Mickelson heads to break lamenting winless season

Phil Mickelson kick-started his 2016/17 PGA Tour season sharing eighth place in the Safeway Open but as he headed into a three-month break the 5-time major winner was lamenting a season where he failed to win for the third year running in his career.

Mickelson earned $US162,000 on Sunday but it was more about looking back on his 24th season in the pro ranks with disappointment, ahead of not teeing-up again to January 19th.

Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson Phil Mickelson came out on the wrong side of his Royal Troon showdown with Henrik Stenson (Credit: European Tour)

Despite a winless year, Mickelson still managed to secure US$4 million in PGA Tour prize-money with 3 runner-up finishes, one 3rd place and 6 top-ten’s.

“It was a good year to build off of. I had some good performances. My iron play came back, my wedge play, putting, it was a great putting year,” he said.

“A lot of really good positives that come from this year. I’ve got to fix my driving this offseason and I think the wins will follow.”

“But then the only disappointment is I didn’t win. I had a couple good opportunities to do so and that’s the only thing the year was lacking.”

Indeed, Mickelson went the closest to victory at The Open and with the 46-year-old and Henrik Stenson turning the final two rounds into their own Royal Troon two-man show.

“Had I been able to break through and get that British, that would have made the whole year,” he said.

“I also had a great chance at Pebble. But again, it’s a great year to build off of.”

“So if I can take this momentum and the areas that I was able to address and fix, my iron play, my chipping, my putting, and add the driving element this off-season, it’s going to be a great year.”

Of course, there was one victory Mickelson could savour and that was at Hazeltine and only his third Ryder Cup success in 11 starts.

“The Ryder Cup made the year, too. That sent the off-season going out on a high,” added Mickelson.

“It was really something special to be a part of and to see the way the guys played, the energy, the excitement that we shared, the emotional element of the Ryder Cup that we shared, and then we feel like we’re going to build on it.

“I would love to go over there in two years to Europe and try to keep it.”

If so, it would be the first time in Mickelson’s career he will have been on a USA Team winning on European soil.