Phil Mickelson: Mediocre PGA Championship Proves Lefty's Winning Ways Are Gone
Phil Mickelson made some positive strides at the 2012 PGA Championship over the weekend, but he still finished a rather pedestrian three-over par and in 36th place. At 42 years old, it is safe to say that this was probably the best we can hope to see from Lefty in a major.
This has been a volatile season for Mickelson. He did win the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am back in February, but other than that, he hasn't had much success in 2012. He has missed three cuts, withdrawn from an event and finished lower than 35th in five other events.
There are a lot of reasons for Mickelson's struggles and inconsistencies on the course. For starters, he has stated that he is undergoing treatment for psoriatic arthritis, "which causes his immune system to attack his joints and tendons."
That kind of physical pain is going to present all kinds of problems for Mickelson on the course, as we have seen this year.
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In addition to the physical aspect of the game, Mickelson's mental state must be gradually wearing on him. It was not that long ago that both Mickelson's wife and mother were diagnosed with cancer just weeks apart.
Then there was the report from the San Diego Union-Tribune earlier this year that Mickelson's daughter Sophia "fainted and suffered a small seizure while at school" while he was playing in a tournament.
Everyone knows that golf is as much a mental game as it is physical. Mickelson has so many things going on in his life outside of the sport that it would be impossible to get him to do the work necessary to remain competitive on a consistent basis.
It is a sad reality, but one that fans of Lefty have to face sooner rather than later. He is an older player in a sport that is becoming increasingly dominated young men. And, as I mentioned, he's recently been physically and mentally smacked around by an unreal number of factors.
The end of Mickelson as a top contender on the PGA Tour is here. He might manage to luck into a victory here or there, but this is the sad ending for one of the best golfers of this generation.
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