clearn.png
Sunday November 28th, 2021 11:55PM

Mickelson tries to focus at Colonial after historic PGA win

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Phil Mickelson allowed himself to get distracted for a couple of days after his victory at the PGA Championship, taking some time to relish the historic achievement of becoming the oldest player to win a major.

“Because when I’m doing it, I’m not fully aware because I’m so in the moment,” Mickelson said Wednesday.

Now Lefty is trying to get his focus back on playing. Only four days after raising the Wanamaker Trophy, after not winning on the PGA Tour in more than two years, the 50-year-old Mickelson is set to tee off Thursday in the first round of the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial.

“That’s going to be the biggest challenge for me because I kind of went from keeping my mind off of all the distractions and the noise during the week of the PGA to really letting it come in the last two days, enjoy it," he said. “And really it hit me in the last two days what just happened.”

Still, the two-time Colonial champion (2000 and 2008) said it never crossed his mind to skip the trip to Hogan's Alley. This is his last scheduled tournament before his hometown U.S. Open next month at Torrey Pines, which he is now in without any need of a special exemption.

"I feel like now that I’m playing well, gosh, I want to play," he said.

Mickelson is grouped the first two rounds with defending champion Daniel Berger and local favorite Jordan Spieth, whose six top 10s in his eight Colonials include a victory in 2016 and two runner-up finishes.

“Obviously, Phil is going to be riding a huge wave of confidence,” Berger said. “I expect the crowds to be huge and obviously with Jordan being a Texas boy and being a local favorite here, it’s just going to be a great experience. I love those pairings. I love to have the crowds out there. It’s going to be a completely contrasting environment than to last year when we didn’t have the fans.”

The Charles Schwab Challenge was played in June last year without any spectators on the course, and marked the PGA Tour’s return to competition after a 12-week hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Berger won on the first playoff hole when he saved par from behind the 17th green and Collin Morikawa missed a 3-foot par putt.

While there will be some limits, fans will be on the course for the 75th anniversary of the Colonial, which has been held since 1946 and is the longest-running PGA Tour event at the same venue.

Morikawa said the playoff hole is his only bad memory among a lot of good ones in his only Colonial appearance, and that he learned from the experience. Only two months later, he won the delayed PGA Championship at age 23. He finished tied for eighth at this year's PGA while someone much older won.

“I thought about Phil’s win, and it’s not like I’ve seen Phil’s entire career. He won his first event 30 years ago. I’m 24 now. I still consider him as a competitor," Morikawa said. “He’s trying every day to get better. It’s cool to see someone at 50 like that come out and win because it just gives me hope. It gives me just that passion because I love this game and want to play as long as I can.”

After flying home to California following his victory Sunday at Kiawah Island in South Carolina, Mickelson was up most of the night with wife Amy and got to see highlights of his victory. He spent time at home Monday and Tuesday before flying to Texas, where he played a nine-hole pro-am Wednesday morning.

Mickelson said it was now time to get off social media, get back on the practice range and “start to get my mind quiet again and get rid of the distractions and get back in the present.”

Spieth actually had a longer winless drought on the PGA Tour than Mickelson before winning the Valero Texas Open last month. Spieth had gone nearly four years since tapping in a final putt at the 2017 British Open for his third major and 11th victory overall in his first five years as a pro.

The week after the Texas Open, Spieth tied for third at the Masters. He then took a month off before a ninth-place finish at the Byron Nelson, and then was 30th in the PGA Championship, the major that now splits the two Dallas-Fort Worth area tournaments.

“I actually really like this part of the season for major prep and for the ability to play well in these hometown events. It’s a stretch that I very much enjoy," he said. "I’ve had pretty good success with this part of the schedule, and just looking to try and build on that this year.”

___

More AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Golf, AP Sports - PGA
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Mickelson tries to focus at Colonial after historic PGA win
Phil Mickelson never considered skipping the trip to Colonial
5:40PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Biden orders more Intel investigation of COVID-19 origin
President Joe Biden is asking U.S. intelligence agencies to “redouble” their efforts to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic
5:35PM ( 13 minutes ago )
AP-NORC poll: More Americans believe anti-Asian hate rising
A majority of Americans across racial and ethnic groups believe discrimination has worsened in the last year against Asian Americans, who became the target of attacks after being unfairly blamed for the coronavirus pandemic
5:35PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: NBA's Bucks boosting attendance at Fiserv Forum
The Milwaukee Bucks say they’ll have a fan capacity of 16,500 for each of their remaining home playoff games at Fiserv Forum
4:44PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Kentucky prepares for full capacity for football
Kentucky is planning to open Kroger Field to full capacity for Wildcats football games this fall, along with restoring other fan activities and traditions
4:32PM ( 1 hour ago )
West Virginia transgender athlete law challenged in court
A federal lawsuit has been filed challenging West Virginia’s new ban on transgender athletes from competing in female sports in middle and high schools and colleges
4:06PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
British Open hopeful for 75% capacity, without chaos of PGA
The British Open could have big crowds at Royal St. George's
6:05PM ( 23 hours ago )
Princeton athletic director hired as LPGA commissioner
Mollie Marcoux Samaan is the new commissioner of the LPGA Tour
4:11PM ( 1 day ago )
PGA apologizes to Mickelson, Koepka for fans on final hole
PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh has apologized to winner Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka for fans rushing onto the 18th hole at the PGA Championship on Sunday
12:40AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Golf
The Latest: Mickelson two holes away from history at PGA
Phil Mickelson has a two-stroke lead and one hole left on a try at history at the PGA Championship
6:57PM ( 2 days ago )
The Latest: Mickelson with consecutive bogeys at PGA
Phil Mickelson is once again giving away his big lead at the PGA Championship
6:16PM ( 2 days ago )
The Latest: Koepka struggles on par 5s at PGA Championship
Brooks Koepka only has to look at the Ocean Course's par 5s to see what went wrong in the final round of the PGA Championship
5:51PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Sports - PGA
AP-NORC poll: More Americans believe anti-Asian hate rising
A majority of Americans across racial and ethnic groups believe discrimination has worsened in the last year against Asian Americans, who became the target of attacks after being unfairly blamed for the coronavirus pandemic
5:35PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Callaway banned through at least 2022 after harassment probe
Former New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway was placed on the ineligible list by Major League Baseball through at least the end of the 2022 season following an investigation of sexual harassment allegations
5:27PM ( 21 minutes ago )
8 dead in shooting at rail yard serving Silicon Valley
An employee opened fire at a California rail yard serving Silicon Valley, killing eight people before ending his own life
5:26PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Alden puts its stamp on Tribune with new debt and leadership
Hedge fund Alden Global Capital closed its deal for Tribune on Monday and has installed new leadership and saddled the newspaper chain with $278 million in debt, according to regulatory filings
5:22PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Attorney Dershowitz sues Netflix for $80M over Epstein show
Attorney and Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz is suing Netflix for $80 million over his portrayal in the streaming service's series about sex offender Jeffrey Epstein titled “Filthy Rich.”
5:13PM ( 35 minutes ago )