Standing in what appeared to be an "Apocalypse Now" scene Sunday at Augusta National, Phil Mickelson looked exactly as one might expect after landing knee deep into avoidable trouble of his own making.
A little flustered, and a lot determined.
"I'm going to fix this," he seemed to be thinking to himself as he lined up to play it as it lay.
What happened next as Mickelson turned his wedge around, hacking unsuccessfully until he had a triple-bogey for his efforts matters hardly at all. This is not about Mickelson, or even about failure and its universal imprint on sports.
Failure, you see, is the necessary price of greatness. This is why we respect Jana Novotna even as she cries on the Duchess of Kent's shoulder after a particularly heartbreaking loss at Wimbledon, or Rangers closer Neftali Feliz even as he hangs his head after being bested by David Freese in the World Series. They simply failed in the moment.
Just as hate is not the antithesis of l...