It has been four years since Phil Mickelson has collected a win on the PGA Tour. But there is a great chance that can change in the 2017-18 season.
Last season, Mickelson had five top-10 finishes and missed cuts at both The Open Championship and the PGA Championship. He finished 22nd in The Masters and did not to participate in the U.S. Open because it would have conflicted with his daughter’s high school graduation.
But there is a secret to why Lefty will be better than ever in the 2018 season. He didn’t discover the fountain of youth…but got pretty damn close to it.
After his missed the cut at the PGA Championship, Mickelson knew that he needed to seek out professional help as he was struggling with maintaining focus out on the course.
Phil asked this youngster a question.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 5, 2017
According to Mickelson, he would go through stretches where the lethargy would keep him bedridden for three to four days at a time. That is far from normal for a 47-year-old man.
Lefty’s visit to the doctor paid off at the Dell Technologies championship when he shot consistently in the 60’s and punched his ticket to his 12th Presidents Cup team.
The secret behind Mickelson’s success remains a secret…sort of. Mickelson wouldn’t dive into specifics but he did allude to how he has changed some things about his lifestyle.
“But more natural stuff and change in diet,” Mickelson said. “He said it would take about a week to notice and certainly after a week, I noticed a difference and I felt a lot better.”
Phil is the upward trend once again and credits his longevity, at least in part, to fitness work and a focus on good nutrition. pic.twitter.com/5esgFB1tbb
— Nick Buchan (@stronger_golf) October 9, 2017
If you have played golf before, you know how crucial it is to be laser-focused on any given shot. Losing concentration on the ball or your swing path can make a potential birdie opportunity into a ‘let’s just save double-bogey’ situation.
Mickelson experienced the latter far too often in 2017. But after his visit to the doctor, he could tell that he was putting together more consistent rounds of golf.
“I played very steady, consistent golf for four days,” Mickelson said at the Dell Technologies championship. “And I didn’t have any five-, six-hole stretches where I fell off. That has been happening and it didn’t happen this week.”
It would appear that the changes he made at the end of the season carried over into the Presidents Cup and the Safeway Open, where he finished T-3 this past weekend to start the 2018 season off on the right foot.
A sense of humor always helps. ?? pic.twitter.com/3ZCbrIvNo6
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) October 9, 2017
In the Presidents Cup Mickelson was responsible for three U.S. victories and some epic dance moves/fist bumps with playing partner Kevin Kisner.
— Jeff Eisenband (@JeffEisenband) September 29, 2017
The T-3 finish at the Safeway Open doesn’t truly indicate how well Mickelson played. His scrambling to save birdies and pars during those four rounds brought us back to vintage Phil Mickelson of the 1990’s and early 2000’s.
A player’s focus is tested more heavily in scrambling situations. And if this weekend is any indication, Phil Mickelson is right where he needs to be when it comes time to compete in all four of the 2018 major championship events.