Phil Mickelson Biography

American athlete Phil Mickelson began golfing as soon as he could walk, and is now one of the foremost successful golfers in the world.


Born in San Diego, California, in 1970, Phil Mickelson began golfing as a child, running away from home to the golf course at age 3. His career began in earnest when he was at Arizona State, where he won three NCAA individual championships and became only the second collegiate golfer to earn 1st team All-American honors all four years. Mickelson turned professional at the age of 22 and is now one of the sport's highest-paid players, boasting more than 40 career wins by 2013, including three Masters titles.

Early Life

Philip Alfred Mickelson was born on June 16, 1970, in San Diego, California. Mickelson's career in golf began around the time he could walk. His parents, Phil and Mary, tell the story of a young Phil running away from home at the age of 3, telling neighbors he was going to the golf course.

Phil Mickelson began an amateur golfing career as a teen. He won 34 San Diego Junior Golf Association titles, using his father's job as an airline pilot to score tickets to his various tournaments. His mother took a second job to help pay for his American Junior Golf Association play, which won him three consecutive AJGA Rolex Player of the Year awards, and a full scholarship to Arizona State University.

Pro Golfer

Mickelson graduated from the University of San Diego High School in 1988, and headed to Arizona State University to study psychology. During his time at Arizona State, Mickelson jumped to the top of the national amateur golfing ranks. He won three NCAA individual championships, three Haskins Awards for outstanding collegiate golfer, and became only the second collegiate golfer to earn 1st team All-American honors all four years.

In 1990, while a junior in college, Mickelson became the first left-hander to win the U.S. Amateur title. That same year, he stunned critics when he won his first PGA Tour tournament as an amateur, becoming the fourth golfer in PGA history to accomplish this feat.

Mickelson earned his bachelor's degree at ASU after his 1991 win in Tucson. In 1992, on the eve of his 22nd birthday, he turned professional. Mickelson's first win as a pro was in 1993 at Torrey Pines, and the golfer continued to win many PGA Tour tournaments, including the Byron Nelson Golf Classic and the World Series of Golf in 1996.

In 1998, Mickelson won the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, followed by the Colonial National Invitation in 2000. He also won the Buick Invitational in 2000, defeating favorite Tiger Woods and ending the golf icon's streak of consecutive tournament victories. His first major championship win came at the 2004 Masters.

Winning Streak

Mickelson's 2004 Masters Tournament victory was ranked No. 9 in TV Guide's list of the "25 Most Awesome Sports Moments (of the last 15 years)." In 2007, Forbes magazine estimated his earnings for the year at $42 million—making him one of golf's highest-paid players.

In 2009, Mickelson came back into view as a possible U.S. Open champ. The neck-and-neck competition involved underdog Ricky Barnes, Tiger Woods and Lucas Glover, with Glover ultimately taking home the trophy. That same year, Mickelson defended his fifth career title at the Northern Trust Open, finishing 2-1-1 in consecutive seasons. At the WGC-CA Championship at Doral, he beat Nick Watney for the title. At the 2009 Masters Tournament, he was paired with Tiger Woods in the final round, and ultimately placed fifth.

The following season marked a 40-year-old Mickelson's 18th year on the PGA Tour, but it wouldn't start out a victorious one. He managed just one top-10 in his first seven starts. Then, in April 2010, Mickelson beat Lee Westwood with a 16-under-par performance for the Masters Tournament title.

In 2012, Mickelson finished T-65th at the U.S. Open and tied for third place at the Masters Tournament. The following year, he suffered a heartbreaking loss at the 2013 U.S. Open, despite having a one-stroke lead after the first three rounds, ultimately tying for second place with Justin Rose.

The following year, Mickelson scored a tremendous victory at the British Open. He excelled in the Open's final round, surging past Tiger Woods and the others on the scoreboard. After his victory, Mickelson shared his triumph with ESPN. "I've had some of the best golf I've ever played today. It will be one of the most memorable rounds of golf I've ever played."

Personal Life

Mickelson is married to Amy McBride, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009. The couple has three children: Amanda, Sophia and Evan.

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