CARMEL, Ind. – Phil Mickelson is still a little sore he was denied a spot in the PGA Championship when it was played at Crooked Stick back in 1991.
Mickelson won the Northern Telecom Open in Tucson, Ariz., as a 20-year-old amateur earlier that year and said the title earned him a spot in the PGA Championship. Or, at least, he thought he earned a spot.
The PGA Championship is run by the Professional Golfers Association of America for professionals, but Mickelson wanted to remain an amateur and return to Arizona State in the fall.
“I qualified for the tournament and wasn't allowed to play in it, and that really upset me back then,” Mickelson said after getting himself into contention at the BMW Championship Saturday at Crooked Stick. “I wasn't allowed to play because I wanted to graduate college and stay an amateur. I would have loved to have competed. I felt I deserved to after I had already qualified, and I look back on that 20 years later, and I'm still upset.”
Mickelson may get more than a consolation prize if he wins Sunday at Crooked Stick two decades after he missed that PGA Championship here.