That's what I've thought all along. It's convenient that Phil's peers, the people who truly know him the best, have already coined a term to describe him so accurately. Whenever I see that pompous Phil Mickelson smirk on TV, my mind automatically superimposes a cartoon-like thought bubble next to his head filled with those words, "F#ck I'm Good, Just Ask Me." That phrase fits his expression to a tee!
But being a FIGJAM, by definition, requires a massive ego. Unfortunately, such megalomania often clouds sound decision-making. That was exactly what happened to Phil at the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot.
Playing in front of a Phil-friendly crowd, Phil was determined to show off his golf skills at every available opportunity. Time and time again, Phil chose to dazzle rather than to play it smart. For the most part, he got away with it, flashing that FIGJAM smile whenever he did. But when you laugh in the faces of the Golf Gods, expect to be struck down.
Holding a one shot lead on the 18th tee, Mickelson only needed a par for the victory. A safe fairway wood off the tee would have been the wise choice, but that's beneath a FIGJAM. No, a FIGJAM needs to hit driver to impress. Phil sliced his drive so badly off the tee that it hit a hospitality tent and landed between the trees onto the spectator-trampled rough. Chipping back onto the fairway would have all but guaranteed a bogey and a playoff with Geoff Ogilvy, but again, that's beneath a FIGJAM. Phil just couldn't resist the temptation of bringing the house down with a miraculous 3-iron through the trees and onto the green. Only the miracle didn't happen. Phil's ill-advised 2nd shot hit a tree and dashed his hopes of winning.
"Discretion is the better part of valor" is an old expression derived from Shakespeare's King Henry the Fourth. It means that caution is preferable to rash bravery. Phil must not have paid much attention in English class because it is a lesson that he continues to ignore and this time it cost him a U.S. Open. But I don't think that he was too upset by it since he was smiling the whole time.
Labels: Phil Mickelson