SAN DIEGO – Another young star emerged Sunday as the winner of the Farmers Insurance Open, but an aging star quietly showed he may be getting ready to deliver something special this year.
With Jon Rahm seizing the day at Torrey Pines, Phil Mickelson put together a pretty solid showing in the shadows.
Mickelson, 46, is way ahead of schedule in his return from a pair of off-season hernia surgeries. Just six weeks removed from his second surgery, Mickelson got himself within two shots of the lead Sunday before signing for a 2-under-par 70 and finishing tied for 14th. Last week, he tied for 21st at the CareerBuilder Challenge in his first start of the year.
“A good week, a good steppingstone, and hopefully I'll continue to build on that for these upcoming weeks and put it together,” Mickelson said. “But this is the best I've swung in a while.”
How good is Mickelson feeling? He’s planning to play five weeks in a row. He plans to play the Waste Management Phoenix Open, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and the Genesis Open over the next three weeks.
“I think by next week I'll be 100 percent, would be my guess, based on what I'm able to do in the gym,” Mickelson said.
Mickelson wasn’t originally planning to make his return until next week in Phoenix. He said he felt good enough last week to give it a try last week in Palm Springs.
“I'm really glad I did, because my touch is starting to come around a little bit,” Mickelson said. “The sensitivity to shot making, chipping, putting on Tour caliber greens and rough and things that you can't replicate at your home course is getting sharper, because I did play these last two weeks.
“So, I'm looking forward to these next three weeks. I get to play at three spots that I really love. I haven't been back to Riviera in quite some time. I'll be going back there this year.”