PGA Tour: Phil Mickelson’s future on Tour

Phil Mickelson was once thought of as one of the biggest threats in golf. For the longest time, Phil was the one to watch every tournament and was the only one close to giving Tiger a run for his money. Golf fans’ favorite battle going into the weekend was usually Tiger vs. Phil.

Having won 42 events on Tour, five of those being major championships, Phil Mickelson will go down as one of the greatest golfers who ever lived.

Being a left-handed golfer is what made him unique from other pros. He is already in the World Golf Hall of Fame as of 2012 and has consistently shot rounds in the 60s.

Now his play is a little more inconsistent and more bogies are creeping into his round. He did, however, come back and win the 2013 Open Championship, which is impressive, despite his medical condition.

In 2010 Phil Mickelson received some heartbreaking news. He was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. His symptoms made it difficult to play long rounds and he began experiencing frequent pain. It must be hard for him to enjoy the game.

Golf can be a strenuous sport, even though some don’t believe so. For professionals, it is even more intense. All-day practice sessions hitting well over 100 balls a day would cause someone with psoriatic arthritis joints to swell up and it can be difficult to event hold a club. Phil’s strength is his short game, but even that became a challenge for him. Standing over the ball for over an hour putting can put stress on your spine, and Mickelson has also battled back problems. Walking up and down hilly golf terrain can cause pain as well.

When a medical condition affects an athlete it usually leads to questioning the end of one’s career, but not with Phil. He started taking medication, which helps manage his pain. But this medicine won’t cure Phil from this disease.

Just recently, Phil took some time off when he started to experience back pain. He visited his doctor and said he was feeling back to normal after a week of treatment. Will he need to continue to take time off from golf to take care of his back and arthritis? If so, his game could suffer more and more.

Recently it has seemed as though Phil can’t take the pressure anymore. It is rare to see him on top of the leaderboard and stay there. Has he lost the competitive edge or is his health getting the best of him? Sometimes it seems like he has lost the fire and passion to win.

Phil Mickelson is a risk taker, which is one of the reasons people love watching him play. His short game is sharp, which saves him on many occasions.

Is Phil Mickelson’s retirement right around the corner? Or does he still have some magical golf shots left? He is the type of player and person that is so in love with the game of golf that he won’t want to end on a bad note.

Although it is difficult to just give up and let your body beat you, sometimes it is worse to suffer while doing what you love. Will his condition keep him from winning more majors?

Whatever the case may be, Phil has proven himself as a mentally tough and courageous golfer. Personally, as a golfer, I admire Phil’s true passion for the game of golf. It is refreshing to see his hard work and dedication, despite the challenges he has faced.

  • Brian Bender

    What a horrific article. The author put little to no reasearch into this. 4 majors? Did you for the British Open last year? Phil’s 66 was one of the top 5 all time final rounds in major championship history.

    • Charlotte McLoughlin

      Sorry about this Brian. It was a long day of tournament play for me and I must have skipped over it while proof-reading. I fixed it right away. Thanks for the correction and sorry you didn’t like the article!

  • Walter Cronkite

    Wow great research. Mickelson has 5 majors, not 4. But, hey, you were close; gotta love modern journalists.

  • mike

    i have psoriatic arthritis. i know that even with his medication, certain things are more difficult. he has to find it harded to get a “feel” for the putter in his hand. the grip has to be a little weaker. i know the pain. it is manageable but never goes 100% away. i have told friends, that i dont believe phil will ever get to enjoy the senior tour. it will be too difficult by then. i do want to thank phil for becoming a face on this terrible disease. no one really talks about it and it has taken me down very hard. i had to retire at 48 and it is a challenge every day to do normal activities. i hope he doesnt get it as bad as i have it and hope that with his help we get some new breakthroughs to fight this disease. i always root for phil and hope he has one or two more great years of golf to entertain us with.

  • Brian S

    This is the the most misinformed article ever written. Last year could easily be described as his best season in his long career. He won 3 events, including the British and Scottish Opens, and he also came in Second at the US Open. The recent time off he took was due to pulling his back out, nothing to do with arthritis. This year he has the possibility to win the career grand slam if he can win the US Open, and he is focusing his entire year to doing just that.

  • GAH05

    Let’s hope he can continue at a high level. He is a “Major” fan favourite and a classy guy. Phil looks like he is appreciating and enjoying golf now more than his younger years. Maturity makes him very dangerous at the Majors.