Mickelson: I’ll play PGA TOUR Champions eventually
January 15, 2020
By Cameron Morfit, PGATOUR.COM
Phil Mickelson on turning 50 and his future on PGA TOUR Champions
Phil Mickelson will play on the PGA TOUR Champions after he turns 50 this June.
The only question is how long after he turns 50.
For now, Mickelson said as he met with reporters at The American Express tournament in Palm Desert on Wednesday, he wants to keep battling younger players on the PGA TOUR.
“I haven't thought too much about it,” said Mickelson, who won TOUR events the last two years but suffered a marked drop-off after capturing the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am early last season. “And I won't until I see how the first six months of this year go, because I've had this, I've had kind of a lot of great things happen that lead me to be encouraged about the year and I'm curious to see how the first six months go.
“It's nice to have the option to move over to another tour,” he added, “but it's also nice to have the challenge of competing out here.”
Mickelson this year steps into the host role of The American Express, a tournament he has won twice and nearly won last year, but what he’s equally excited about is his new diet and fitness regimen that has seen him shed pounds and add clubhead speed.
He is curious to see how his new lease on life translates on the scorecard.
“When I stop hitting bombs, I'll play the Champions Tour,” he said, “but I'm hitting some crazy bombs right now. No, I still have speed, I still, there's no reason I couldn't play out here.
“I hit the ball every bit as far,” he added. “Usually as guys get in their 40s they regress; I had a five, six mile an hour club head speed increase last year. A little bit of commitment in the gym, a little bit of work ethic and all of a sudden there's no reason that physically I can't do today what I did 15, 20 years ago. In fact I'm doing more.”
Mickelson has enjoyed great success in California, where he is a cumulative 601 under par in TOUR events since 1983, which trails only Fred Couples.
“There's a chance that if I do what I expect then I may end up competing for years out here,” Mickelson said. “And there's a chance that maybe I am misguided in my thinking and that I should move over. But a lot will be decided or seen in the first six months, because I feel like I'm ready to play.”