The 2012 Masters Golf Tournament is over. And while history may recall that it was Bubba Watson who won the championship, countless other golf enthusiasts were far more interested in two things:
#1 – Phil Mickelson’s boobs, and
#2 – Where in the hell have Phil Mickelson’s boobs gone to?
Thankfully, finally, there are answers. Writer Robert Mott gives us the skinny. Or not-so skinny.
MY EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH PHIL MICKELSON’S GIRDLE
–by Robert Mott
The envelope was embossed and waiting for me when I returned to my hotel room. Upon opening it, the plastic bag of Masters schwag I was carrying dropped to the floor.
The note was brief, reading like a telegram: THE GIRDLE WANTS TO TALK. ON THE RECORD. BEHIND LANE BRYANT. SEVEN O’CLOCK.
There were directions attached. I wondered for a moment if I were being duped. Sportswriter Rick Reilly [ESPN/Sports Illustrated] was a renowned practical joker, but with the meetup less than five miles away, the potential for an exclusive was just too great to pass up.
I had spent the week walking the hilly confines of the historic Augusta National Golf Club, covering the 76th playing of the Masters Golf tournament. I’d been covering the Masters for nearly 30 years and had landed exclusive interviews with the likes of Nicklaus, Crenshaw, Faldo and Strange, but this was different. Phil Mickleson’s Girdle was notoriously tight-lipped and had never before granted an interview. Fortunately, I had not yet returned my rent-a-car.
I exited the Bobby Jones Expressway south at exit 2, made the left on Wrightsboro Road and the Lane Bryant department store was up ahead on my right. As I pulled around back I began feeling foolish, but any thoughts of this being some wild goose chase were quickly extinguished.
For draped there, outside on a flower box, was The Girdle. Phil Mickelson’s girdle.
The Girdle suggested we talk somewhere a little more intimate. Settling on a small coffee shop at the far end of the shopping mall, we sat down at a corner booth. I ordered a decaf, The Girdle had the pancakes. The following is the exclusive transcript of our conversation.
Phil Mickelson’s Girdle: How ‘bout that wedge by Bubba? Must’ve hooked it 60 yards!
Robert Mott (Me) I’ve done that. Never on purpose.
PMG: Or for the green jacket. Greatest golf tournament in the world.
RM: How long have you been coming?
PMG: To the Masters? Oh jeez, 40, 45 years. I came first as kid – my father was workin’ with Julius Boros at that time.
RM: You mean your father was also–?
PMG: –Sure, my father worked with Julie. And then for many years with Mr. X, Miller Barber –
RM: So then you’re second generation–
PMG: -Third. My grandmother was with Shirley Booth forever. You remember Shirley Booth? Hazel – America’s favorite maid? My grandmother – God rest her soul -she was the matriarch of the family…
PMG: Those were the real heydays, boy, you wanna talk stories…
RM: Go on…
PMG: You’d have to turn that [tape recorder] off. But I can tell you, because really it’s all part of this: The last pro golfer my old man was worn by, was Johnny Mahaffey. Remember Mahaffey, remember he was carrying a gun around in his golf bag?
RM: Right. He was suffering from depression at the time…
PMG –Depression, paranoia– my old man was in that golf bag! With the gun! Talk about crazy! But here’s my point:
Johnny Mahaffey would rather come clean and talk about the GUN being in there, then ever admit that he had a GIRDLE in there too. Which is why we’re sittin’ here.
RM: Yes, let’s get to the meat. Mickelson. Before we begin I’d just like to thank you for this; I know you’ve never done an interview –
PMG –Stop. You’re the best. And… it’s time. (leans in) OK, here it is in a nutshell. I began working with Phil around 2003. Our working relationship at the beginning was, what you might call, spotty. On and off.
There were quite a few times when I was left behind in many a hotel room. Y’know, Phil would try me on, spend a little time in the mirror, maybe wear me down to the lobby. But at the end of the day leave me hanging there over the back of some chair. Which… is not so unusual in my business.
RM: So when did that change?
PMG: ‘08. After “the incident” at Torrey in ‘08. Following that I’ve been on Phil pretty much full time, both on and off the course. So all in all, we have been working together, 9 years now..? God, it’s nearly a decade.
RM: The incident at Torrey. For those who may not be familiar–
PMG: Torrey Pines, the U.S. Open. We were playing that day with Tiger. So y’know it was a HUGE gallery. On the tee at 17, a fan yells out. “Hey Phil!” Phil ignores it, didn’t respond, and the fan yells out again. “Hey Phil!” We just stood there. So then the guy– “Hey, Mr. Mickelson!”
At this point, Phil looks down to me, and before I get a word out, Phil turns around to the guy, big smile…and the guy yells out “NICE TITS!” The whole gallery breaks up, everybody’s laughin.’ Phil goes double bogey, bogey, that was the ball game – tournament over.
RM: Phil is on record as saying that this was just an urban legend.
PMG: Phil has denied it, yeah.
RM: But you’re saying it did happen.
PMG (nods) Phil came out and said that the story stemmed from something that happened to Monty – Colin Montgomery – at the US Open in 2002. But see – wrong m.o. Monty just gets a lotta “Mrs. Doubtfire…”
RM –A reference to his supposed likeness to the Robin William’s character..
RM: The heavyset woman, the housekeeper he played in Mrs. Doubtfire, the film of the same name.
PMG: Yeah, Mrs. Doubtfire, the film one, there another Mrs. Doubtfire?! So anyway, with Monty you’d hear “nice drive Mrs. Doubtfire!” Or, “you free Saturday I need a sitter for the kids!”
Phil really f****d up with that statement. Which, I should of seen as a sign…(Chews thoughtfully on a pancake) Jesus, we played that back nine so well on Thursday, just to stay in the Masters…
RM: You keep saying “we.” I’ve heard a few caddies over the years refer to their partnerships with players this way, but never a support garment.
PMG: There are three elements to any golfer: Head, hands and despite what the shoe companies would have you believe, core. (Gestures to himself) Core.
You step onto that 10th tee, after a front nine like Phil had Thursday? Four over or whatever. I don’t care who you are, if on top of everything else that’s gone wrong…? If you’re looking down at a flappin’ load of lard hanging there over your belt..? Buddy, chances are good you’re goin’ home! You’re not gonna be around for the weekend!
RM: So you’re saying it’s somewhat of a vanity thing–?
PMG: –WHAT I’M SAYING IS…. Bones is a great caddy, I got nothin’ bad to say about Bones, but all he deals with, is the head, okay? Now hands, that’s all Phil. But I am head and core.
You can talk all the swing coaches you want – Butch, Pelz, Stockton with the putter, what have ya. I have got more involvement with what’s going on then any one of those gurus.
RM: Not much regard for the swing coaches?
PMG: Look at who just won the Masters. Bubba’s a friend, with no need for me either, by the way. Kid’s never had a lesson for cryin’ out loud, you’ll never see any of those leeches around him.
(The Girdle suddenly clams up as the waitress steps up to refill our coffees, waiting patiently until she leaves.)
PMG: (quietly) I’d heard rumblings about Phil throughout the week, all under the breath, you know. Shit like, “look at his shirt, looks like he’s in a sausage casing.” Or on the range the other morning, couple of guys standing there, one says. “The Bro.” The other smiles and says “Manssiere.” Y’know from Seinfeld?
So I knew it was in the air. But when we got to four today, that’s where we made the triple…
Just as we’re walking onto that tee box at four, a guy says. “Hey Phil! nice Spanx!” Next thing I know we’re in the weeds, there’s goes the green jacket.
What I’m saying is, it’s time. I want to once and for all put this all out there on the table. End all the speculation. Phil can’t do it, understand? It’s too difficult as a man to come out and say, you know.. “I’m strapped in.”
RM: So are you worried that this might affect your relationship with Phil?
PMG: No, what’s he gonna do? Work out and stop wearing me? No, I want this out there! So people are focusing on his talent and not wonderin,’ ‘hey what’s up with his shirt?’ You know what I’m saying? So we can go out and win a few more majors together.
And let me clarify, if I might Robert. I have got nothing against technology; advances in technology are part of life. My personal issue, is with, terminology. How they ever came up with this name Spanx, I’ll never know. What the hell is that? “Shapewear.” “Compression BodySuit.” It’s girdle!
That’s what I am, that’s what we are. I’d like you to make that clear Bobby, if you’d be so kind. In honor of my grandmother and all those that paved the way. You got it?
Yes. I got it. The Girdle then asked that I turn off the recorder. We talked about many things afterwards – The Alou brothers, the new i-Phone, and of all things, the toxic properties of talcum powder. After a half hour or so, I excused myself and made a trip to the men’s room. When I returned, The Girdle was gone.