Cherry Hills reminds Phil of U.S. Am win


CHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. – This has been a long, hard year for Phil Mickelson, but a return to Cherry Hills for the BMW Championship is a timely tonic.

Mickelson won the U.S. Amateur here in 1990.

“It does rejuvenate you,” Mickelson said. “It gets your energy level up. Emotions are up. It’s fun to play here, and I love playing at altitude, too.”

Mickelson, looking for his first victory this year, is 56th in FedEx Cup points. He likely needs to finish fourth or better this week to advance to the Tour Championship, but he said getting to play here this year is even more important to him than playing the Tour Championship.

“I’m not real high on playing four in a row,” Mickelson said. “I’m just excited to be here. This is the one of all the four [FedEx Cup events] that I wanted to play, Cherry Hills.”

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Mickelson was a junior at Arizona State when he won six matches at Cherry Hills to claim the U.S. Amateur. The lob wedge he used that week is mounted in the Hall of Honor in the Cherry Hills clubhouse.

“There are a lot of great memories for me here,” Mickelson said.

Mickelson said he was impressed how the course, without a major overhaul, continues to offer a strong test.

“It’s amazing how the golf course, even with some subtle changes, still stands up and has just great shot values,” Mickelson said. “It’s a great setup. The greens are fabulous, and it’s just a pleasure to play, a real treat.”