So far, the fall
has been a classic
IF an intrepid
magazine writer journeys to Scottsdale, Ariz., searching for a deeper
understanding of the Fall Series, the least likely place he expects to have a
moment of clarity is in a men's room at Grayhawk Golf Club, the site of last
week's Fry's electronics open. But last thursday your correspondent visited a
water closet only to find himself at a sink next to phil Mickelson, who was
trying to scrub away the stench of an opening-round 71 that included numerous
misadventures in the desert shrubbery.
have pissed off somebody to get assigned to this," Mickelson said with a
wicked grin. "Did you get caught [sleeping with] your editor's
Uh, no, but point
segments of the golf establishment—say, superstar players and self-important
scribes—this inaugural Fall Series has long been considered akin to a
seven-week staph infection, to be avoided at all costs. Mickelson made a cameo
at the Fry's only because of his intense loyalties to the Scottsdale golf
community. He went to arizona State and lived in the area for the first half of
his pro career, and he has been a paid endorser of Grayhawk. In fact, over the
years Mickelson has chewed so much scenery there that the clubhouse eatery is
called phil's Grill, which also describes his performance at the Fry's: phil
got grilled, missing the cut by a shot after two rounds (including a Friday 70)
of giggle golf.
brief, heavily hyped visit threw into sharp relief the general scarcity of star
power that has been one prominent feature of the Fall Series. (His bathroom dig
was also a not-so-subtle nod to the minimal media coverage.) With five
tournaments now in the books, Mickelson is the only player in the top 10 of the
World Ranking to have teed up during the Fall Series, and none were on hand at
this week's Ginn sur Mer Classic, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (Tournament officials
at the season-ending Children's Miracle Network Classic, in Orlando on Nov.
1--4, are hoping a few big name locals will feel compelled to get off their
"I think the
Fall Series has been a success in a lot of ways," says Joe Ogilvie, a
member of the Tour's policy board, "but it's disappointing that the top
guys haven't played."
Really, Joe? did
you honestly expect any of them to show up?
I thought Vijay [Singh] might play a few."
If the FedEx Cup
was conceived as a way to bring together golf's best and brightest, then the
Fall Series was for everybody else, a sort of fifth quarter designed for the
Tour's scrubs to fight for their playing privileges. (the post--Fedex Cup
schedule was originally touted as the Chase for the Card before a calculated