The Phil Mickelson Comeback Tour? Here’s one version of how that might go.

Lefty will be back, Rory McIlroy says.

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Folks! The Phil Mickelson Comeback Tour is upon us!

On Wednesday, before the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Rory McIlroy got the ball rolling, saying, in part:

“I think Phil has been, and still is, a wonderful ambassador for the game of golf. This whole situation is unfortunate. Phil will be back. I think the players want to see him back. … We all make mistakes. We all say things we want to take back. But we should be allowed to make mistakes and we should be allowed to ask for forgiveness and for people to forgive us and move on.”

Within hours, through various social-media channels, millions of people had read and absorbed those comments.

Phil Mickelson walks down the fairway.
‘Phil will be back’: Rory McIlroy softens stance on Mickelson controversy
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Later that day Mickelson appeared, per a previously established schedule, as a pitchman on a bonus episode of the ABC hit show Shark Tank, recorded in Studio City, Calif. No, folks, this didn’t really happen! Stay with us! This is the made-up part of the column!

In the episode, per ABC sources not at liberty to discuss the show’s details publicly, Mickelson’s intention was to pitch a new line of golf clubs. It was scheduled to air on April 1.

But the taping had so much cross-talk and general bedlam that it was unclear whether a show could be salvaged from the unusually long one-hour taping. 

A collection of all-star Shark Tank Sharks had been assembled for the shoot:

*Troy Carter (TROY), hip-hop entrepreneur and talent agent;

*Mark Cuban (CUBAN), majority owner of the Dallas Mavericks;

*Daymond John (DAYMOND), founder of the FUBU clothing line;

*Lori Greiner (LORI), serial inventor of retail products;

*Alex Rodriguez (A-ROD), steroid-tainted former MLB slugger and popular ESPN baseball analyst.

Raw tape from parts of the shoot was obtained by GOLF.com. It was transcribed and appears below.

PHIL:

Hello, Sharks. My name is Phil Mickelson. I’m a left-handed professional golfer and a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.

CUBAN:

We know who you are, dude! The whole world knows who you are.

Mark Cuban, big Phil guy. ABC/Shark Tank

PHIL:

Thanks, Mark. My new motto is presume nothing.

DAYMOND:

Apology tour! This is great.

PHIL:

Well, you can call it that, Daymond, but I think —

LORI:

I just love what you said to that writer. Truth-to-power, Phil! Love it!

PHIL:

In fairness, Mrs. Greiner.

LORI:

Lori, please.

PHIL:

Lori, I was only speaking of —

A-ROD:

I’m all in.

CUBAN:

C’mon, Rod! Let’s at least give the impression that Brother Phil is gonna pitch us before we throw ourselves at him.

A-ROD:

Hey, I know how this movie ends. I’ve seen it. P-Mick will be back, badder than ever. I. Am. All. In.

CUBAN:

Nobody calls him that.

DAYMOND:

Let’s put it to the man, man. Phil, are you looking to rebrand yourself, right down to your name?

PHIL:

I appreciate the thought, Daymond, but I’m happy with Phil.

TROY:

And why wouldn’t you be? Did you hear Rory today? He didn’t say Phil MICKELSON. He said Phil.

LORI:

That’s why you finished first in that PIP money thing.

PHIL:

No, I actually didn’t. And, again, that’s on me. I jumped the — 

CUBAN:

Nobody cares! It’s all about tomorrow, baby. Pitch us, kid! 

PHIL:

Well, I have what I hope may be a promising idea to bring this great game to untold numbers of people who want to try this great game but don’t have an obvious path to it. But I need a wise partner, which I hope will be one of you, with your gifts for finance and marketing.

A-ROD:

I’m in.

“Say no more. I’m in!” ABC/Shark Tank

PHIL:

OK! But just to explain it a little, beginning golfers today will oftentimes go to one place to get fitted for clubs, another location to buy them, a third venue to take lessons, another site to practice and yet another locale to play.

LORI:

I got my checkbook right here, Phil!

PHIL:

That’s great. So my idea is a new kind of golf experience and a new kind of golf company, which I hope to call Free Swings.

TROY:

You had me at hello. You had me at hello!

PHIL:

That’s cute, Troy. So just to continue here for a minute, I envision would-be golfers going on a website, signing up for a two-hour session where they will come to my home in suburban San Diego, where I will have amassed thousands and thousands of nine-club beginner sets, made from 100 percent recycled materials.

CUBAN:

You’re a genius, Phil. This is a loss-leader play, right? I don’t care. I’m with you. I’m your man.

PHIL:

What I envision is fitting my customer-guests right in the garage. I’ll look at their swings in my backyard driving range and take them out for six-hole rounds.

TROY:

Can these customer-guests pay something extra for you to teach ‘em how to hit those high, nasty straight bombs? I love that. How good is that? Hitting bombs.

PHIL:

No, I think back to that kind of hubris I so often displayed, it actually makes me —

TROY:

You’re going down that driveway at Augusta, talking about hitting those bombs. Who else does that? GOT to be a way to monetize that.

PHIL:

Not really where —

Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson plugs his coffee as only Phil Mickelson can
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LORI:

Right? And that whole Phireside with Phil series. Gold! Absolute YouTube gold.

PHIL:

That was fun, but that was a time and a —

A-ROD:

The coffee. Phil’s Wellness Coffee. I recall reading about that in the Financial Times. That’s a billion-a-year company right there.

PHIL:

I see that more about personal health, not something I would —

DAYMOND:

He could kill it in food-and-beverage. Phil’s Fried Spaghetti with Eggs? You go into the right parts of San Diego? It’s already a thing. Ready to blow that thing up.

PHIL:

That’s just a family recipe, nothing I’d ever —

CUBAN:

I could actually see Phil starting his own golf tour. I’ve got the perfect name for it: PHIL.

PHIL:

No, no, no. No. My fealty is to the —

DAYMOND:

Phil, I got a question: What are you gonna charge these guests-customers? 

PHIL:

That’s the best part. It’s pay as your able, but nothing more than $50 for the two-hour session, and that’s the family rate. 

A-ROD, CUBAN, DAYMOND, LORI GREINER, TROY, in chorus:

I’m in. I’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse? I AM IN. You’ve heard of SPACs, blank-check companies? In. You didn’t even touch your NFTs potential. I’m the most in. I’m in, I’m in, I’m in.

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Michael Bamberger

Golf.com Contributor

Michael Bamberger writes for GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. Before that, he spent nearly 23 years as senior writer for Sports Illustrated. After college, he worked as a newspaper reporter, first for the (Martha’s) Vineyard Gazette, later for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He has written a variety of books about golf and other subjects, the most recent of which is The Second Life of Tiger Woods. His magazine work has been featured in multiple editions of The Best American Sports Writing. He holds a U.S. patent on The E-Club, a utility golf club. In 2016, he was given the Donald Ross Award by the American Society of Golf Course Architects, the organization’s highest honor.