Phil Mickelson Profile
|Born||Jun 16, 1970|
|Birthplace||San Diego, California, United States|
Mickelson is a three-time Masters winner and has won three out of the four Major titles. He became the oldest Major winner in history when landing the 2021 PGA Championship.
The name Phil Mickelson has become a byword for longevity, with the famous left-hander spending 25 years in golf's top 50.
Mickelson has won three of the four Majors and took his tally to six overall with a shock victory in the 2021 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island. Aged 50, that triumph made him the oldest Major winner in history. Only the US Open has eluded the Californian and he's finished runner-up an agonising six times.
For many years, Mickelson carried the mantle of 'nearly-man', having been near the top for so long without winning a Major. He finally ended that with victory in the 2004 Masters although he's never been the world number one.
Naturally right-handed, Mickelson's famous left-handed swing was cultivated by mirroring his father.
Despite still being active on the PGA Tour, Mickelson was inducted into Golf's Hall of Fame in 2012.
He has amassed 45 Tour victories and collected over $90million in prize money, which puts him second only to Tiger Woods on the PGA Tour's Career Money Leaders list.
Mickelson is among the most recognizable figures in the sport and has represented the United States in numerous Ryder Cups and Presidents Cups, including an unprecedented streak of 23 events between 1994 and 2018.
Early in 2022 Mickelson tarnished his reputation when admitting that he had used the Saudi Golf League as leverage in wrangles with the PGA Tour. In the short-term, he stepped away from the game and lost sponsors.
His path to greatness
Prior to turning professional in 1992, Mickelson established himself as the face of US amateur golf.
Mickelson earned a golf scholarship to Arizona State University in Tempe and went on to claim three NCAA individual championships, equaling the record set by Ben Crenshaw.
He would also win the Haskins Award for the most outstanding collegiate golfer three times from 1990 until 1992.
Mickelson was just the second man to earn first-team All-American honors for all four years of his college career.
He is also among a handful of players to have won a PGA Tour event as an amateur, with his maiden title coming at the 1991 Northern Telecom Open in Tucson. That triumph marks the last time an amateur won on the Tour to date.
Mickelson won an impressive 16 amateur events during his time at university, but his triumph in Tucson allowed him to bypass the qualifying school and join the PGA Tour in 1992.
The Tour beckons
Mickelson's professional career got off to a flying start, but success soon developed its own pitfalls. He was prematurely labeled the best player to have never won a Major having reached the end of the 1990s with 13 PGA Tour victories and nine top-10 finishes in golf's Grand Slam tournaments.
While the emergence of Tiger Woods overshadowed Mickelson, it might be argued that the former's dominance took the pressure off the latter and enabled him to secure his first Major win.
Mickelson recorded the first of his six second-place finishes at the US Open in 1999 and his unwanted moniker was well and truly stuck in place. He bounced back from a lean 1999 by winning four tournaments in 2000 including The Tour Championship.
Mickelson finished third at the Masters in three successive editions between 2001 and 2003 and was runner-up at the 2001 PGA Championship and the 2002 US Open. His breakthrough was soon to come though...
Breaking the duck
Mickelson was determined to end his Major drought, going to great lengths to alter his game in an attempt to get over the line.
At the 2004 Masters, Mickelson got the monkey off his back in style, holding his nerve in an epic back-and-forth with Ernie Els in the final round. Mickelson drained an 18-foot birdie putt on the 18th to seal an emotional victory. His win made him just the third left-hander to win a Major.
Later that year, he would card a career-low round of 59 at the PGA Grand Slam of Golf at Poipu Bay Golf Course in Hawaii.
More Major magic
Having dealt with the label of 'best player to never win a Major', Mickelson quickly ensured he wouldn't have to endure being called a one-Major wonder either by winning the 2005 PGA Championship and his second Masters in 2006.
He would endure more heartache at the 2006 US Open at Winged Foot though. When needing to make par on the 18th to win, he made a string of mistakes and dropped two strokes to end in a tie for second.
Mickelson missed the cut at the 2007 US Open and The Open Championship and was well off the pace at the Masters and PGA Championship, but by 2008 he was once again putting in consistent performances at the Majors.
He held a final-round lead in the 2009 US Open but a pair of bogeys on the Bethpage Black back nine saw him surrender the lead and the championship to Lucas Glover.
Augusta National would again prove to be the balm for Mickelson's US Open pain. The Californian produced a bold third round to set up an assured final round of 67, the challenge from Lee Westwood wilting in the process. Winning the Masters in 2010 for the third time did not diminish the emotional impact, and Mickelson celebrated the triumph in a prolonged embrace with his wife, who was fighting breast cancer at the time.
It seemed Mickelson would end his US Open drought in 2013 when he went into the final round leading by one stroke. However, his putting game went to pieces early in the round and although Mickelson recovered the lead at the 10th, a nightmare end to the tournament saw him yet again finish in a tie for second.
If that performance shook Mickelson's confidence, a playoff victory at the 2013 Scottish Open restored it ahead of the British Open. Mickelson produced a clutch finish at Muirfield Links, sinking birdies on four of the last six holes to card a final round 66 and claim a three-stroke victory.
Painful five year drought
After the 2013 British Open, Mickelson would not win another tournament for nearly five years.
Having enjoyed years of consistent PGA Tour victories, Mickelson was unable to notch any successes through the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 seasons.
During this time he tried to remodel his swing with the help of Andrew Getson.
Mickelson finished as runner-up in three Majors between 2014 and 2016, enduring close calls at the PGA Championship, Masters and the British Open. Mickelson has been a runner-up at 11 Majors to date, making him the man with the second-most second-place finishes in history behind Jack Nicklaus.
When Mickelson returned from hernia surgery in 2017, he came close to ending his wait for a Tour win. He played himself into contention at the FedEx St Jude Classic until a wayward tee-shot destroyed his chances.
Mickelson ended his winless streak at the WGC-Mexico Championship in March 2018. In February 2019, Mickelson won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am for the fifth time.
In 2020, Mickelson qualified to join the PGA Champions Tour, which he has taken up alongside his regular tour commitments. But he wasn't done at the top level just yet.
Mickelson becomes oldest Major winner in history
In May 2021, Phil rolled back the years in the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island to claim his sixth Major title and first since the 2013 Open Championship. At 50 years, 11 months and seven days, it made him the oldest Major winner in history.
Mickelson had gone into the event as an unconsidered 300/1 shot. But he produced some strong driving, brilliant iron play and some typical short-game magic to emerge as a hugely popular two-shot winner.
The previous oldest Major champion was Julius Boros (48 years, four months and 18 days) and that record had stood since 1968. By winning, Phil became one of just 14 players to have won six or more Majors.
Mickelson in hot water
Mickelson has twice been investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), avoiding being criminally charged on both occasions. In 2017, he was ordered to pay $1million to the SEC for profit he made on an insider stock tip. Mickelson was found to have benefited from wrongdoing without being accused of committing a criminal act.
Having held out against playing in Saudi Arabia before, Mickelson took considerable flack for agreeing to play in the Kingdom in the 2020 Saudi International. He was slammed for ignoring human rights abuses for a big appearance fee.
Earlier in his career, Mickelson got into hot water with his equipment sponsors for praising a rival brand in a voicemail which was then leaked.
Mickelson announced he was taking a break from golf in early 2022 as he came to terms with the continuing fall out from his explosive comments about Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Golf League and his use of both as leverage in a dispute with the PGA Tour.
Mickelson was quoted saying the Saudi's were "scary motherf**kers to be involved with", was dismissive of their human rights records and explained that, despite knowing this, the SGL is "a once in a lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates".
Phil Mickelson's personal life
Mickelson inherited his love of golf from his airline pilot father who spent plenty of time teaching him the ropes on both the course and their own home practice area.
During his time at Arizona State University, he met his future wife, Amy McBride. The couple were married in 1996 and have three children. Amy was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 and Mickelson took time off from the tour to be with her through treatment. By his 2010 Masters triumph, she was in remission, and the couple shared an emotional celebration on the 18th green.
Phil Mickelson's net worth
With an estimated net worth in excess of $400million, Mickelson is among the wealthiest golfers in the world.
Mickelson has a horde of sponsors backing him and has raked in appearance fees and endorsements to go with his plentiful winnings. His commercial partners include the likes of ExxonMobil, Ford, Rolex and KPMG.
Mickelson is kitted out by Callaway Golf and is a spokesperson for arthritis drug Enbrel, which he uses himself.