Phil Mickelson adamant of reaching PGA Tour milestone

Phil Mickelson1

After taking down Justin Thomas in a play-off to win the WGC-Mexico Championship, Phil Mickelson is now just seven wins away from 50 on the PGA Tour.

But, at almost 48-years-old and having waited more than four-and-a-half years to get win No.43, is reaching 50 too lofty a goal for the five-time major champion? Far from it, he says.

"Oh, I will, I'll get there," he told reporters after his par was enough to see off Thomas who, remember, was coming off the back of a victory at last week's Honda Classic and is almost half Mickelson's age.

"I know how great these young players are and I appreciate their skill - but I also know the level I'm able to play and get there."

Phil Mickelson

As well as reaching 50 PGA Tour wins, another driving motivation for Mickelson is being a part the Ryder Cup team later this year for the match at Le Golf National as USA looks to end a 25-year winless run on European soil.

The win, which followed results of T5, T2 and T6, has boosted his chances of qualification  considerably and he's now up to fourth in the Ryder Cup standings behind Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka.

"I've made it known that one of my big goals is for me to be a part of a winning team in Europe," he added. "It hasn't happened in my career. It would mean a tremendous amount to me to have us succeed over on European soil.

"I certainly respect and know how good the European side is. I've played a lot of golf with Jon Rahm and he is an incredible talent as is McIlroy and Sergio and all the great players on the European side.

"If we were able to break through and win, it would be a real special moment of my career that I would cherish forever. But we've got a lot of work to do to get there, and I've got a lot of work to do to get on the team... but it's a little less now."

The win sees Mickelson move up 16 places to No.18 in the world rankings. Runner-up Thomas, meanwhile, has leapfrogged Jon Rahm to world No.2 and, after a weekend where he shot rounds of 62 and 64, he paid tribute to the man who defeated him.

"I'm really proud of him," he said. "He's been so supportive of me ever since I met him when I was 17. For someone at his stature at that time to reach out to me during amateur events, college events to tell me I was playing well was so cool.

"Obviously I would have loved to drum him out there in that play-off, but I'm just happy for him and I just told him I know how hard he's worked and I know how big and important the Ryder Cup is to him. He's playing some great golf. I just, unfortunately, was on the wrong side of it."

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