Well, as Billy Payne said a few days earlier when referring to another player, “Every kid in the world would like his swing but they’d settle for his smile.”
Phil gives them a smile and so much more. He fist bumps, he makes eye contact, he acknowledges the fans constantly and does it with a slight embarrassing consciousness that everyone recognizes as genuine. He answers questions from his heart and his being; not his head; not scripted; not rote.
He loves his wife, adores his children and travels with a family gathering. He is inclusive.
In his late 30’s he has instituted a new level of discipline that affects his mind, his body, his game and his outlook. He has also done something with his game and his decisions and his famous risk taking. It is much more thoughtful now. He has displayed that he can be coached and that he can learn from past actions. And he trusts himself. He is setting an example to young men and women that the combination of practice, knowledge and confidence can be trusted when it is needed.
He is admired by his competitors. He is admired by the big shots in the game. Mostly, though, he is admired by the fans.
We hope and pray for the best for Phil, his wife and his family.
We are fortunate to live in a time with a public figure that does what many others just say that they will do. Phil lives it and many youngsters (and oldsters) will have a living example to help them decide who and want they want to be; how they choose to act and the type of woman or man that they will develop into.
Thank you Phil for what you do.