One thing that is sure, is that Phil Mickelson proved that he has what it takes to win a Major if he felt like playing on a full-time basis. Mickelson made his PGA Tour Champions debut at the Charles Schwab Series at Ozarks National on Monday.
Mickelson (50) was eliminated from the FedEx Cup Playoffs after missing out on the Northern Trust last weekend. He teed up on the senior circuit for the first time on Monday and fired up a storm with a 10-under round of 61 and ended with a one-shot lead in the 54-hole event which will end on Wednesday.
Phil Mickelson is playing the PGA Tour Champions "I went back into Boston last week, I shot 61, 63, 4 back home and I was like ready to play. Then I get there and I shoot 3-over and it just threw me off. So I wanted to keep playing because I felt like I was playing well.
So to have the opportunity to play in these events and this one in particular was really special and I'm very appreciative of that," Mickelson said. As five-time major champion, Mickelson was eliminated from the FedEx Cup Playoffs after missing the cut by three strokes at the Northern Trust.
At No. 67 in the FedEx Cup standings, he would probably have qualified for the BMW Championship but a second round of 68 was not enough to make up for the 74 he'd shot on Thursday. Mickelson unfortunately ended the Northern Trust at 75, playing himself out of the top 70.
It therefore made sense for Mickelson to tee it up on the PGA Tour Championship, with the U.S Open less than a month away and no more PGA Tour events to play at. This way he can build his confidence back up for the one major that has been haunting him throughout his career.
It is also the one title that’s kept him from completing the career Grand Slam. A win at the PGA Tour Champions can would make Mickelson the 20th player in tour history to get a victory in his first start. Jim Furyk completed this feat last month.
Mickelson admitted he was a little nervous heading into his PGA Tour Champions debut. “I was a little nervous, I wanted to get out and play well. So I was able to get off. To a pretty good start, I birdied five of the first seven and I felt like I was getting in a groove, and on the back nine, made some nice putts, so it’s fun to play well”.
Phil Mickelson is not ready to make the full-time jump to the PGA Tour Champions just yet, but once he does, he might just dominate.