Born: June 16, 1970
Birthplace: San Diego, California
Height: 6 ft 3 in
College: Arizona State University
Turned Pro: 1992
Sponsors: Callaway, KPMG
Phil Mickelson was born into a perfect golf situation. His father was an airline pilot and a golf enthusiast who built a large practice area in the family’s backyard. Young Phil began to play the game before Kindergarten. He would go on to be a standout junior, collegiate and amateur golfer, winning 3 NCAA individual championships, the U.S. Amateur and a PGA professional title.
Mickelson turned pro in 1992. He would win 13 PGA Tour titles in the 1990’s, including 4 titles in the 1996 season. For all his success, fans, peers and journalists focused on his inability to win a Major Championship. He had close calls during this period, finishing 3rd at the Masters in 1996 and 2nd at the 1999 U.S. Open.
Mickelson continued to rack up the wins, but no Majors into the new millennium. Finally, in April 2004, Mickelson got the proverbial monkey off his back by sinking an 18-foot putt on the 72nd hole of the Masters. Mickelson defeated Ernie Els by a single shot and collected his first of three Green Jackets.
Once Mickelson kicked the door in, more Major championships followed. In August 2005 at the year’s last Major, Mickelson won the PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club in New Jersey by one shot over Thomas Bjorn and Steve Elkington.
Mickelson made it two Majors in a row back at Augusta the next spring. He captured the 2006 Masters by two shots over runner-up Tim Clark.
Mickelson traveled to Winged Foot two months later, in search of his third consecutive Major championship and first U.S. Open. Disaster struck on the 72nd hole. Needing a par to win or bogey to force an 18-hole playoff, Mickelson made double bogey. It was Mickelson’s 4th of a record 6 runner-up finishes at the U.S. Open.
Mickelson waited 4 years before his next Major – his 3rd Green Jacket at the 2010 Masters. Mickelson started the final round a shot off the pace but closed with a 67 and beat Lee Westwood by 3 shots.
Mickelson claimed his 5th Major at the 2013 Open Championship at the age of 43 and now only needs a U.S. Open victory to complete the career Grand Slam.