Everyone loves a good squabble between athletes. This story isn’t one of those, though. Because Rod Pampling and Phil Mickelson are golfers, not athletes. We’d much prefer another Robin Ventura vs. Nolan Ryan melee, but we’re thinking that probably won’t happen in the tee box at the third hole. Still, there are some (relatively speaking) bad vibes here.
Rod Pampling doesn’t like your attitude, Phil Mickelson. You and your private plane and fluid relationship with time. So what if your chartered plane couldn’t take off, forcing you to miss the Pro-Am for the Byron Nelson Classic this week? You could have found a way. And because you didn’t make it, you should be disqualified from the tournament. After all, it IS the Byron Nelson Classic. Come on, man.
But seriously folks, what is Rod Pampling’s deal? First, it’s the freaking Pro-Am for a tournament in Texas that isn’t a major. You may love golf, Rod, but to paraphrase Kobe Bryant, Phil has bigger fish to fry than playing with a local optometrist on the Tuesday or Wednesday before a tournament where he can win money. This guy makes millions of dollars a year, has his swing examined under a microscope every week, and even has people wondering why he can’t win the big one after he’s won THREE big ones. The Pro-Am is not very high on Lefty’s list of priorities. And it’s not like he just blew it off, his plane didn’t work for God’s sake.
Rod needs to focus on the bigger picture here. If it wasn’t for Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, Rod Pampling isn’t playing for a $6.3 million purse this weekend. Golf is like any other sport. The great ones get certain concessions and special treatment that the regular guys don’t get. Barry Bonds gets his big corner of the locker room. Derek Jeter gets Jessica Biel. While we’re sure Melky Cabrera has a perfectly attractive girlfriend, he’s not getting the Jessica Biel’s of the world.
In the same way, Rod Pampling has to show up on time for the Pro-Am. If Phil’s private plane is delayed, then the guys in his group are just gonna have to deal with it. Rod has made $389, 506 so far this season; and it’s only the end of April. He doesn’t make that kind of money without Phil and especially Tiger. So the next time one of these guys can’t make it on time to the freaking pro-am, let it go Rod, let it go.