead he continue to play until he won. christian life is a spiritual sport race that we need to run until we won the race as we run so many trials come across our running field but keep on running the right path with humlesness,patient faithfulness and obedient to God’s word. God bless

  16. glenda says:

    a great win. i wish him all the best.

  17. erlene says:

    Let’s always keep the faith what ever happens, believing that God is in control and He has his own way and his timing is right!

  18. Taira Afaha-Akpan says:

    A lovely and inspiring story. May God continue to be God in Phil Mickelson’s life and family, in Jesus’ name. Amen!

  19. Raj says:

    Phil has strength of character and spirit to overcome all odds, imagine winning Golf’s biggist tournament when two loved ones are fighting their own battles for survival. God is blessing and guiding him.I join several of his fans in Prayers for the well being of his wife and mother.

  20. Amy says:

    if obstacles came in our way cause us to dismay we lost im not fun of golf because i dont understand the game but nice to see sport player not dissapointed instead he continue to play until he won. christian life is a spiritual sport race that we need to run until we won the race as we run so many trials come across our running field but keep on running the right path with humlesness,patient faithfulness and obedient to God’s word. God bless

  21. Steven says:

    Dear, Friend. Thank you so mush for that, God bless you. I have interest to your testimony.
    Ps, Noah.

  22. Envon says:

    Many thanks with the advice, are actually looking many days and nights due to this.

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