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|
|Mickelson's Northern Trust Open results, FedExCup standings|