With the nickname Lefty, Philip Alfred Mickelson is a dominant and professional American Golf player who has won 44 tournaments, including five championships and 3 Master titles in the early 2000s.

Early life of Phil Mickelson

Mickelson started his life journey on June 16, 1970, when he was born in San Diego, California, to his parents Philip Mickelson, a pilot, and naval aviator, and Marry Mickelson. The ancestry of Mickelson is of Silician and Portuguese. He grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Mickelson’s golf began when he just started to walk. Despite being right-handed, he learned to play golf left-handed by observing his right-handed father swings and mimicking his form. Before beginning kindergarten, Mickelson learned to play golf under the tutelage of his father. Mickelson started to use a left-handed stroke, earning him the name “Lefty.”.Philip and Mary always shared the story of his son leaving home when he was only three years old, informing neighbors that he was going to a golf club.

In their San Diego backyard, youthful Mickelson practiced his dynamic short game on a large practice field. Mickelson earned his high school diploma from the University of San Diego in 1988.

Golf life in college

Mickelson attended Arizona State University to pursue psychology after graduating from the University of San Diego High School in 1988. Mickelson rose to the top level of national amateur golfing rankings during his tenure at Arizona State. He was the second college golfer to receive 1st team All American honors all four years, winning three NCAA individual championships and three Haskins Awards for best college golfer.

Mickelson was also the first left-handed golfer to gain the U.S. Amateur Title in 1990 while still an amateur in college. He shocked observers when he secured his first PGA Tour competition as a junior that same year, being just the fourth golfer in the PGA era to do so.

He was the sixth junior to secure a victory on a tour event when he was 20. He was also the first in almost five years, following Scott Verplank’s victory at the Western Open in August 1985. Mickelson was one stroke ahead with five holes to go before making a quadruple and fell three shots back. The players in front of him faltered, and he won by a shot after birdies on 16 and 18. Until then, that’s the most notable amateur victory on the PGA Tour.

Journey of Professionalism

Attempting to secure a major victory for the first time

Mickelson qualified from ASU in June 1992 and began his professional career immediately. Due to his victory in Tucson in 1991, which won him a two-year benefit of exemption, he could skip the Tour’s qualification stage. At that time, Jim “Bones” was his caddy in 1992. Throughout that time, he won several PGA tour matches, such as the Byron Nelson Golf Classic and World Series of Golf in 1996, the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-AM in 1998, and others in the early 2000s. While in the 1996 film Tin Cup he performed himself as a nonspeaker.

The initial challenge of Lefty

The appearance of Tiger Woods as golf’s latest sensation was Phil’s initial challenge on the field. The 21-year-old dominated the competition at the 1997 Masters, leading by 12 strokes. The media’s obsession with Woods, on the other hand, wasn’t all negative. Phil was able to keep an eye on his practice without too much attention being drawn to himself, and the sponsorship offers continued to come in.

Tiger Woods’ six-year winning streak on the PGA Tour came to an end when he won the Buick Invitational in 2000. “I was just trying to win the golf tournament,” Mickelson said afterward. For Phil, the 1999 experience was an important one. Despite failing to win a single match at the U.S. Open in Pinehurst, he learned a good lesson.

Mickelson was also referred to as the “best player never to win a major” due to his failure to win either of them.

The first three major victories of Phil Mickelson

Phil reclaimed his dominance in 2000, winning three times. That was a good deal to relegate him to the small number of players who might challenge Woods for the title of best golfer.

First major win

The major turning point came in 2004 at the Masters, when Lefty birdied five of the seven holes, with No. 18, to beat Ernie Els by one shot.  “It’s hard for me to explain how it feels,” the ecstatic golfer stated afterward.

After an event in which he recorded a voice message for a Callaway Golf executive, Mickelson was dismissed from his long-term deal with Titleist golf previous to the Ryder Cup in 2004.  He admired their driver and golf ball and expressed gratitude for their assistance in obtaining supplies for his brother. This memo was sent to all of Titleist’s salespeople, and it finally made its way back to the company. With a 1-3-0 record at the Ryder Cup, he declined to blame his poor results on a dramatic switch of equipment or his preparation method.

On January 25, 2004, Mickelson’s patience and struggle paid off when he earned a Bob Hope Chrysler Classic victory. That was his fourth season as a player, and he started the season with a win. In 2004, he pledged to give 500 per eagle and 100 dollars per birdie to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation as a donation, which he revealed at the start of the match. Mickelson had 37 birdies but no eagles in this match, raising $3,700 for the charity.

Second major win

Mickelson won his second major the same year (2004) at the PGA Championship at Baltusrol. Mickelson birdied the 18 holes after hitting one amongst his signature gentle pitches from dense green side scrub to within 18 inches of the hole. He finished one shot ahead of Steve Elkington and Thomas Borjn.

Third major win

Mickelson won his third major championship at the Masters the next spring. Moreover, he also claimed his second green jersey by two strokes over runner-up Tim Clark after shooting a three-under-par closing round. This victory lifted him to the second position in the Official World Golf Ranking in 2007, above Vijay Singh and Retief Goosen, and behind Woods.

A collapse on the concluding hole

Mickelson was tied for first heading into the final game, but he had a crazy end to the event, making big errors on the final hole and finishing in a tight race tie for the second spot at +6. Mickelson made a double birdie on the 16th hole. With the game at +4, he skipped the tee shot to the left on the 17th hole, and his shot ended up in a trash bin, where he was offered a free fall; he parred the hole. He was in the last party heading into the final hole with a one-shot advantage.

His next shot landed in the fairway bunker on the left. He couldn’t get back and forth after this, ending in the double bogey and denying him the opportunity to win the tournament overall or advance to an 18-hole playoff with Ogilvy.

Mickelson said after his frustrating completion: “I’m still in shock. I honestly can’t believe what I did. Since I had it won, it hurts worse than any other tournament. I want to express my gratitude to everyone who helped me. I have one word to say: I’m sorry.”

Phil Mickelson Suspending PGA Tour

When his wife Amy was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2009, Mickelson stated that he’d be taking a break from the PGA Tour until. She will start medication with a surgical procedure within the next two weeks. Mickelson had planned to compete in both the HP Byron Championship and the Crowne Plaza Invitational, but he pulled out of both competitions. John Daly, a former golfer, and his fellow members wore neon pink pants in honor of Amy in the final round of BMW PGA Championship 2009.

Mickelson declared his comeback to the PGA tour in June 2009. He played in the St. Jude Classic and the U.S. Open. Mickelson finished runner-up in the 2009 U.S. Open with the last round 70, his fifth runner-up performance. After an eagle on the 13th hole, he held the lead, but bogeys on 15 and 17 dropped him behind Lucas Glover, who won the tournament.

Unfortunately, on July 6, his mother Mary was diagnosed with cancer, and for that reason, Mickelson left the Tour on leave. He skipped the Open Championship at Turnberry at that time.

Tour Championship for the second time

In 2009 September, Mickelson earned the victory of the Tour Championship for the second time in his life. He was just four shots behind Tiger Woods going into the final round but shot a final round 65 to win by three strokes. Mickelson came second in the 2009 FedEx Cup rankings, behind Woods, with the victory.

Masters Tournament

On April 11, 2010, Mickelson captured the Master Tournament by three strokes over Lee Westwood with a 16 under par result. Mickelson won the Masters tournament for the third time.

Westwood had reclaimed a one-stroke advantage after the round, but Mickelson’s energy rolled over into round 4, where he shot a bogey-free 67 to Westwood’s 71. While K. J. Choy and Anthony Kim created noteworthy charges, no other plaintiff could hold throughout most. Mickelson added a birdie on the 18th hole, for goodness sake.

Era of 2011

In 2011, Mickelson began his season at Torrey Pines Golf Course’s Farmers Insurance Open. He tied for the 54 hole lead with Bill Haas after shooting 67,69,68. Mickelson wanted to hole out from an eagle from 74 yards on the 18th hole to trigger a match with Bubba Watson. Watson won the vent after hitting it to 4 feet.

Mickelson secured the winning position at Shell Houston Open on April 3 by three strokes over Scott Verplank at 20 under par. Mickelson climbed to third place in the world rankings, while Tiger Woods fell to seventh. During a week before the 1997 Masters Tournament, Mickelson had not been ranked higher than woods.

Mickelson tied for 2nd place with Dustin Johnson at The Open Championship, his first top ten results in 18 competitions. His first nine 30 momentarily tied himself with eventual winner Darren Clarke for the top. However, he faded from competition due to placing issues, finishing in a tie for second place.

 His 40th PGA Tour victory

Mickelson competed in the Humana Challenge for the first time in 2012, finishing in a draw for 49th place. After shots of 77 and 68, he failed to cut at the Farmers Insurance Open. Mickelson recovered from six shots in the very last round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am to prevail by two strokes with a final session total of 8-under 64 and a four-round score of 269. His win was his 40th upon this PGA Tour in his journey of life.

Mickelson tied Mark Calcavecchia’s 2013 tournament goal record of 28 under par. He also climbed back into the world’s leading ten after dropping to rank 22.

Open championship and fifth major title

Mickelson got stardom for The Open Championship by earning the Scottish Open on July 14, his debut match on British soil, after an unexpected playoff versus Branden Grace. Following his triumph, Mickelson expressed his faith in his ability to compete in the major championship the next week.

On July 21, Mickelson claimed his fifth major title at Muirfield Golf Links in Scotland’s Open Championship. It was eye-catching news that someone had achieved Scottish Open and Open Championship the same year.

A dry period for Phil Mickelson

In 2014, Mickelson finished second at the 2015 Masters, becoming the 10th player at a major tournament. Leading to his 42 PGA titles, however, is one of the most difficult obstacles of his life.

Late in 2015, Mickelson started training with a new golf swing mentor, and he showed progress with a second-place finish at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and a third-place finish at the 2016 British Open. Late in the year, he just had surgery twice for a sports hernia, which delayed his progress.

In March 2018, the golfer ultimately ended his drought by winning the WGC-Mexico Championship in a tournament against Justin Thomas. After a last round 65 at the 2019 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Lefty tasted victory for the second time after a long time. This was his fifth professional victory in the game, challenging Mark O’Meara’s streak.

Woods Vs. Mickelson

Mickelson and his longtime foe, Woods, were set to face off in a televised one-on-one battle, according to a press release from August 2018. Mickelson said that they were looking at adding a set of in-play obstacles such as longest drive, nearest to the shot, largest birdie, and closest out of a pit to the $9 million winner-take-all tournaments.

The banter did not happen as planned, for both players focusing on their drives, but Mickelson won the cash prize and personal satisfaction by birdieing the 22nd and last hole.

The PGA Tour season and the PGA Tour Champions make their debuts.

Mickelson revealed on Twitter in December 2019 that he will participate in the 2020 Saudi International golf tournament after “canceling offers to travel to the Middle East for several years” and that he will skip the Waste Management Phoenix Open for the first time since 1989. His decision to travel and play in Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, has been blamed for being enticed by millions of dollars while denying the country’s ongoing human rights abuses. Mickelson finished tied for third place in the February 2020 event.

Mickelson tied for second place in the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational and placed third at the 2020 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Mickelson became the first player over the age of 50 to put in the top five of a World Golf Championship event.

Following The Northern Trust at TPC Boston in August 2020, he was disqualified from the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Mickelson made his PGA Tour Champions debut a week later. He won the Charles Schwab Series at Ozarks National in his first tournament since turning 50 on June 16, 2020, and was qualifying for the PGA Tour Champions.

Mickelson intended to be the first player on the PGA Tour Champions to secure his first three events in February 2021. In the Cologuard Classic, though, he came up short, ending a value of 4 under par.

Aggressive play style

Mickelson’s competitive style has been characterized as “aggressive” and “highly social.” His approach to tough shots such as bad lies will be regarded as dangerous.

Mickelson is known for his strong and sometimes inaccurate driver. Still, it is his outstanding good play, especially his bold “Phil flop” shot, in which a wide swing with a high-lofted wedge against a tight lay flies a shot up into the air for a small distance, that has garnered the most praise. Mickelson is consistently in the top ten in terms of scoring, and he once led the PGA Tour in birdie level.

Ratings and earnings

Mickelson makes much more from sponsorship than from prize money, despite being second on the PGA Tour’s most money list of prize pot money earned. Mickelson was then the second-highest paying player in the United States, generating over $62 million, $53 million of which derived through promotions, as per one estimate of 2011 income (comprising pay, winnings, incentives, sponsorships, and acting roles). KPMG, ExxonMobil (with whom Mickelson and his wife Amy launched a teacher support fund), Rolex, Workday, Callaway Golf, and Mizzen+Main are among the major corporations Mickelson presently promotes with Mickelson.

Personal life of Phil Mickelson

Mickelson married Amy McBride, an ASU alumna and NBA supporter for the Phoenix Suns, in 1996. Amanda, Sophia, and Evan were the pair’s three kids. As discussed previously,  Amy, his wife, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, but she healed enough to attend Mickelson’s 2010 Master victory. Afterwards, his mother was also diagnosed with cancer. This situation let him down a little bit.

While he had to compete with young talent, he became aware of his weight and began working with Sean Cochran in an attempt to shed 20 pounds to stay competitively fit.

For a few times, Mickelson has found himself on the bad side of the rules. He was charged with insider trading by the FBI in 2014 and 2016, but the situation was resolved.

His pleasure activities

Taekwondo

After reaching 40 eight years ago, Mickelson has become much more fitness-oriented, making good food a priority while still sweating ferociously. In Taekwondo, he holds a black belt.

First golf course

Whisper Rock, near Scottsdale, Arizona, was Mickelson Design’s 1st golf course initiative, opening in 2001, just before Mickelson National Golf Club in Calgary, Canada, launched in 2018.

Charity

Mickelson established the Birdies for the Brave initiative with his partner, Amy, to raise awareness and money for non-profit community homefront organizations. The Phil and Amy Mickelson Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to funding a range of family and community projects, was established by the pair in 2004.

Facts about Phil Mickelson

  • In 2020, he’ll be one of Forbes’ wealthiest athletes.
  • As one of the two left-handed golfers to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame (Bob Charles)
  • As in the case of the first left-handed player to win the U.S. Amateur Championship (1990)
  • He made five major appearances before winning his first at the 2004 Masters.
  • There are a few players, including Mickelson, who had placed second in each of the four majors.
  • Mickelson was never named Player of the Year on the PGA Tour. Tiger Woods has achieved it eleven times in his 27 years on the PGA Tour.
  • In July 2019, in order to lose approximately 15 pounds, he skipped eating for six days, drinking just water and a specific coffee mix he created with the assistance of performance coach Dave Phillips.