Tuck: Phil Mickelson Quits Memorial

By Mike Tuck
Host, Tuck & O'Neill

I am writing this, not so much about an outrage at Phil Mickelson, but more about a general thought about the idea of quitting.  Capiche?

Lefty said the following to explain his decision, “I think mentally I’m a little bit fatigued,” Mickelson said. “I feel like it’s the responsibility of a player to see through your commitment and finish the tournament and so forth, and I’m kind of overruling that just a touch because I’m trying to think big picture on what’s the best way for me to get ready for the U.S. Open (in two weeks).”

Maybe I am the wrong person to judge this.  I am stubborn and never want to quit or give up on anything.  I can certainly understand someone in the position of power who has the freedom to make whatever decision they want with no fear of real consequence.  Basically you do as you please when you please, and how you please.  And on some level, we can all envy that.

But on the surface viewing, Mickelson quit because he wasn’t playing well and didn’t want to play another round on Friday.  Viewing a future event (in this case, a major) as more important than a current commitment is understandable, in the big picture, as he puts it.  Clearly we will remember him winning the US Open far more than the Memorial.

But that is simply a misleading argument on his behalf.  He wouldn’t have quit to prepare for another tournament if he shot a 72.  Or a 74.  Maybe even a 76.  He didn’t quit to prepare for anything.  He quit because he was unhappy and didn’t want to compete to make a cut.

I think, and this might be crazy, but I think you train your mind and body to win.  And part of that is fighting through obstacles.  Even when it appears there is no hope, you play it out.  If you train yourself to allow for acceptance of defeat then you will react differently when you don’t perform under pressure.

Am I overthinking this?  You can decide that for yourself.  Like, I said to start, this is less about Mickelson and more about the idea of quitting.

If Mickelson was mentally fatigued, he should have just rested until the US Open.  I wonder if he is mentally fatigued in two weeks, if he’ll just quit after one round there?  What do you think?

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