Today in Promotional Golf: Why Is Phil Mickelson Wearing a Long-Sleeve Dress Shirt at the Players Championship?
Being a southpaw and a fairly distinguished one, at that, in a sport that has not produced that many left-handers, Phil Mickelson stands out when he hits the links. With 43 PGA Tour victories, including five majors, the 47-year-old ranks ninth on the all-time wins list. But while he will not eclipse Sam Snead as golf’s most triumphant performer, he could come to outdistance his predecessor and peers as their game’s most daring wardrobe chooser. At this week’s Players Championship, “Lefty” is sporting a long-sleeve dress shirt in the Florida sun, with the atypical garment a component of an endorsement deal he has with Mizzen+Main.
— mizzen+main (@MizzenAndMain) May 11, 2018
The Texas-based company made headlines last month when Mickelson wore one of its tops for a Masters Tournament practice round, leading to the creation of a Twitter account in its honor. With the stakes much higher this week, the notable client is shunning logic by buttoning up, even though Ponte Vedra Beach’s temperatures have proven a tad warm.
Regardless of Mother Nature’s intrusion, Mickelson—who at the Masters declared the shirt’s “stretchy fabric” and aesthetics helped him to shun customary short-sleeve tops for that competition—is again showing immediate allegiance to Mizzen+Main. Thanks to the cash and clout that the agreement is affording him—the latter coming through his having a stake in the company that also has a similar relationship with the NFL's J.J. Watt—the golfer is hoping to add a second Players Championship to his name, having won in 2007 when he did not choose to test his sweat glands’ tolerance.
As of this afternoon, though, he was in jeopardy of missing the cut while wearing something from a business he dubbed “the perfect apparel partner” that has let him “move from the board room to the golf course.” No matter how Mickelson fares in his initial event as a full-fledged Mizzen+Main supporter, the shirts deserve a bit of examination.
His official choosing of it comes two months after his WGC-Mexico Championship playoff win ended a four-and-a-half-year title drought, so perhaps he can return to prominence with the product’s assistance, granting the promotional golf shirt good-luck-charm status that could help Mickelson join the ranks of many superstitious athletes. One wonders if he plans to wear it throughout the summer, as we all know how oppressive the upcoming months’ temperatures can be.
Big things in the works. pic.twitter.com/uHDmRDf11h
— mizzen+main (@MizzenAndMain) May 10, 2018
Let’s say he puts together a nice stretch of play while wearing the $125 branded top, which offers some pretty sweet decorative placements, with the silhouetted cuffs particularly eye-catching. Could he signal a fashion revolution on courses across the country? Could promotional golf connoisseurs decide that acquiring their fill of Phil must also mean mimicking his threads?
We all are well aware of how often sports franchises tinker with their uniforms, but golf, which more than a few folks have foolishly labeled boring, is not short on professionals with a knack for performing well and dressing interestingly, if not unconventionally (we hope you're resting in peace, Payne Stewart). Athletes are always looking for an edge, so if Mickelson starts to ascend leaderboards, maybe his contemporaries will go for the long-sleeve attire, too. After all, as many lefties have proven over the years in their respective sports, there does not have to be a “right” way to go about one’s business, as long as victories follow.