Phil Mickelson celebrates 30 years since amateur Masters debut
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Golfers are loving this weather so far, and one golfer who has seen just about any course conditions Augusta National can throw at him over the years is Phil Mickelson.
It’s a bit of a big anniversary for Lefty, as this year marks thirty years since his Masters debut as an amateur.
Even after all of these years, Mickelson still has patrons flocking to find him on the course.
“Years is noteworthy. Look at all the people who came out with him as a freshman class and all the people who are there now. Very, very few. So, we’re proud of him,” said Patron John Williams.
“I love Phil Mickelson. Tiger and Phil in their prime was when I sort of started watching golf and started playing golf,” First-time patron Samantha Marks said. “I always was wanting to root for Phil, because I always love rooting for an underdog, and Phil was always a little behind Tiger.”
30 years ago, Mickelson kicked off a heck of a career as the low amateur in the Masters. He would go on to win three green jackets.
“There are so many people who would die to play one time. So, thinking he debuted 30 years ago here is insane. It just shows the scope of his career,” Marks said.
But 30 years in, he’s now competing against insanely long hitters, like Dechambeau and an increasingly fitter field.
“It’s what gets me motivated to be in the gym and try to be physically able to swing fast enough to compete against these guys,” Mickelson said.
“The tour players are much more competitive and athletic than they were 10 years past to this degree... to be able to hang with those young kids is pretty good,” Williams said.
At this stage in his career, Mickelson says he’s still looking ahead but does find himself nostalgic for those once in a lifetime moments, like his first Masters win in 2004.
“That is probably the greatest joy that I felt,” Mickelson said. “The relief of the pressure of why I haven’t won a major, to winning the Masters and being a part of the history and sharing that with my family, and just a very special moment in my life.”
Now, he has three decades worth of history with this course and Augusta. That is special. Right down to his meals every Masters week.
“I cannot give you my sources, but we have a friend who makes spaghetti for him. I better leave it at that,” Williams said.
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