San Diego, California, United States
Philip Alfred Mickelson (born June 16, 1970) (nicknamed “Lefty” for his left-handed swing, even though he is otherwise right-handed), is an American professional golfer. He is one of the leading players of his generation, having won three major championships and a total of 33 events on the PGA Tour. He has reached a career high world ranking of 2nd in multiple years.
Mickelson was born in San Diego, California and raised there and in Arizona. He swings a golf club left-handed, which he learned by watching his right-handed friend Douglas Bramwell swing and mirroring it. He is right-handed otherwise. He graduated from the University of San Diego High School in 1988, then attended Arizona State on a golf scholarship, where he graduated in 1992.
During his time at Arizona State, he became the face of amateur golf in the United States, capturing three NCAA individual championships and three Haskins Awards (1990, 1991, 1992) as the outstanding collegiate golfer. He was the second collegiate golfer to earn first-team All-American honors all four years.
In addition, in 1990, he became the first left-hander to win the U.S. Amateur title. Perhaps his greatest achievement, though, came in 1991 when he won his first PGA Tour tournament, the Northern Telecom Open. He did so as an amateur, becoming only the fourth in PGA history to accomplish this feat and the first since Scott Verplank, who won the 1985 Western Open in Chicago.
Mickelson continued to win many PGA Tour tournaments, including the Byron Nelson Golf Classic and the World Series of Golf in 1996, the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in 1998, the Colonial National Invitation in 2000 and the Greater Hartford Open in 2001 and again in 2002. He also won the Buick Invitational in 2000, defeating Tiger Woods and ending his streak of consecutive tournament victories at six.
Despite these accomplishments, for many years Mickelson was often described as the “best golfer never to win a major.” Mickelson shares a record for the most second-place finishes in the U.S. Open with four (along with Bobby Jones, Sam Snead, and Jack Nicklaus).
His first major championship win came at the 2004 Masters, where he won with a 20-foot final hole birdie putt, defeating Ernie Els in a Sunday back-nine duel in which the stars traded birdies and eagles back and forth. In addition to getting the “majors monkey” off his back, this made him only the third golfer with a left-handed swing to win a major, the others being New Zealander Sir Bob Charles who won the British Open in 1963 and Canadian Mike Weir who won The Masters in 2003.
In 2005, in a Monday final round, Mickelson captured his second career major championship with his victory at the 2005 PGA Championship at Baltusrol. Mickelson captured his third major championship the following spring by winning the 2006 Masters. This win propelled him to 2nd place in the Official World Golf Rankings (his career best), behind Tiger Woods and ahead of Vijay Singh and Retief Goosen.
In the 2007 U.S. Open at Oakmont, after shooting 11 over par after 2 rounds, Mickelson missed the cut (by a stroke) for the first time in 31 majors, since the 1999 British Open at Carnoustie. He had been hampered by a wrist injury that was incurred while practicing in the thick rough at Oakmont a few weeks before the tournament.
Mickelson and his wife, Amy, were married on November 16, 1996. The couple have three children – Amanda, Sophia, and Evan.
Mickelson has spent over 500 weeks in the top-10 of the Official World Golf Rankings, the most by anyone not to be ranked number one.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article “Phil Mickelson”.