I wasn’t sure I’d see the day where Lefty made another appearance in my power rankings, let alone at No. 6. Alas, the recently turned 50 year old is playing good golf leading into a venue where he has good course history.
Let’s start with Phil Mickelson’s recent play. He missed out on qualifying for the BMW Championship, but spent that time away from the PGA Tour to dominate his first PGA Tour Champions event.
Mickelson fired 61-64-66 to win the Charles Schwab Series at Ozark National. He won’t get to ride around in a cart this week, but he could still be cruising around the course in another way.
He missed the cut at the 2019 Safeway Open but shot 69 on Friday. Prior, Mickelson finished T-8th in 2016 (69-69-69-67), T-3rd in 2017 (69-69-68-70) and T-17th in 2018 (65-69-74-72).
The fairways are very narrow here, but the key is the rough is usually pretty manageable. If everyone’s missing the fairway, he can then find an advantage with his wizardry in the approach and short game.
The former Arizona State Sun Devil ranked 14th in strokes gained around the green in 2019-2020. He’s as wayward as ever (182nd, 54%) off the tee, but he’s an impressive 59th in driving distance. That’ll help him on the four par-5s at Silverado.
Mickelson hasn’t won on the PGA Tour since 2013. He came close just recently, though, with a T-2nd against an elite field at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. Can he do one better against sizably weaker competition? It wouldn’t surprise me.