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The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorized!) Biography of Golf's Most Colorful Superstar
A juicy and freewheeling biography of legendary golf champion Phil Mickelson—who has had a big, controversial life—as reported by longtime Sports Illustrated writer and bestselling author Alan Shipnuck.
Phil Mickelson is one of the most compelling figures in sports. For more than three decades he has been among the best golfers in the world, and his unmatched longevity was thrown into sharp relief in May 2021, when Mickelson, on the cusp of turning fifty-one, became the oldest player in history to win a major championship. In this raw, uncensored, and unauthorized biography, Alan Shipnuck captures a singular life defined by thrilling victories, crushing defeats, and countless controversies. Mickelson is a multi-faceted character and all of his warring impulses are on display in these pages: He is a smartass who built an empire on being the consummate professional; a loving husband dogged by salacious rumors; a compulsive gambler who knows the house always wins but can’t tear himself away; an intensely private person cravenly building his brand on social media.
Mickelson’s career and public image have been defined by the contrast with his lifelong rival, Tiger Woods. Where Woods is robotic and reticent, Mickelson is affable and extroverted, a consummate showman whom many fans love and some can’t stand because of his overwhelming Phil-ness. For over a decade, Mickelson lacked Tiger’s laser focus and discipline, leading Tida Woods to call her son’s rival “the fat boy,” among other things. Yet as Woods’s career has been curtailed by scandal, addiction, and a broken body, Mickelson sails on, still relevant on the golf course and in the marketplace.
This book is the perfect marriage of subject and author. Shipnuck has long been known as the most fearless writer on the golf beat and he goes deep on all the rumors and controversies that have forever dogged Mickelson. But he spends nearly as much time celebrating Mickelson’s random acts of kindness and generosity of spirit. Shipnuck has been on the ground at Mickelson’s most memorable triumphs and crack-ups and he takes readers inside the ropes with a thrilling immediacy. His access through the years to Phil, his wife, his famous caddie Bones, and other insiders gives the story a deep intimacy. Phil is the juiciest and liveliest golf book in years, full of heart, humor, and unexpected turns.