This morning, round one of the 109th U.S. Open
at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, New York got started.
Of interest is the match between the world's No. 1 golfer, Tiger Woods
, and the No. 2 golfer, Phil Mickelson
. And yet, another battle is being fought in Phil Mickelson's life--his wife, Amy, was diagnosed with breast cancer a month ago.
Amy's diagnosis sent shockwaves through the golf world. Players pledged their support of Amy, 37, known as a fixture in tournament crowds always supporting her husband. Recently at the Colonial tournament in Fort Worth, Texas, the PGA Tour Wives Association, Susan G. Komen for the Cure
, and tour officials designated a "pink out" on the last day of play in honor of Amy and to raise awareness for breast cancer research. Players, caddies, tournament officials, and fans decked out in pink.
Phil announced he would take a leave of absence from golf to tend to his wife and family. He's played in 61 consecutive major championships. If Amy has surgery in July, Phil said he will miss the next major, the British Open. So not only will Phil's streak of consecutive majors be broken, but this Open may be the last tournament he plays for a while.
Golf analysts are saying the Open may be one of the greatest matchups if Tiger and Phil get paired on the last day. Last year, Tiger won the Open in dramatic style, limping to victory with two stress fractures and a torn ligament in his knee. Known for his desire to surpass Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major titles (Tiger has 14), no doubt Tiger is seeking another win.
But with Amy's diagnosis and with her absence being felt in the crowds at this week's Open, Phil is by far the sentimental favorite. In a press conference, he said she has been sending him notes and texts, and said she was hoping for a silver trophy in her hospital room.
I hope she gets her wish, and that she achieves a victory of sorts as well, that is, one over breast cancer.