That was the first time I met Thompson. The second time came five days later. He was seated on a curb with a sharpie and British Open flag in hand. Throughout the week he had snagged an autograph from every Open champion on the property.
I jogged the course or parts of it on Sunday. I avoided Swilken Bridge. The tourists without any sort of official help were lined up to take snaps of it.
One half of me thought “Leave him alone. Let the man do his job.” The other half said “Damn it ask him about Carnoustie’s wicked-fast fairways!” Curiosity may have killed the cat but it nurtured our convo.
I thought I had created a story by making my putt but he didn’t see it that way. The best way to describe Phil is . And I mean that in the most respectful way. The shots he hits or the decisions he’s made on the course that aren’t so great he forgets.
“You want Phil stories? I wouldn’t even know where to start . There’s only so many guys on Tour that I can just look at and I’ll start laughing and Phil is right there near the top.