You might have to be a golf fan to understand the enormity of Phil Mickelson’s complete mental meltdown suffered on the 18th and final hole at the 106th US Open at Winged Foot yesterday. But you don’t have to be a golf fan to understand the reputation issues that Lefty is causing for Callaway Golf this morning.
Last year, Callaway introduced their 2 new FT-3 Drivers with technology that used various weighting systems to help even the average golfer hit their driver straight. If you generally hit the ball right, you could buy a weighted club that made the ball go left, and vice versa. Problem was that the market wasn’t that excited and Callaway saw lackluster sales results. However, when Mickelson won this year’s Masters several months ago, they got an amazing break as he used both drivers in various circumstances to help him win the Major. Immediately, Callaway reintroduced the clubs with Phil as their poster boy using not one, but both of their clubs to win one of golf’s most coveted prizes- the Green Jacket.
Today, Callaway wakes up with a major headache as Mickelson essentially had yesterday’s US Open won as he stepped onto the Tee at 18. All he had to do was make Par and the championship was his. As he got ready for his last tee shot and pulled the driver out of the bag, the TV announcers immediately questioned why he was hitting the very driver he had trouble with all day, and why he wasn’t opting to go with a "safer" club. If you watch any news or sports show, you know what happened next as Phil hit a horrible shot into a tent and put himself into bad position which caused a chain of poor shots that cost him the championship.
Everything Callaway had gained at Augusta was now gone in one drive. That choice and subsequent shot are already being called one of the biggest chokes in sports history and the golf world is abuzz this morning with Lefty’s mental meltdown. In a press conference, he said he was an "idiot" and openly questioned his club choice. The real question now is if golfers will give Calloway a mulligan or will the reputation of the FT-3 Driver become part of the biggest chokes in sports history.
Hat tip to Isaac Farbowitz for this post.