Phil Mickelson has lived his entire life in California and Arizona. Perhaps that's why he plays golf so well there.
When Mickelson completed a dominating, wire-to-wire four-stroke victory in the Phoenix Open on Sunday, it was another example of his brilliance playing close to home. Of Mickelson's 41 PGA Tour victories, 19 have come in the months of January (eight) and February (11), when many of the tournaments are staged in the states he calls home.
Mickelson's first victory came in Arizona 22 years ago when he was in college at Arizona State and he became the fourth amateur in history to win on the PGA Tour. Over the next five seasons, six of his first seven wins came in January and February.
While Tiger Woods is unquestionably the best player of his generation, capturing 75 PGA Tour events and 14 major championships, Mickelson is the king of the winter. His wins have come at Pebble Beach (four), Torrey Pines (three), Phoenix (three), Tucson (three), Kapalua (two), La Quinta (two) and Riviera (two).
- Kevin Dunleavy