RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Phil Mickelson is one of the most popular names in golf and has quite the resume, but missing from that are frequent trips to Virginia. Not since 1993 has Lefty teed up for an individual event in the commonwealth, but that all changes Friday as he makes his first appearance in the Dominion Energy Charity Classic.
“I have a lot of friends who have been here, talk highly of it, and it’s a special place,” Mickelson said on Thursday prior to his ProAm round.
This tournament will mark his second PGA Tour Champions start, after turning 50 earlier this year. Mickelson won his tour debut at Ozark National at the end of August, and has been supplementing his PGA Tour schedule with these Tour Champions events. It’s all part of his plan to sharpen his skills and prepare for The Masters next month.
“This tour is a little bit more forgiving, the rough isn’t quite as long, the fairways aren’t quite as tight,” the 44-time PGA Tour winner noted. “It’s still very challenging, but it’s not as penalizing as the regular tour’s been and so it gives me a chance to work on a few things and compete.”
It’s also a chance for Mickelson to reconnect with some golfers whom he used to play with regularly no longer on the PGA Tour. The atmosphere around the players is something he says is one of his favorite aspects of this particular tour.
“The environment, how welcoming the guys have been and I love competing against these guys, too,” said Mickelson. “They’re guys I’ve played against for many decades and to be reacquainted with them has been really fun.”
The 2020 Dominion Energy Charity Classic field is the best it’s been since it arrived in 2016, featuring 19 PGA Tour winners, and Lefty will get some good competition in his group right out of the game this weekend. His first round group includes 17-time PGA tournament champion Jim Furyk and defending DECC title winner Miguel Angel Jimenez.
“Two really great people in golf,” Mickelson remarked. “Jim is one of, I think, the most quality people in golf, Miguel’s one of the most interesting entertaining people and I’m looking forward to playing with them.”
First round action tees off on Friday at 8:00 AM, with Mickelson and his group beginning their round at 9:00 AM.
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