Phil Mickelson got in a practice round on Sunday at Augusta, but his playing partner in a pre-Masters tuneup was not one of the other PGA Tour A-listers hanging around Magnolia Lane. Lefty teed it up with former U.S. Secretary of State and newly green-jacketed Condoleezza Rice, according to ESPN.com’s Bob Harig.
Mickelson gushed like a schoolboy with a crush after making his way around the iconic home of the Masters with one of the first two women to gain membership into the formerly male-only enclave.
"It was awesome. She's one of my favorite people,” Mickelson said about Rice, who, along with businesswoman Darla Moore, joined Augusta last August. “She's got the greatest personality and attitude, and she's so much fun to be around. She's so knowledgeable about world affairs. It's just incredible. It's a great experience."
But it was Condi’s putting that really caught Phil’s eye, and his review of her work with the flat stick had more than one observer wondering if the three-time Masters champ may be adding a new short-game coach to his entourage.
Mickelson played with Augusta's newest member today. Raved about Condi Rice making a 40-foot putt with 18 feet of break. New putting coach?— Doug Ferguson (@dougferguson405) April 7, 2013
“She's a phenomenal putter,” Mickelson said. “As soon as I saw she was a member, I called her to work up a game, just like I did Arnold [Palmer] back in the day as an amateur. She's just one of my favorite people to be around."
Rice told Harig she enjoyed the play and then the Stanford professor made her way over to Tiger Woods, who was about to set out for a practice round with his own unofficial putting coach, Steve Stricker. Rice and Woods, a star in his two years on Stanford’s golf team, know each other through mutual college connections.
For those wondering what a woman actually looks like in one of those less-than-fashionable green blazers, the Associated Press’ Doug Ferguson provided the answer:
Condi looking rather dapper in green.twitpic.com/chrumj— Doug Ferguson (@dougferguson405) April 7, 2013