Phil Mickelson stole the show during The Match. Even before the charity golf event kicked off, his trash talk of Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning set the tone for what turned out to be a funny and competitive event. Once Mickelson was mic'd up on the course giving Tom Brady advice and breaking down his own game, the competition for guy-you'd-most-want-to-play-18-with was over. Mickelson had won.
During the third round of the PGA Championship, after finishing his round before the leaders had teed off, Mickelson was back in the spotlight, joining Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo in the booth to provide some analysis for the viewers at home. Like he did during The Match, Mickelson was entertaining and insightful, even outshining the veteran golf analyst Faldo. But while his talent and star power as an analyst would rival Tony Romo in the NFL, there's no way Mickelson will trade in his tees for a microphone when his career ends. It's just not his style.
A swashbuckling player with a gambling itch that rivals Michael Jordan, Mickelson doesn't seem like the type of person who would be content on the other side of the television camera. His thrills come from competition, and while you could argue that becoming the best golf analyst would be a type of competition Mickelson could sink his teeth into, he seems more suited for higher-stakes contests post-retirement. Whether that be expanding his brand, starting a new business or climbing Mount Everest, those pursuits seem more interesting to a thrill-seeker like Mickelson than being tethered to a chair for 8-10 hours a day 15-20 weekends of the year.
That doesn't mean lefty won't ever grace us with his presence in the booth. As long as he's still playing on Tour, he'll want to stay relevant. If it isn't as a player, which during this restarted season it has not been, he can always pop in the booth, tell a few funny stories, make a few jokes and remind viewers why they love him (and should buy his merch).
He executed that to perfection during the third round, providing clear, concise insight on shots players were preparing to hit, informing the audience that Li Haotong is actually funny (who would have guessed) and also offering this hilarious repose to a Nick Faldo swing critique.
It's those sorts of retorts Mickelson has always been known for. He's a master trash talker, having honed his craft for the last 40-plus years, and can back it up on the course. But while his personality and insight would play perfectly on television, the only time we'll see Mickelson in the booth in the future is when it works for him. He won't do it for the money (he's got enough for his grandkids' grandkids to live a lavish life). He won't do it for the fame (likewise, the name Mickelson will always be known in golf). He'll do it because he wants to for whatever reason. Just don't expect it too often.