Scottsdale, AZ—When Johnny Miller finally writes the book on Phil Mickelson, 2018 may require it’s own chapter. How else will he properly articulate a calendar year that saw Phil win on the PGA Tour at 48 years old, tell the USGA to sod off, trail-blaze the advent of pay-per-view golf and finally develop into a grizzled veteran, keeping young golfers in line for the sake of tradition. One player who has been resistant to Phil’s mentoring is Jason Kokrak. Golf.com reported this week the two golfers had an altercation at Shinnecock Hills during the 118th US Open in June, leading to a year long beef that culminated recently with Mickelson calling out Kokrak in an interview with Tim Reilly.
Reilly: “There are reports claiming you and Jason Kokrak had to be separated in the locker room at Shinnecock Hills during the Open. Any truth to that story?”
Mickelson: “You know Tim, it might not the right thing to do, but I’m done trying to hide or cover up anything that happened here. Jason is a fine young golfer, and I say young because he’s in his mid-30’s and I’m pushing 50, but he’s a complete and total asshole. And a moron. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen him make a cut, go out that Friday night and get hammered, then show up violently hung over for his round on Saturday morning. I’m talking puking in the portable bathrooms our fans use, blowing cocaine boogers into his golf towel for the whole world to see, and then thinking a few hits off a joint will set him straight before he tees off. This wasn’t one weekend, either. He’s doing this week in and week out. So when Jason walked into the locker room at Shinnecock smelling like he had a family of skunks in his shower bag, eyes red as the devils dick, I had to step in and do something. And it didn’t end well for him.”
Reilly: “So you’re saying there was an altercation?”
Mickelson:“What I’m saying is a lot needs to change. With Jason and the PGA Tour. When you cover up people’s negative behaviors like this, it empowers them and you end up with a guy waltzing into the locker room at the US Open high as a helicopter after being suspend for THC in the recent past. The PGA Tour needs to just come out and say “Look, he tested positive five times for THC in 2015 and didn’t play on the tour for months because of that, not a back injury. The PGA Tour is at fault here, but mostly this is on Jason to finally be an adult. I don’t care if you refuse to learn how to hit a fade or use Twitter to promote men’s underwear, just don’t show up to America’s Championship blazed out of your mind.”
Kokrak and I met up at The Kig Tut Hookah Lounge in Charlotte this weekend to discuss the Phil Mickelson incident and some of the allegations being thrown his way. “I am not a role model. I am not paid to be a role model. I’m paid to make putts. Parents should be role models. Just because I hit 320 yard drives doesn’t mean I should raise your kids.” Kokrak said, “And Phil Mickelson if you’re reading this, don’t come at me like that ever again. I’m so tired of his shtick. Every time Phil sees me at an event, he calls me a different name. Bob, Jerry, Mortimer, the list goes on. He knows my name. So he’s mad I don’t sign autographs because I’d rather be smoking a pre-rolled back at the hotel? I don’t want to talk to fans because I don’t like golf fans. Phil can do what he wants, but the next time he tries to sucker punch me I’m going to choke him out with a Mizzen+Main button down golf shirt.”