At this point in his career, Phil Mickelson probably enjoys his Tuesday money games of major championship weeks more than the actual tournaments. Mickelson typically plays with three younger guys, teams up with one, and tries to take the other two for all their worth. It's a Tuesday tradition and the anecdotes of Phil pulling one over on some green and unsuspecting player in his 20s are many (Shane Ryan detailed a devious trick Phil played on Nick Watney with a British Open wager).
In addition to all the bets, Mickelson also never shuts up during these practice round games. Tuesday at Whistling Straits was no different. Phil and Rickie Fowler squared up against Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, two good friends who should just be graduating from college. Before he got to Wisconsin, Spieth said he was planning to fly in the U.S. Open trophy and put it on every green to taunt Mickelson, who is still chasing that white whale of his career.
Spieth said he kept quiet for most of the game because that's what pisses Phil off the most -- when you don't acknowledge of respond to his cracks. But the two definitely exchanged words here with Mickelson getting in the last shot.
Phil: "I left mine in the locker room here." Spieth: "Your U.S. Open trophy?" Phil: "No, my Wanamaker from 05!" https://t.co/jN8o4nqPwI— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) August 12, 2015
This was one of the more anticipated Tuesday money games given all the star power. But then Rory McIlroy also had to get involved, coming down to join the group on the 7th tee. Phil promptly told him to watch his ankle coming down the steps and the world No. 1 gave it right back.
Phil: "Careful on those stairs, Rory. Don't hurt your ankle." Rory: "Luckily, my legs aren't as old as yours." https://t.co/FF8o5cqMqs— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) August 12, 2015
Rory did not loiter around for too long and the much-publicized match continued. There were tweets throughout the day detailing all the trash talk (using the term loosely -- this is golf) in the group. In the end, however, it was Spieth who got the best of Phil and took the money game. He drained a putt on the 18th to win a match.
Fowler did say he and Phil won the press though, so Mickelson does have that and his jokes to comfort him.
SB Nation video archives: Urban golfing with a U.S. Open champ (2012)