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Aug 12th
Home Sections Philippine Presidency What Phil Mickelson and President Arroyo Have in Common
What Phil Mickelson and President Arroyo Have in Common PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Philippine Presidency
Wednesday, 09 May 2007 00:48

Phil Mickelson had a “major meltdown" in the 2006 United States Open at Winged Foot (Golf Course) in Mamaroneck, New York. The 106th edition of one of golf’s four major tournaments is remembered as the one Mr. Mickelson lost. Very few will remember it as the major won by Geoff Ogilvy, a relatively-unknown golfer from Australia. Mr. Michelson's misadventure brings a lesson even for the Philippine President. 

Mr. Mickelson’s implosion could have been averted had he followed the doctrine of “playing not to lose (PNTL).” I have always preferred the PNTL concept as against the policy of “playing to win (PTW),” especially going all out to win. The PNTL doctrine is done best if one is ahead in any competition, just as Mr. Mickelson found himself at the 72nd hole of the U.S. Open. Phil Mickelson had only to make par at the last hole to bring home the championship trophy. His first shot caromed left off a tent and landed in tramped-down grass. He could have elected to use the second shot to bring his ball back safely to the fairway. But Phil decided to go all out, perhaps aiming to land dramatically his ball on the green. But his second shot hit a tree and advanced only a few yards. Again he could have followed the safe course by hitting the ball back to the fairway. Because a bogey would have forced a playoff. But he opted to go all out again and his shot landed the ball on a bunker. The rest, as the oft-quoted cliché goes, is (ugly) history. 

The misadventure of Phil Mickelson brings a lesson even for the Philippines. Let me explain. If I were advising the Philippine President, I would tell her to follow the PNTL doctrine. Because she has to make sure that she does not lose the presidency (and her presidential legacy) by any means, constitutional or not.

It may be Mickelsonian (sic) if President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo tries to go all out to play politics and win a third term (or extend her term) in the guise of changing the form of government, i.e., from presidential to parliamentary. At this stage of her presidency, she only has to bring the best out of any circumstance, be frugal when it comes to governmental expenditure and exercise the diligence of a good mother of a family (or of a nation). No more, no less. And if she does all of these steps routinely, history may be kind to her presidency.  

I practice what I preach about the advantage of following the PNTL doctrine whenever I visit Las Vegas (NV) or Atlantic City (NJ). I prefer betting on the card table with the thought of PNTL. Because the odds favor the casino and PTW results often in huge losses. I always advise friends to go to the casino to enjoy life, go home a winner (no matter how small the winnings are) and if unlucky, minimize losses and not to bet the farm.

Since life often imitates art or sports (and vice versa), perhaps the whole world, especially the Philippines and her people and the Overseas Filipinos, will learn positively from the Phil-Mickelson implosion, especially now that the 2007 US Open is just around the corner.

As a parting advice to President Arroyo, Mr. Mickelson and all casino players, the sages say “winning is not everything.” It is how one plays it or how one lives life, especially if life is already good. But remember, when victory is almost in the bag, it is best to play conservatively, so as not lose it. # # #


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Last Updated on Monday, 05 November 2007 01:58
Comments (1)
1 Sunday, 21 July 2013 09:01
Redemption. I woke up early in the four days of the British Open, just to watch it on ESPN. I was cheering (& praying) for Phil Mickelson. It looks like Phil will win it, w/ just 3 groups behind him. He is leading by 3 shots (-3). Phil Mickelson finally played "not to lose" after he was up by 2 shots going into the 72nd hole.

Here's what I wrote in May 2007 about Phil Mickelson: FYI. Congratulations, Phil Mickelson, for the great final round. (And for winning the British Open championship.) Then by playing safely on the 18th hole, he was rewarded with a birdie.

Best wishes from Bobby M. Reyes and your other Filipino fans.

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