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It's Now 25 Years Since Phil Mickelson Offended The Female Population Of Ireland

It's Now 25 Years Since Phil Mickelson Offended The Female Population Of Ireland
By Conor Neville Updated

We have no desire to stoke old controversies but merely point out that it is now a quarter of a century since the great Phil Mickelson was obliged to mope around the 'public rooms' of the Berkeley Court in Dublin offering apologies to the female population of this country.

He was too young to leave America, you see.

He was a creature of the sun-drenched US parkland courses, and was entirely discombobulated to find himself on the other side of the Atlantic.

The soundtrack accompanying his best golf was the 'You the Man!' hollering of his countrymen, the drawling enthusiasm of the NBC commentators, and the soap opera style jingles that played as the scoreboard flashed up.

It was for this reason that the British Open seemed like the competition that Phil Mickelson was least likely to win. His imaginative bag of tricks notwithstanding, it seemed like the windswept Scottish links wasn't his scene.

His record in the UK was dismal until 2004, the year when he finally broke his Majors curse in Augusta. He finished third behind Ernie Els and Todd Hamilton. In 2011, he was tied-2nd behind Darren Clarke. And then in 2013, he emerged from the pack to win in Birkdale. This week he is dominating the field in Troon.

If the UK wasn't his scene back in the 1990s, then he was on the record about Ireland being even less congenial. The brash young college kid was playing the Walker Cup for the US in Portmarnock back in 1991.

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The 21 year old sensation landed himself in deep rough beside the galleries on one of the holes.

After his round, a TV reporter showed him a replay and asked him to comment on the shot. According to Mickelson, he had other reasons to regret landing in that area beyond the mere difficulty of the recovery shot.

That's not a place I want to be. The Irish women are not that attractive.

His remarks weren't quite in the Doug Stanhope league in terms of provocation but the Irish papers naturally still made hay with headlines such as 'MASTERFUL MICKELSON DRAWS IRISH IRE'. Back home, Irish-Americans were pretty annoyed.

Poor Phil was mortified and a picture of contrition over his gaffe.

According to Sports Illustrated reporter John Garrity, a red-faced Mickelson spent the weekend wandering around the Berkeley Court offering apologies to everyone.

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I knew I was in for it the moment I said it. It was a bad joke, and I feel just terrible about it.

SI were of the view that Mickelson needn't have bothered. 'The Irish love a rascal' was their view. He remains one of the most popular players with spectators.

Ironically, Portmarnock Golf Club is one place where you wouldn't normally have to worry about bumping into too many women.

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Phil's itinerary of apology (to quote Boris Johnson) extended to saying sorry to Hal Sutton for referencing old 'Halimony's decision to pair him with Tiger Woods in the opening match in 2004 - That was "an example of starting with the captain that put us in a position to fail and we failed monumentally, absolutely."

Read more: 10 Things Everybody Who Has Played Pitch And Putt Knows To Be True


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