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Phil Mickelson Sr. joins Madrigal fundraiser

By From page B1 | January 04, 2013

What do we know about Phil Mickelson Sr.?

We know he’s a former naval aviator who is deeply rooted in the San Diego community. We know he and his wife Mary are loving parents of three golf-goofy grown children and that both Mary and Phil Sr. are dedicated to youth golf and cancer-support organizations.

We also now know that the storied father of the links’ most celebrated left-handed hitter — Phil Jr. — will be in town on Monday, March 11, to help the Davis High Madrigals with their benefit golf tournament at El Macero Country Club.

The brilliant Madrigals will be heading to Italy this spring and this nifty tournament will help defray the cost.

Mickelson Sr. is expected to provide a clinic after the round of golf in March. Then, he and Mary will be guest speakers at the awards banquet.

So, in a land that produced former Blue Devil Nick Watney, how is it that mentor Mickelson is coming to El Macero?

Madrigal parent coordinator Suzi Kinkle’s friend Mike Miller (of San Diego) is a longtime pal of the Mickelson family. Last fall, at the group’s wine pour fundraiser, Miller and Phil Sr. were returning from a Chico State function and stopped by the Madrigals event.

One discussion led to another and suddenly the DHS songbirds had themselves a marquee attraction for what would nonetheless be a fun outing. With Mary and Phil taking center stage, March 11 becomes a can’t-miss outing for area golfers — especially golfers with kids.

The Mickelsons’ other two “kids” also have made their marks on the links.

Tina is an LPGA professional in San Diego and Tim is the Arizona State golf coach. Lefty and Tim played their collegiate golf as Sun Devils.

The senior Mickelson, according to Kinkle, will discuss fundamentals at his clinic and, at the dinner following, talk about techniques and strategies that he and Mary used to successfully raise their clan.

With a four-person, scramble format, the Davis Madrigal Benefit Tournament will feature an 11 a.m. shotgun start. Mickelson’s clinic begins at 4:30 p.m. with the banquet immediately after.

Entry fee is $125 (if received before Feb. 28).

Madrigal parents John Gardias and Ken Bernard are tournament co-chairmen.

There’s tournament information and registration forms online at www.davismadrigals.com or by contacting Rafael Soler at [email protected]. He can also be reached at 530-220-0007. Local businesses and professionals can be sponsors of the tournament and/or holes. Contact Soler for more information.

“Phil Sr. is such a giving, caring individual,” Kinkle says. “That he and his wife are coming to Davis to help the Madrigal singers with our benefit golf tournament … he is truly an inspiration.”

While I Have You Here: You know the golfer they call Lefty is right-handed, right?

When Phil Jr. was 2 years old, he’d stand in the back yard with Dad watching Phil Sr. hit the golf ball.

He mimicked what Pop was doing, only in mirror image. Standing face-to-face, little Phil was swinging portside.

When Phil Jr. kept hanging out with Phil Sr., the elder Mickelson decided he’d show his 3-year-old how to hit that right-hand club correctly.

The exercise was futile.

Mickelson went to his garage, cut the heel off an old 3-wood, resurfaced it and cut down the shaft. Voila! Lefty was on his way.

Despite hitting all his shots from the off side, Mickelson Jr. endorses all of his winnings checks right-handed. Nice job, Dad.

— Bruce Gallaudet is a staff writer for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at [email protected] or 530-747-8047.

Bruce Gallaudet

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