GULLANE, Scotland – Why is Phil Mickelson so loved?
Meet Ross Brown. Ross fell off his bike and broke his left arm, which stinks anytime it happens but especially when you're 9 years old and it's summertime and you have to wear a cast up to your elbow.
As Mickelson walked from the 15th green after making birdie to go to 3-under in the first round of the British Open, he was greeted with a cattle call of "go Phils." The happy-go-lucky Mickelson looked to the crowd, tipped his hat in thanks and then did a double take. To his left, in a swarm of people, he noticed a little boy with a broken arm. Without hesitation, Mickelson walked toward Brown and said, "Here you go little man," and tossed him the ball he'd just rolled in the cup.
It was subtle and Mickelson didn't make a big deal about it. But it was a big deal for a little boy.
Acts like this are why 15 minutes later when Phil Mickelson, American, and Rory McIlroy, Irishman, walked up the 18th fairway together, the overwhelming endorsements from the British crowd went for the American.