Pacific Palisades, CA (Dec. 19, 2017) – It’s a rare thing to watch Phil Mickelson play dull round on the PGA Tour. He makes “Did you see that?” birdies and “What the heck happened there?” bogeys, more of the later than the former of course, but both happen.
At the Genesis Open last week at Riviera Country Club, as is often the case, Phil Mickelson led field in prompting fans to wonder what Phil would do next. As usual, the answer was, “Gee, hadn’t thought of that.”
Early in the week the Phil and Amy Mickelson Foundation received a generous gift from the Los Angeles-based Don Levin Foundation to help the Mickelsons’ long-standing support of the PGA Tour’s Birdies for the Brave program, one he helped bring to fruition more than a decade ago.
“We’re thankful and humbled by the Levin Foundation’s generous gift,” said Phil, who pledged to continue “to develop initiatives that are consistent with our past efforts to improve the lives of those in need.”
It was also announced that Phil Mickelson Design has volunteered its services to design a new practice facility for Phil’s alma mater, Arizona State University, in a public-private partnership to upgrade nearby Papago Park Golf Club.
“This is going to be the best practice facility in the nation,” said Mickelson, ASU ’92, and a three-time NCAA champion. “Our design goal is to provide the foundation for the collegiate player to improve in every area of his or her game.”
The third highlight of the week, for Phil anyway, was having daughter Amanda score a buzzer-beating three-point shot to send her high school team into the San Diego Section CIF basketball playoffs.
The water-logged Genesis Open was Phil’s sixth consecutive event, his longest run since opening the 2013 season with five straight. And that pre-season didn’t include weeks away from the game due to two sports hernia operations as was the case late in 2016. In the first and last rounds Phil dropped a total of nine shots on his closing nines and ultimately finished joint 34th. Huh?
Asked Sunday for his assessment of the week, Phil said, “It was OK. It’s encouraging in some areas, discouraging in others so I’ll have some things to build on and to work on in the coming weeks. I knew that in the first couple of weeks I wasn’t quite ready, but I expected a little more out of my game the last couple of weeks.
“The areas that I usually excel in, lag putting, basic chips, I’m throwing away a lot of shots that I shouldn’t be throwing away. I’m doing the hard things well but the easy things I’m not doing so well, so I’ll have to work on that.”
Nobody saw that coming either, or should expect to see more of it.