Mickelson wipes the field clean in Champions Tour debut

It’s almost 30 years since his first win on the PGA Tour and now in his Champions Tour debut, Phil Mickelson has once again come out on top.

The 50-year-old fired 24 birdies and an eagle for a 22-under total and a four-shot win over Tim Petrovic at the Charles Schwab Series at Ozarks National in Missouri.

Mickelson made a last minute dash to the tournament following his failure to make the top-70 in time for this week’s BMW Championship in the PGA Tour’s FedExCup Playoffs. It was the first time missing the tournament since the FedExCup started back in 2007.

While Mickelson will miss the rest of the playoffs, he will return to the PGA Tour some time next month in preparation for the US Open on September 17.

The second major of the year will be played at Winged Foot and is the scene of his inexplicable final hole double-bogey meltdown to hand Australia’s Geoff Ogilvy a one-shot victory.

“Obviously, I have a lot of work to do and some redemption at Winged Foot, but it’s a great golf course and I’m looking forward to the challenge,” said Mickelson.

Phil Mickelson Phil Mickelson (Credit: PGA Tour)

Lefty joins a celebrated list of players, who have won on the Champions Tour in their first attempt including Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player.

Even Tiger Woods was pumped about Mickelson’s chances on the “seniors” tour.

“He’s playing unbelievable golf…he was already one of the longer hitters out here, and now he goes to where he’s going to pick up a huge advantage off the tee.”

“His wedge game is off the charts…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,” said Woods ahead of the BMW Championship.

Australia’s Rod Pampling let slip any outside chance he had at victory. After opening with rounds of 64 and 65, he fell away in the final round with a 1-over 72 to drop back into a tie for 11th place.

David McKenzie (T20) and Stephen Leaney (T49) finished at 9-under and 4-under respectively.