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Mickelson fans to wear pink to support golfer, wife

Bob Joyce and his golfer buddies plan to go pink for Phil Mickelson.

Last month Mickelson, the No. 2 golfer in the world, stepped off the PGA Tour after it was announced that his wife, Amy, had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

But apparently encouraged by his wife's test results, Mickelson is back and planning to play in the U.S. Open June 18-21 on Bethpage State Park's Black Course.

Joyce and about nine fellow male golfers who regularly play at Bethpage - and are longtime Mickelson fans - decided to wear pink shirts when they attend the Open, to show their support for the golfer and his wife. Some pro golfers have already rallied to the cause and have been seen wearing pink ribbons.

"We got to talking after we played one day," said Joyce, 65, of Massapequa. "We thought it would be a nice way to express ourselves."

"The fans in the New York area have always been tremendous to me and my family on our visits there and this is another example of their support," Mickelson said through a spokesman Wednesday. "I've always said they're knowledgeable and passionate, but what these guys are doing is awesome."

Mickelson, who finished as runner-up to Tiger Woods in the 2002 Open at Bethpage, was a special favorite of New York fans, garnering cheers and a Happy Birthday chorus on the back nine. His birthday this year falls on Tuesday of Open week, when he turns 39.

Sylvia Diaz, regional vice president for the American Cancer Society, applauded the golfers' plan. "I think it's great," she said. "It certainly raises the level of awareness in how this disease impacts everyone in some way, especially here on Long Island."

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