LA QUINTA, Calif. – Phil Mickelson’s 28th season on the PGA Tour may come with the toughest decision of his professional life.
Mickelson turns 50 on June 16, the Tuesday of U.S. Open week, and will qualify him to play the PGA Tour Champions, although at this stage in his career a new competitive outlet doesn’t seem to interest him.
“I haven't thought too much about it and I won't until I see how the first six months [on the PGA Tour] of this year go,” Mickelson said Wednesday at The American Express. “It’s nice to have the option to move over to another tour, but it's also nice to have the challenge of competing out here.”
Mickelson said one of his main goals this year is to qualify for the U.S. Ryder Cup team after missing his first team event since 1994 last year. He’s also less than a year removed from his last PGA Tour victory at Pebble Beach and sounded optimistic following an intense offseason that included a new diet and a renewed focus on fitness.
“When I stop hitting bombs I'll play the Champions Tour, but I'm hitting some crazy bombs right now,” he joked. “No, I still have speed, there's no reason I couldn't play out here. I hit the ball every bit as far.”
Depending on how he plays the first six months on the PGA Tour, Mickelson would be eligible to play in three of the over-50 circuit’s major championships, including the U.S. Senior Open, Senior Players Championship and Senior Open Championship.