After the second round of the Safeway Open, Phil Mickelson admitted age is catching up with him, and the lengthy season took its toll. For the 2019 season (which the Safeway is part of), he’ll play a reduced schedule, focusing primarily on the big events such as WGCs and majors, along with tournaments he “likes.”
“I love what I do,” said Mickelson, who made 25 starts during the 2018 season.
“But now, as opposed to playing the tournaments you’re expected to play in or whatever, now I’m going to play in the tournaments that I like, that are best for me, even if it doesn’t make sense or people have a problem with it (read Tour HQ and sponsors).
“As I looked at my schedule next year, and the way some of the tournaments are, yeah, there will be some that I miss that people will be upset about, but I’m not going to worry about it.”
Mickelson won for the first time in nearly five years when he captured the WGC-Mexico Championship in March. At the time, he was playing his best golf in years and appeared headed for a career year, but his play tailed off badly thereafter, culminating with a horrific performance at the Ryder Cup.
He noted that his struggles at the end of the season were a major factor in his decision to cut back his play in 2019.
“I’m going to have to start limiting the number of tournaments that I play so that I can play those at a higher level, because I’m getting a little bit more mental fatigue and not able to focus and see the shot as clearly as I’d like for so many weeks in a row,” Mickelson continued.
“I’ve learned from this. At 48, it’s not a smart thing to do. I won’t do it anymore. I won’t do it again, playing this much golf. I’ll pace myself much more.”