The casual fan may flip on a golf telecast here and there, but four times a year he or she parks on the couch to soak up every ounce of major championship drama.
During the week of a major, the casual fan’s interest is at its apex.
Phil Mickelson is now that casual golf fan.
Sure, he’d love to be in the mix in the Honda Classic or the Shell Houston Open, but what drives the 44-year-old Mickelson are the game’s four marquee events. The last time we saw Phil truly invigorated was at the 2014 PGA Championship, where he led and then pushed Rory McIlroy to the limit before falling a shot short. The time before that? He was lifting the claret jug at Muirfield. The pattern is obvious.
“I don’t have a great explanation other than I really focus on those events,” Mickelson after tying for second at the 2015 Masters. “I want to zero in on the four or five biggest events, and I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve been able to get some of my best golf out in those events.”
The three-time Masters champ still created some of the week’s grandstand-shaking roars, most notably after his hole-out from a bunker for eagle on the par-5 15th on Sunday. Most years, Mickelson’s 274 total would have earned a green jacket—it would have won or tied 71 of 79 Masters—but it could not trump Jordan Spieth’s record-setting week. There was, however, a lesson: Four times a year, don’t count Mickelson out. Sooner or later, he will join the 12 players with six majors titles.
See you at Chambers Bay, Phil.