Phil Mickelson Says He's Back to College Weight, 'Embarrassed' by Play Last Year

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 31, 2023

DORAL, FL - OCTOBER 28: Team Captain Phil Mickelson of Hy Flyers GC walks the fairway on the ninth hole during the quarterfinals of the LIV Golf Invitational - Miami at Trump National Doral Miami on October 28, 2022 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
Eric Espada/Getty Images

Phil Mickelson is ready to bounce back in the second season of LIV Golf after a disappointing run in 2022.

"I'm embarrassed with how I played last year," Mickelson told reporters. "I'm going to put that behind me and have a really good year."

The 52-year-old was one of the most prominent players to join the startup league, but he didn't find much success during the LIV Golf inaugural season. Even with no cuts and only 48 golfers per tournament, Mickelson finished outside the top 30 in five of seven events.

The veteran has worked hard to get back on track for 2023.

"I have a whole different energy, whole different excitement," Mickelson said. "I've been rejuvenated. Best shape I've been in in a long time. I'm back to my college weight."

Mickelson earned a reported $200 million to join LIV Golf, which provided little incentive to succeed in the new league. He finished 34th in the final individual championship standings, only earning points in two of his events.

The six-time major champion also struggled outside LIV, missing the cut at both the U.S. Open and Open Championship. He missed the cut at his final two PGA Tour events—the Farmers Insurance Open and the American Express tournament—before he was suspended.

Mickelson also did not compete at the Masters for the first time since 1994, a run that included three titles and 15 top-10 finishes.

He is eligible to play in the 2023 Masters and told Bob Harig of Sports Illustrated that he "wholeheartedly" believes he will be back at Augusta this year. Despite his struggles, it's clear he is motivated to compete at a high level in the coming season.

The former No. 2 player in the world has fallen to 254th in the official world golf rankings and will likely continue to fall with LIV Golf tournaments not yet eligible for points.