PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS INSIDER
Phil Mickelson lays out schedule plans for remainder of season
October 12, 2021
By Bob McClellan, PGATOUR.COM
- October 12, 2021
- Jim Furyk, Phil Mickelson and PGA TOUR Champions President Miller Brady. (Ben Jared/Getty Images)
Phil Mickelson raised his PGA TOUR Champions winning percentage to .750 with his victory at the inaugural Constellation FURYK & FRIENDS in Jacksonville, Florida, over the weekend.
Lefty was pushed to the limit by Miguel Angel Jimenez, but ultimately he closed out the Spaniard on the 54th hole with a birdie to his playing partner’s par for a two-stroke victory.
Mickelson has won three of his four PGA TOUR Champions starts and by all accounts has enjoyed himself every time out. And why not? Everyone likes to win, and if nothing else it’s keeping Mickelson’s game sharp for whenever he decides to play in PGA TOUR events.
But after his victory at Timuquana Country Club, Mickelson said he had at least two more PGA TOUR Champions events in mind.
When asked his plans for the Schwab Cup Playoffs and the Charles Schwab Cup Championship at the Phoenix Country Club in particular, the 51-year-old Arizona State University alum said, “I enjoy playing golf in Phoenix and I haven't played there in a couple years and I'm looking forward to playing there, so I am looking forward to playing there. I'm going to play Richmond, the one that I won last year in Richmond, Dominion (the Dominion Energy Charity Classic). I'm debating on the one before Schwab, but we'll see.”
The one before is the TimberTech Championship in Boca Raton, Florida. Mickelson vaulted from 35th in the Schwab Cup standings to 24th after his latest victory, which, with only one event remaining before the playoffs, ensures his eligibility for the season finale.
“I'm having fun playing in these,” Mickelson said. “I don't feel like there are tournaments on the regular tour that are really exciting me to get out and play, so it's fun for me to get out here and work on a few things that I'm trying to improve on and play with guys that I know. Like, I know all these guys here.
“With that rain delay (Friday’s first round was delayed some 3 hours by inclement weather), I go into the locker room and everybody in there I know, whereas on the regular tour there's so many new, young, fresh players, I don't know who two-thirds of them are.”
Mickelson can’t overcome Bernhard Langer in the race for the Schwab Cup, but whether he plays in two events or all three he certainly can make an impact on who does win the Cup. If he continues his winning ways he would hinder the chances of Langer’s closest pursuers to make up the required ground on the ageless German.
Only four players are within shouting distance of Langer, listed in order: Furyk, Jerry Kelly, Ernie Els and Jimenez. If Furyk or Kelly were to win a playoff event, he’d be right on Langer’s heels. Els and Jimenez, even with a victory, probably would need Langer to have uncharacteristically poor showings in the playoffs to catch him.
Mickelson will come into Richmond as his usual freewheeling self when on PGA TOUR Champions.
“I mean, I like the fact that it's 54 holes,” Mickelson said after the first round in Jacksonville. “It's not anywhere near as mentally and physically draining as the regular tour and you don't have to be as perfect as on the PGA TOUR because the penalty for miss is so much greater there.
“Now, granted, the golf course is challenging here and there's some spots you've got to be careful, but for the most part it's just really fun being out here and playing fewer holes and being able to play aggressive, kind of like the way I like to play. It's been fun the few events I've played.”
Phil Mickelson’s Round 3 highlights from FURYK & FRIENDS