I've never been the type to set down and watch a golf tournament on television in my free time.
I usually limit by sports viewing during the summer months to Pirate baseball, the NHL and NBA playoffs (why they are still playing in mid-June is a subject for another day) or even replays of past college or pro football games.
But I found myself over the weekend checking out the U.S. Open. Not because of Tiger Woods or Matt Kuchar or any other notable golfer.
I wanted to see how Phil Mickelson was doing. Why you ask?
Because my respect level for "Lefty" went up a notch last week. Not for his play, but his actions before the tournament.
It was refreshing to see a pro athlete, in a day and age where family seems to take a second fiddle, attend his oldest daughter's eighth-grade graduation in California on a Wednesday night and travel overnight for an early morning tee time at the Pennsylvania course.
Mickelson appeared to be headed for his first U.S. Open title, entering the final round on Father's Day, which also was his 43rd birthday, in position to secure the crown.
Unfortunately, the father of three was unable to close the deal, shooting a 4-over-par 74 on the final day, and finishing two shots behind Justin Rose.
"It's very heartbreaking," Mickelson said after the tournament. "This week was my best opportunity, I felt, heading into the final round, the way I was playing and the position I was in."
It's my hope that Phil Mickelson will get his U.S. Open title somewhere down the road. Whether you like him or not, his actions as a pro athlete - on and off the course - are something we can all learn from.
It would have been a perfect scenario for Lefty to win this year's title.
Fortunately, Mountain State residents get a chance to see Mickelson at the upcoming Greenbrier Classic. He will make this third appearance in the event, which takes place July 1-7 at in White Sulphur Springs.
I encourage any fan attending the tournament, who doesn't have a rooting interest for any of the other names in the field, to cheer on Lefty.
He deserves it.
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COACHING?NEWS:?Elkins native Melissa Teets has been named the new head boys basketball coach at Bartlett Yancey High School in Yanceyville, N.C.
Teets, a former player at Elkins High School and sports writer for The Inter-Mountain, had served as an assistant coach for several years in the North Carolina area before landing the top spot for the Buccaneers.
With her work ethic and dedication to student-athletes, Teets should flourish in her new role.
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ON?THE?ROAD: Former Moorefield three-sport all-stater Brent Metheny is now coaching in the Frontier League.
Metheny is guiding the Frontier Greys, which has presented quite a challenge.
Because of scheduling issues caused by a team dropping out of the league last season, Metheny's squad will play all 96 of its games on the road.
"They're doing a great job and I hope they can keep it up," Metheny said after a recent game.
After a standout baseball career at James Madison, Metheny signed with the Seattle Mariners in 2003 and played in single-A with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.
He then spent time in the Frontier League and later signed with the Chicago White Sox, playing a full season at single-A with the Kannapolis Intimidators in 2006.
Metheny also played in the Atlantic League, Northern League, Golden Baseball League and North American League before taking over as manager of the Greys, who are based out of Sauget, Ill.
- Sports Editor Joey Kittle can be reached at 304-636-2121, ext. 109 or via email at jkittle@theinter mountain.com