Nick Faldo has a piece of advice for Phil Mickelson at PGA Championship

Nick Faldo and Phil Mickelson during the 2018 British Open.

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Nick Faldo was asked what he thought. He answered the question in six words.

“Well, it’s hard and demanding,” he said.

The six-time Grand Slam champion then offered another six-time Grand Slam champion a piece of advice.

Outside of the tournament, the focus of this week’s PGA Championship has been on a golfer who didn’t play. A year ago, Phil Mickelson, 50, became the oldest-ever Grand Slam champion at the event; a year later, he quit after the PGA of America issued a three-sentence statement on Twitter. . By now, you know what happened in the middle: In February, he made controversial comments about his deal with the upcoming Saudi-funded LIV Invitational series, Apologize in statement Posted via his social media accounts, it has not been seen or heard since.

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But he kept talking. In South Hills, Tiger Woods admitted he and Mickelson were out of touch. “I don’t think a lot of it has to do with personal issues,” Woods said. “It’s our view of how the tour should and can be run and what the players are fighting for and how we’re fighting for it. I have a completely different stance [it]. Rory McIlroy said his stance on Mickelson had “softened” and that “people’s words are forgivable.” Current ESPN analyst David Duvall questioned why Mickelson remained silent.

Faldo talked about legacy, a buzzword over the past few months. About 15 minutes into Saturday’s PGA Championship broadcast on CBS, announcer Jim Nantz asked Faldo, the network’s lead analyst, what his stats were when he heard Mickelson would be out. What is the idea. Notably, this is also CBS’s first on-air commentary on Mickelson.

Towards the end of his answer, Faldo spoke directly to Mickelson.

“And I think Phil now, if he wants to protect his legacy, he has to get back on the PGA Tour,” he said on the radio. “That’s where he makes everything, he’s a legend here and we know if he needs to – want to play for guaranteed cash, we know there’s another option out there.

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“But I was thinking — he did two amazing things. When you’re on the tour, all you want to do as a kid is compete — the word, competition — he won as an amateur, 20, and then At 50, all you want to do is compete and prove you can do it again, and he won at 50. So that’s for sure – the middle 30 years is pretty good too; legendary career – but Think about those two things. You’re a golfer and all you want to do is compete.

“You did it as an amateur, and he did it at 50, and those are two amazing things. …You have an incredible career. Like people say, Come back for the PGA Tour.”

Here are a few takeaways. First, a subtle reference to the Saudi Series – “Want to play Guaranteed Cash, we knew there was another option out there.” As far as we know, Mickelson, who worked behind the scenes at the LIV Golf Invitational Series, was the Yes, that provides a guaranteed salary for the tournament, and he’s asking to be released from the PGA Tour for his first event, set early next month. However, registration does not mean Mickelson will play, and the PGA Tour has denied all membership requests for the LIV Championship.

Faldo also brings a legacy. Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan also used that particular word at this year’s The Players Championship, when we said: “We are and we will always be focused on legacy, not impact,” he said in a statement. Discuss “all the news, words and conjectures” about the world of professional golf lately. Why does this all matter? While discussing the Saudi series with Mickelson biographer Alan Shipnak, Mickelson once said “Saudi money finally gives us that leverage.” ”

Notably, Nanz asked Faldo another Mickelson question on Saturday:

Where would he rank PGA wins from a year ago?

“We made a comment that Sunday afternoon — I said, well, with Tiger winning his 15th major, for me it’s one of the greatest achievements of our game,” Faldo said on the radio. “To win a major at 50, you have to appreciate Phil’s physical effort, which is a three-year program, not a three-week program, to swing the club faster. Then have the mental strength to deal with the youngsters and more importantly yourself – as we know in this game, it’s all about dealing with negativity.

“But to do it in the majors on Sunday afternoon and he beat Brooks Koepka and he goes on to win, I really believe in our lifetimes not going to be surpassed. No one is better than that older.”

Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is Senior Editor for Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories in the golf field. When he’s not writing about how to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left and right, and drinking a cold beer to wash off his score. You can reach him at nick.piastowski@golf.com about any of these topics – his story, his game, or his beer.

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