Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.
On Phil Mickelson's offseason to-do list ...
After another top-10 in Napa, Phil Mickelson heads now into a true offseason – about three months, if his next start is in late January in Palm Springs.
During that time away there is one area of his game that absolutely must be addressed if he wants to win for the first time since 2013. Last season, Mickelson was ranked outside the top 130 in both strokes gained-off the tee and driving accuracy.
At the Safeway, he ranked 65th out of 70 players in the strokes-gained statistic. A long swing usually leads to a long career, which explains why the 46-year-old Mickelson has been so good for so long. But he won’t even sniff his career goal of 50 Tour titles – he’s currently at 42 – if he doesn’t shore up his driving. – Ryan Lavner
On the LPGA's late finish ...
The marriage of the LPGA and South Korea is understandable, given how many of the circuit's top players hail from that Asian nation. Also understandable is the LPGA playing events in the Far East, including last week's KEB Hana Bank Championship in South Korea.
But it's awfully hard to build interest when your tournament ends in the middle of the night. The first wire-service reports of Carla Ciganda's playoff win over Alison Lee moved at 4:49 a.m. ET. Lee is an exciting young American player who could easily become a star. But she's going to have to build her reputation during events when most of the U.S. is actually awake. - Al Tays
On Mickelson's unique season ...
For just the fifth time since 1992 Phil Mickelson failed to win on the PGA Tour this season, yet as he wrapped up his year at the Safeway Open he didn’t sound like a man reeling from a lost season.
“I'm still on an emotional high from the Ryder Cup,” Lefty said. “It's been such a fun experience to share that with so many guys.”
Mickelson came close this year at Royal Troon, where he was the losing half of the year’s best two-man duel against Henrik Stenson, but it was at Hazeltine where his season was defined. After a Hall of Fame career, sometimes success is measured differently. – Rex Hoggard