Complaining that the PGA Tour Playoffs are too much of a commitment for players already tired from a long season, Mickelson threatened to skip next week's BMW Championship.
"My frustration from this past year came from asking for a couple of things in the FedEx Cup that weren't done, and not feeling all that bad now if I happen to miss,'' he said Monday. "So I'm not really sure how it's going to play out.''
Mickelson would not elaborate on his complaints, but he did say that with his kids starting school on Wednesday he was torn between spending time with his family and fighting for points in Chicago. He has brought up his issues with PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, to no avail.
"It's just that I'm conflicted,'' Mickelson said, noting that it wasn't just the playoffs but a hectic season overall. "I certainly feel the obligation to support the FedEx Cup, to support the PGA Tour, and support the game of golf. And I also want to have a balance in my life, and my family has sacrificed a lot this year because it's been a very difficult schedule.''
Mickelson shot 5-under-par 66 on Monday in the final round of the Deutsche Bank to finish two strokes ahead of Woods, Brett Wetterich and Arron Oberholser. The victory was worth $1.26 million and 9,000 points in the playoffs, moving him to the top of the standings.
Wetterich shot 70, making a birdie on the final hole to earn enough points to move up 29 spots in the standings to No. 22 and giving him an excellent shot at making the Tour Championship.
Oberholser was within one shot of Mickelson most of the back nine, but he needed an eagle on the final hole to force a playoff. Instead, he missed a 10-foot birdie putt when the tournament was sealed and improved to No. 29 in the standings; had he made the birdie putt, he would have gone to No. 20 and clinched a spot at East Lake for the Tour Championship.
John Mallinger and Bo Van Pelt moved into the top 70 to advance to the third round next week in Chicago.
Even if Mickelson does skip the next event, he long ago locked up a spot in the Tour Championship.
But that would make it three consecutive weeks that a top 5 player in the world rankings has sat out one of the playoff events. Tiger Woods sat out Week 1, and Ernie Els sat out the Deutsche Bank to be with his kids as they started school.
Even missing Els, the TPC was not lacking in star power.