Skip to main content









Donation Heart Ribbon

San Diego Native Phil Mickelson Wins Masters Golf Tournament


Phil Mickelson has his third green jacket. The San Diego native won the Masters by three strokes over Lee Westwood. Joining us on Morning Edition is North County Times sports columnist Jay Paris.

Phil Mickelson has his third green jacket. The San Diego native won the Masters by three strokes over Lee Westwood. Joining us on Morning Edition is North County Times sports columnist Jay Paris.

It was a sentimental victory for lefty Mickelson and his wife, as well as mother. They are both battling breast cancer right now. “To have her here and share this moment and share the joy of winning on 18, and to share this with my kids. Is something that we’ll look back on this for the rest of our lives,” said Mickelson.

BROWN: Joining us on Morning Edition is North County Times sports columnist Jay Paris. I’m sure you were watching closely, Jay. How would you characterize Mickelson’s win Sunday?

PARIS: A tear jerker. And you usually don’t get those in golf tournaments, and you usually don’t, you know, tug at your heart at the end of a tournament. But this is the greatest golf tournament in the sport. And for a while there it was hijacked by unseemly text messages and stories of hookups, and just a tsunami of sleaze if you will, leading into this with all the Tiger Woods business. And for Phil to come through and do it with his cancer-stricken wife and mom right there, and the kids right there at the 18th green -- that’s pretty good stuff and good for Phil. You know, he kind of takes a bashing sometimes by other pros, especially when he first came on the tour. He’s kind of, I’m dating myself here, but he’s kind of an Eddy Haskell from “Leave It To Beaver.” You know the very, very polite. Very accommodating for the fans, and would sign autographs until the sun goes down, and when your last name is Mickelson that takes a while. But he’s pretty genuine. And this is what golf needed. And for numerous reasons, that jacket fit the right person yesterday.

BROWN: And he did some pretty rare things on the golf course over the weekend. All of those eagles?

PARIS: Yeah, he had the run of eagles there. And you know, that’s Phil’s game. High risk equals high rewards. Sometimes that risk translates into eagles and sometimes it translates into double bogies. But to characterize his game, I mean, he missed nine fairways yesterday and still shot a 67. So he got hot and he got on a roll and really it had been hard to predict this was coming. He was winless in seven starts. Obviously golf is such a mental game, it’s between the ears, really. And his thoughts were elsewhere. His thoughts were in his Rancho Santa Fe home where his wife was battling cancer and his mom and his kids and all that. And typical dad, he’s taking his daughter to get an x-ray at 10 p.m. the night before he wins the Masters after she fell off her skateboard or skating or whatever. It was a feel-good story for a tournament that needed it. It struck a chord I think not only in the sports world, but it transcended the sports where a good family guy, here’s a guy who talks about recognizing his family and he was recognizing them in the right way instead of issuing an apology to them which Tiger did to start the week.

DAVIS: Let’s go to baseball now. The Padres home opener gets underway later on this afternoon. The Pads are two and four this season. Should we get used to this?

PARIS: To a degree. I mean, this is a young, inexperienced team that they hope they can develop and blossom into contender down the road. The game today, they better hit the button for that retractable roof. It’s looking a little wet out there. But I think the biggest news off this opening road trip was that Chris Young going down with an injury again, heading to the DL. He had shoulder surgery last year, last August and was hoping to bounce back. This team is going to be built around pitching and defense and speed now. So if you start losing starting pitchers this early, that could be a big red flag. They’re hoping Chris will be back fine. But this is going to be a scrappy team trying to play 500 ball. And looking ahead to better things. So if they can do that this year, you’d have to consider it a success.

BROWN: On the football field, we understand running back and kick returner Darren Sproles is officially back?

PARIS: He’s officially back. He signed his tender. The Chargers kind of painted themselves in a corner last year when they named him the franchise player and had to pay him $6 million. Now they have to pay him $7 million, which is way too much for what he gives the team, although he’s a great contributor and a great threat. He could still be traded, but it looks like he’s going to stick around. Really his focus now is the draft -- that’s coming up next week. And the Chargers, there’s some holes to fill here. In previous drafts that could be kind of cavalier about it cause it was such a strong roster. But they need to get a strong running back with LT leaving and they need a defensive tackle with Jamal Williams leaving as well. So maybe Ryan Matthews in the first round out of Fresno State, a running back. And maybe they follow that with Terrence Cody out of Alabama, a big defensive tackle. It’s all about the draft from here through next weekend.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.