FedExCup spotlight: Phil MickelsonSCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 2: Phil Mickelson stands on the tee on the 17th hole during the third round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on February 2, 2013 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)February 12, 2013
Each week, PGATOUR.COM will take a look at one of the FedExCup contenders in the field and break down his past performances at that week's event, FedExCup history, and potential for success in the 2013 FedExCup chase.
Twice a winner and twice a runner-up at the Northern Trust Open, Phil Mickelson returns to Riviera Country Club this week in search of his 42nd PGA TOUR victory.
Mickelson’s season includes a victory at the Waste Management Phoenix Open -- where he shot an opening 60 that was inches from being a 59 or 58 -- and three finishes outside the top 25. This week will mark Mickelson’s fifth consecutive start on the PGA TOUR.
While fatigue may be a factor, so too will be experience on this week’s classic layout. Mickelson, a champion at Riviera in 2008 and 2009, tied for second last year, falling to champion Bill Haas in a playoff.
Over the past six years at this event, Mickelson has all four of his top-2 finishes and is a combined 53-under for his 24 rounds on the tough Los Angeles track. Over that span, Mickelson has logged seven rounds of 66 or better on the par-71 layout.
With Brandt Snedeker holding a commanding 700-point lead in the FedExCup race, the top spot is not on Mickelson’s radar but he can gain significant ground on the 2012 FedExCup champ.
In the first six years of the FedExCup, Mickelson has finished inside the top 7 a TOUR-leading four times but is still seeking his first FedExCup. Mickelson came closest in 2009 when he won the TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola to finish second behind Tiger Woods in the final standings.
He's off to a good start this year after winning in Phoenix -- his earliest victory on a calendar since the inception of the FedExCup. With his game in good shape, a victory already under his belt and a number of Mickelson-friendly venues on the horizon (how many courses aren’t good for the 41-time winner?), this could be the year Mickelson finally breaks through and wins the FedExCup.
He has an opportunity to take another step in the right direction this week at one of his favorite courses.
Mickelson's FedExCup finishes 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 3rd 7th 2nd 13th 15th 5th FedExCup highlights • Phil Mickelson has occupied the No. 1 spot in the standings three times -- each for one week -- in 2007, 2008 and 2009. • Mickelson has spent 47 weeks at No. 2 in the FedExCup standings including a run of 20 consecutive weeks in that position during the 2008 season. • Last year, for the first time, Mickelson never cracked the top two but still finished the season in fifth • Mickelson has won two Playoff events -- the 2007 Deutsche Bank Championship and 2009 TOUR Championship • Since the FedExCup competition has started in 2007, Mickelson has won 12 events Mickelson's Northern Trust Open results, FedExCup standings Year FedExCup before
NTO result Points earned FedExCup after 2007 7th 2nd 2,700 2nd 2008 10th 1st 4,500 1st 2009 136th 1st 500 7th 2010 83rd T45 25.5 75th 2011 8th T35 31.5 10th 2012 5th T2 245 3rd