The Runner-Up Runners-UpThe Golf Channel isn't so bad with the sound off. On the graphics crawl line this evening, I was actually taught something.
Many golf fans know, and God knows ESPN will try to make sure everyone knows this weekend, that Phil Mickelson holds a painful record of having been second more times in the U.S. Open than any golfer in history, having earned place money six times. Less well-known, I'm betting, are the identities of the other multiple second bananas in Open history.
It's a tie. There are four Peyton Manning-type can't win the big one losers who Phil has eclipsed for being just good enough to have the haters' tongues wagging. We all know there's only first place and the rest is Failureville right? Talk radio philosophy is sports' true philosophy. Sycophancy for the winners, spite and scorn for the rest.
The four losers in question are, in chronological order: Bobby Jones, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.
I'll faint dead away if Mickelson wins the 2014 Open. He's got putting issues, the worst fate a golfer of any level of ability can endure. But if by chance he finishes second, don't dare call it losing.
He'll just have extended his lead on one hell of a list to be atop.