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To the surprise of absolutely nobody, Phil Mickelson has won on the Champions Tour at the very first time of asking.

The five-time major winner, who became eligible for the senior circuit when he turned 50 in June, closed with a five-under 66 to end the Charles Schwab Series at Ozarks National on 22-under-par

That was enough for a four-shot wire-to-wire victory over Tim Petrovic, with Kevin Sutherland a further two shots adrift.

Mickelson dominated the event from the very start, opening with a ten-under 61 to take the first round lead. He consolidated his advantage with a 64 on day two followed by his closing 66.

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Across the 54 holes, he had one eagle and 24 birdies offset by just four bogeys. 

It all added up to an extremely impressive maiden appearance in the 50-plus ranks for Phil, and the 20th incidence of a player winning on his Champions Tour debut.



“I really enjoyed playing here, I enjoyed seeing all the guys again and I enjoyed the way they were so accommodating and fun,” said Mickelson. “I really had a
great time.

“The competition here is really strong and it was fun for me to get off to a good start and play well.”

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Mickelson now plans to take the next fortnight off before teeing it up in the Safeway Open, the first event of the 2020/21 PGA Tour season in California which is due to get underway on September 10. 

From there, it’s on to Winged Foot for his 29th US Open appearance where he’ll once again attempt to complete the career grand slam. 

However, he’s not ruling out making further Champions Tour starts.

‘I had a lot of fun here, I really did,” he added. “I’m hopeful to play in some more, too. 

“It’s been a while since I have not felt that much stress and pressure. We still want to compete, we still feel the pressure, I still got nervous and so forth, but the environment here is much more relaxed and cool amongst the guys. 

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“Guys are pulling for each other, they’re laughing. I had great conversation with Tim Petrovic the last couple of days, Steve Stricker the first day, Retief [Goosen]. It’s a fun round of golf rather than really intense.

“The Champions Tour is what it should be. It’s a fun environment, very intimate. The tour is much more cutthroat and that’s what that should be, too.”

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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