Phil Mickelson has been on Twitter less than a year, an endeavour aimed at generating hype for his exhibition with Tiger Woods. Despite those autocratic intentions, the five-time Major winner has managed to become one of the more entertaining follows in the golf sector of social media thanks to a mix of self-deprecation and dad humour.
Judging by his tone at this week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, Mickelson seems to be enjoying it as well.
“I didn’t realise what a great way it was to engage, connect, interact with people,” Mickelson said. “It’s really been a fun experience for me and I’m glad that I’m doing it.”
But Mickelson did let one dirty secret slip out of the bag. Something that’s been, well, a non-secret regarding most professional athletes and their social accounts.
“I have to be careful, I do have a buffer if you will because we all know that I say and do things that sometimes are just stupid and so I have to have a buffer where I send it to – do all the stuff myself, send it to somebody, have it checked to make sure that there’s no, there’s nothing in there that shouldn’t be,” Mickelson said. “And so it’s not the easiest thing, it’s not like I just get on and send something, I have to send it to somebody else, have two people check it just to make sure that I’m not making some of the mistakes that I made in the past as a way of trying to protect myself from the negative of it.
“And it’s been a really positive experience.”
We hope that glance behind the curtain didn’t ruin your weekend, but yes, agents are primarily at the Twitter handles for the majority of superstars. Although you should have figured that out after the Rolex tweetstorm last month.
Of course, there is no middle man between Mickelson and the microphone, and on Wednesday the 48-year-old admitted that his self-professed goal of 50 wins last year may now be out of reach.
“I really thought that after having won there (the WGC-Mexico), after playing three or four weeks heading into that tournament, that I was going to have a stellar end to the season,” Mickelson said. “That was a bit disappointing. I’ve got to be honest in my assessment of winning seven more times. Is that realistic? It’s certainly my goal and something I’m striving for, and yet I know it’s not going to be easy. So I don’t have the same, 100 percent, I’m going to do this thing. I’m a little more realistic because I really thought I was going to pick off two or three more at the end of the year and I played terribly.”
Though Mickelson barely missed out on No.44 at the Desert Classic two weeks ago, he’ll have another opportunity at TPC Scottsdale, where he’s won three times in his career.