Rose celebrates his US Open victory, knowing the real prize still lays ahead
From the Green Jacket to Pebble Beach, mens only clubs and the ceremonial first shots at Augusta, golf is a sport full of wonderful tradition. No tradition, however, is quite as unusual as the age old practice of supplanting Phil Mickelson's place in his own family after winning the US Open.
"It's a dream come true," said Justin Rose, one arm around Phil's youngest child, the other around his wife. "To spend the coming week celebrating my victory over Phil with his own family and perform all of his duties, both fatherly and husbandly, well, these are the things that really make this sport special."
As the quaint tradition dictates, Rose and the Mickelsons, minus Phil, are set to embark on a week-long vacation to the Virgin Islands where Rose will receive Father's Day cards from his children and get to know his wife on a more intimate level.
"I got in my own head down the final stretch" admitted Mickelson, who will once again have to swallow the bitter pill of losing his family to an opponent. "Golfers live and die by their ability to focus, and during those late double bogeys the thought of forfeiting my wife to yet another man got the better of me."
To outsiders, this tradition may seem outdated, bizarre and even cruel, but golf enthusiasts insist that it would not be the US Open without seeing the victor enjoy the fruits of Phil Mickelson's labor. "I don't quite recall why the tradition began," mused Mickelson as he morosely deposited yet another 2nd-place check for $700,000, "all I can remember is that following my runner-up finish in the '99 Open, Payne Stewart was on a cruise ship with all of my loved ones almost instantaneously."
"But hey, tradition is tradition," Phil concluded in his usual gracious manner.