There was a time, not so many years ago, when Phil Mickelson’s golf season ended long before the actual season did.
He tended to do his best work in the first six months then drift away, basically surrendering the late summer and fall to other players.
For all Mickelson has done – 42 career PGA Tour victories including five major championships – he’s never been the player of the year, won the money list or captured the FedEx Cup.
He wants to change that and he may be on the way to doing that after his tie for sixth at The Barclays last week and his opening-round 63 Friday at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
“I just want to play well these next three weeks because I feel like if I can add a win or two, I have a realistic chance at player of the year, which I’ve never accomplished,” Mickelson said. “That would mean a lot to me.”
Mickelson has flirted with winning player of the year before but this may be his best chance. It still means chasing down Tiger Woods, whose five wins include two WGC events and The Players Championship. Mickelson’s win at the Open Championship has been the season’s most dramatic moment but he needs more to overtake Woods for player of the year and he knows it.
“If I finish off with one or two wins this year and win the FedEx Cup, I think it would be enough to get the player of the year,” Mickelson said.