That was Virginia’s text to me, along with a screengrab of Pete and I, shown behind Phil Mickelson (above), right after he finished up the 18th hold of Saturday’s third round of the US Open. Phil was excited; he was in the lead heading into Sunday, if only by a single shot (it ended up not being enough, and he lost by two shots to Justin Rose). But it was thrilling.
Pete and I had caught about 5 groups at the 13th, including Mickelson’s, when we headed off to the 17th. Rather than follow everyone else, we headed to the right of the 18th hole, and ran into a seeming dead end. But our VIP pass (thank you, Lexus!) got us past the course official and we found ourselves along a sparsely-occupied fencing right on the 18th hole. Pete looked at it and said, “I think we should stay right here.” So we did. I noticed the TV camera across from us, but it didn’t strike me that we’d be directly in its field of view. You’d think I’d be more savvy about the media, wouldn’t you?
One nice thing about Mickelson was that, he was exiting the green for the clubhouse, which was only 50 yards away, when he walked past a young man in a wheelchair who had an obvious medical condition. Mickelson strode by, then stopped, and returned to the young man. He reached out, touched his hand to acknowledge him, then spun around on his way. The young man was overjoyed. Classy move.