Mickelson Wins Constellation Furyk; Is 3 of 4 on PGA Tour Champions

It’s hard to believe that Phil Mickelson could win three out of four PGA Tour Champions events that he entered, but he has done just that, taking the inaugural Constellation Furyk & Friends tournament at Timuquaua CC in Jacksonville, Florida. It was not a cake walk. It was battle. As it turned out, his closest contender was veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez who for a while was called the Most Interesting Man in the World.

“He started with three birdies in a row,” Jimenez explained about the contest. “We getting closer when I make a couple birdies.”

Then Jimenez received a gift from Mickelson at the 5th when the left-hander blocked a drive into the trees and lost a ball. It was a penalty shot and double bogey for Mickelson. Meanwhile Jimenez birdied the hole.

“My provisional ball was just exactly what I was trying to do (originally), just a stock cut driver in the fairway, and I missed it left and that’s been kind of the issue that I’ve had,” Mickelson explained.

While he never lost the lead during the round, there were some opportunities for Jimenez to take it.

“On the back nine we’ve been there close, close, close, tie, and he make a birdie on the 15th, but I was close,” Jimenez summed up.

Jimenez had another birdie chance at the 17th but did not convert, and Mickelson slammed the door shut for his third PGA Tour Champions victory with a birdie at the final hole.

“It’s fun for me to get out here and work on a few things that I’m trying to improve on and play with guys that I know,” he said. “With that rain delay (the one on Friday), I go into the locker room, and everybody in there I know.”

On the PGA Tour, he said he didn’t know who two thirds of the younger players were.

The other aspect of the Champions Tour that he likes is that, as Padraig Harrington said a few days earlier, he doesn’t have to be perfect. If he were to make a mistake like the one on the 5th on the regular tour, he said he would get eaten alive by the younger set. But on the older tour, he can have the odd error and still have a chance to come back from it and even win, depending on where in the round it happens.

“You just can’t make those mistakes there and have a chance to compete and contend and win,” he noted.

As far as where he is going to spend his time in the future, Mickelson intends to divide it. He believes if he does well on the PGA Tour and then comes out to the Champions Tour and contends, it shows how good the play is on PGA Tour Champions circuit.

He didn’t say it, but he could actually be a boost for the “old guys.”

“If I can continue to stay up in the world rankings and compete in some regular tour events, when I do come out here, I hope to help out,” he said about bringing even more attention to the quality of play.

Mickelson is the first player since Fred Couples in 2010 to win three of his first four starts on the Champions circuit. He is under par in 11 of the 12 rounds he’s played as a senior, and his scoring average is an amazing 67.17.

While we do not know how often Mickelson will play the PGA Tour Champions, he intends to play Dominion Energy in Richmond, which he won last year, and the Schwab finale. He’s currently debating whether or not to play the Timber Tech.