Amy Mickelson Diagnosed With Cancer

Some battles are tougher than anything a U.S Open can throw at you.

Amy Mickelson, wife of world number 2 golfer Phil Mickelson and well known philanthropist, has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Gaylord Sports Management, Mickelson’s representation on tour, announced last Wednesday in a brief press release that after “a battery of tests” Amy Mickelson would be undergoing treatment for breast cancer in the very immediate future.

“More tests are scheduled, but the treatment process is expected to begin with major surgery, possibly within the next two weeks.” the press release said.

The news has put on hold Mickelson’s schedule for the remainder of the PGA Tour season. He withdrew from last week’s HP Byron Nelson Championship and has put all other plans, including his return to the U.S Open at Bethpage Black in New York state, on hold. Mickelson was the runner-up there in 2002, a tournament which was widely remembered for local New Yorkers throwing their full-throated support behind Mickeson for the first time in his career. He has been gallery favourite ever since.

“We’re all just in shock,” said Rick Smith, Mickelson’s former coach. “We know Amy is a strong person, and her attitude is phenomenal, and that’s going to help get her through this difficult time.”

Michael Bamberger, senior writer at Sports Illustrated recently put together a piece about Amy Mickelson, her public image, and her relationship with both her husband and the tour itself.

“If you poll the wives of Tour players, formally or otherwise, about which Tour wife today most closely follows in the remarkable tradition established by Barbara Nicklaus, Amy Mickelson is invariably the answer.” Bamberger wrote. “She’s a superb storyteller (without being gossipy). She’s generous with advice on the best restaurants and hotels. She’s committed to various education and healthcauses. She makes her husband look better. Amy’s model has been Barbara, who wasn’t shy but knew who the fans came to see. Amy has a thing about not signing autographs. (Phil’s steadfast caddie, Jim Mackay, has the same policy.) But she’ll take a shy kid by the hand and bring him or her over to meet Phil.”

Amy met her future husband in 1992 when they were both attending Arizona State. Amy was the vivacious, blond cheerleader and Phil (unbeknownsed to Amy) was already a PGA Tour winner, 3 time Collegiate Player of the Year and maybe the most celebrated amateur golfer in half a century. Phil would go on to amass 36 PGA Tour titles, 3 majors and more Ryder and President’s Cup appearances than anyone in the last 15 years. They have 3 children, Amanda, 9, Sophia, 7 and Even, 6. The family and an entourage of nannies can be seen traveling from tour stop to tour stop. Despite a hectic schedule of her own, Amy Mickelson still walks more rounds with her husband as she does not.

Blessed with an agreeable persona, goofy smile and chatty nature on the course, Phil Mickelson has become one of the most beloved players for galleries across the world. This reputation does not extend into the locker room however, and rumors of post-tournament tantrums and cold-shouldering of fellow players circulates feverishly throughout the golfing community. These rumors often overshadow the large amount of charity work conducted by both Phil and Amy, including the science scholarships and programs they have created in conjunction with Exxon Mobile. Last year Mickelson gave a spectator $200 from his own wallet after hitting the man with a wayward drive.

Regardless of the differing views on Mickelson the golfer, one could never accuse him of not being family oriented. At the 1999 U.S Open at Pinehurst Mickelson dueled the entire weekend with Payne Stewart only to be denied his first major by a divine birdie on the final hole by Stewart. What made Mickelson’s run at Pinehurst even more remarkable was the fact that he was carrying a beeper that, should it sound, would announce that wife Amy was going into labor with their first child. If Stewart had missed his birdie putt on the last hole of regulation Mickelson would have heard that beeper go off on the 10th tee the next day in the playoff. As it turned out, daughter Amanda was born the next day, father by her side.

Many will recall Stewart’s reaction to that win, holding Mickelson’s face in his hands on the final green, tears streaming down his own face, Stewart told Mickelson that he was about to receive the greatest gift of all- he was about to become a father. The tragic death of Payne Stewart less than a year later only made that moment even more important, to Mickelson and to golfing history.

Phil would, of course, win his first major four and a half years later at the 2004 Masters, finally shedding the tag of “best player never to win a major”. When he holed the winning putt on the 72nd hole it was a moment that appeared to contain more relief than actual excitement, and it was no surprise the first person to hug him when he walked off the final green was Amy Mickelson. Since 1992 they have been virtually inseparable. You can be sure that if and when Amy Mickelson is given a clean bill of health, the first person she will hug will be Phil and the relief felt will top anything, even winning your first major.


5 Responses to “Amy Mickelson Diagnosed With Cancer”

  1. roanne seluzitsky says:

    Amy, i am a breast cancer survivor 8 years you are going to be fine i wont sugar coat it the road sometimes get tough but you are a strong woman i can tell and you have an amazing husband by your side. at the end of your journey you will be there for someone else i will pray for you because you are now in a club we didnt chose to be in but i know you will be fine JUST GET YOUR PINK BOXING GLOVES ON AND GET FIGHTING LOVE AND PRAYERS ROANNE COMMACK LI NY

  2. Reginald & Carmel says:

    I ask you if you can send a message to Amy Mickelson.

    My Wife has just had a 4 hour operation for Breast Cancer and she coming along Fine

    It has been four weeks now since that was done. Still has breasts after they took a hell of lot of sections from inside away. Will be sore for a while yet but she is making Progress.

    So Amy keep the Chin up and hang in there Because you have Breast Cancer does not necessary mean you are at the end of everything Terrible thing Cancer but it beatable by a lot of people who have been there
    So GIRL Go for it Fight like hell , I know you will and that man of yours will be a Strong Partner by your side , Let him help you thru this section of your Life. I giv my sweetheart Breky in bed most mornings( and she normally did not like Breky in Bed ) Go for it Lady and show you can beat it!!

    Do not lose heart and you will WIN !!! My thoughts are with you and that great lefty Golfer your Hubby

    Take Care

    With our Love to you both

  3. Rosemary says:

    My heart goes out to Amy and I wish her well.
    My clubs I play with have the breast cancer symbol on them and everytime I use them I think of all the courageous women out there who are fighting this insidius disease.
    Phil is a great golpher, but he is also a wonderful husband and father and I’m sure with his support Amy will get through this.

  4. Ron Mullard says:

    I would like to send the very best of wishes to Phil and Amy Mickelson at this very trying and worrying time and hopes for a complete and speedy recovery.

  5. Larry Quah says:

    May she get well soon and may God bless her abundantly in her recovery and also those who are going to treat her.

Leave a Reply