SPRINGFIELD, N.J. – After finishing the PGA Championship at rainy Baltusrol, Phil Mickelson is ready for a break.
Mickelson won this event the last time it was contested on the Lower Course back in 2005, but that same magic wasn’t available this time around. Two weeks after his runner-up finish at Royal Troon, Mickelson shot a 3-under 277 total that was capped by a 2-under 68 in the final round which left him well behind the leaders.
While some players will pack their bags for the Olympics, Mickelson now has an extended break leading into his next start at The Barclays.
“I have not had three weeks off in the summer for over two decades,” Mickelson said. “This is the first time where I’m excited to play all four FedEx Cup events. Usually I only play three. I’ll be fresh and excited to go out in the Ryder Cup, too.”
Mickelson plans to take the next week off before ramping up his practice schedule with an eye on the postseason. He also echoed a popular player sentiment, applauding the PGA of America’s decision to play the ball up in the final round given the soggy conditions.
“I think it was a great call. I know it’s not one that is ideal,” he said. “We’re still seeing some great golf, and I think playing it up provides a chance to take the luck out of deciding the champion and also provides a possibility to really go low.”
Mickelson remains in the midst of a resurgent season, one that has included three runner-up finishes and an already-clinched spot on the team at Hazeltine. But he has yet to win a tournament since hoisting the claret jug at Muirfield more than three years ago.
Despite the prolonged victory drought, Mickelson is still bullish on the state of his game.
“I’m starting to see my game come back. I’m starting to hit the shots again, what I’m visualizing, what I’m seeing and doing it with ease now,” he said. “I wouldn’t say the lack of a win this year would be a failure, but it wouldn’t be as successful as I want or expect. However, I’m optimistic heading into these next few events because I’m starting to hit shots.”