PGA Tour Champions 2020: Phil Mickelson Wins in Dominant 3-Round Performance

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2020

Phil Mickelson hits from the rough on the 14th fairway in the first round of the Northern Trust golf tournament at TPC Boston, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, in Norton, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Charles Krupa/Associated Press

Phil Mickelson didn't take long to start a dominant PGA Tour Champions career.

Mickelson carded a five-under 66 in Wednesday's third round to finish at 22 under overall to win the 2020 Charles Schwab Series at Ozarks National in his Champions Tour debut. He finished four strokes ahead of second-place Tim Petrovic, who spent the three-day event chasing Lefty to no avail.

"I really enjoyed playing here, enjoyed seeing the guys again, and they were so accommodating and fun, and it was just fun for me to compete," Mickelson told reporters. "I got to shoot scores and compete. The competition here was really strong. It was good for me to get off to a good start and compete."

Mickelson, who turned 50 in June, made his Champions debut to prepare for next week's U.S. Open after being eliminated from FedEx Cup contention. His first round was a 10-under coming-out party and perhaps his best of the year. He followed it up with a seven-under 64 to stay ahead of a field that struggled to keep up with his power.

Tiger Woods discussed Lefty's game with reporters ahead of Wednesday's round: 

"He was already one of the longest hitters out here (on the PGA Tour) and now he goes to where he's going to pick up a huge advantage off the tee. But you have to take advantage of that opportunity off the tee. His wedge game is off the charts, every wedge in there he's going to put it inside of 10, 15 feet each and every time. Hole those, get momentum and keep it going.

"There's no reason why he can't win every event he plays out there. He's got such a big advantage over the rest of the field just with sheer length."

Mickelson has won only two events on the PGA Tour since 2013, with the last coming at the 2019 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Kevin Sutherland (-16), Robert Karlsson (-15), Rocco Mediate (-14) and Steve Stricker (-14) rounded out the top five at the Ozarks.