Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Lawyer, Friend to Mickelson Calls the First Coast Home; People Might Recognize Him from Barnes, Barnes & Cohen Ads

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Lawyer, Friend to Mickelson Calls the First Coast Home; People Might Recognize Him from Barnes, Barnes & Cohen Ads

Article excerpt

Byline: CHARLIE PATTON

Most years, during the week of The Players Championship, Phil Mickelson skips playing his Wednesday practice round at the TPC Sawgrass Players Stadium Course.

Instead, he tees off a few miles to the south at The Palencia Club, home course to Glenn Cohen, a Jacksonville lawyer who has become a close friend and business associate.

"I enjoy taking his money," Mickelson said in a telephone interview last week.

Not that taking Cohen's money is easy.

"I give him four strokes a side," Mickelson said. "He's a scratch golfer. Not that you would know that to look at him."

This year, rain washed out that Wednesday round. But Mickelson and Cohen made a bet on the NBA playoff game between Utah and Golden State Wednesday night. So Thursday afternoon, after Mickelson toured the Stadium Course in five under par, he bought Cohen's lunch at a Jacksonville Beach Quiznos.

Around Jacksonville, Cohen, 57, is known mostly for his television ads, extolling the virtues of his personal injury law firm, Barnes, Barnes & Cohen.

But to many of the golfers in town for The Players Championship, Cohen is a low-handicap amateur who handles legal affairs for many athletes. After representing a few golfers who were friends over the years, Cohen began working about a decade ago for Gaylord Sports Management, a firm headquartered in Arizona that represents more than 70 professional athletes, mostly golfers and baseball players.

"He was representing one of our clients and he was doing such a good job I said you've got to work with us," said Steve Loy, Gaylord's chief executive officer. "Now he handles all of our liability cases."

Those clients include Mickelson, who was so taken with Cohen's efficient style he asked Cohen to handle most of his legal affairs.

"He's so intelligent," Mickelson said. "I enjoyed being around him."

Recently the most important work he has been doing for Mickelson is helping to manage his charitable foundation, The Phil and Amy Mickelson Charitable Gift Fund, and Mickelson's Birdies for the Brave program, Cohen said.

Mickelson donates $100 for each birdie and $500 for each eagle he records on tour, which means he raised $600 with six birdies Thursday. …

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