CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- When Phil Mickelson shed the label of the greatest player to never have won a major at the 2004 Masters Tournament, what followed was a media blitz that included appearances with David Letterman, Oprah, Jay Leno and on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
The only public appearance Mickelson made after this year's Masters victory came the morning after on Washington Road at the drive-through window of Krispy Kreme as he ordered doughnuts.
"Throughout the week I don't eat a lot of sugar or carbs during a tournament," he said. "My kids wanted doughnuts, and I told them Monday morning we'd go to Krispy Kreme and grab something. ... It was a little chilly, so I threw on a jacket and went through the drive-through."
It was a green jacket. By the time he flew home to California a few hours later, the picture of him behind the wheel wearing the iconic symbol of an Augusta champion was everywhere online.
"It's fascinating because it just shows how things have changed over the last 20 years," said Mickelson, noting that nobody even had cell phones when he started dating his wife, Amy, in college. "Everybody is media now. The lady behind the counter at Krispy Kreme is media. It's an interesting thing to get used to."
Mickelson returns to his day job and the spotlight this week at the Quail Hollow Championship in Charlotte after taking "some great family time."