Phil Mickelson’s glorious career might be tarnished because of his LIV offer acceptance, but he leaves behind an illustrious legacy on the PGA Tour. The 6-time major championship winner is considered one of the greatest ever in the sport and arguably the best-ever left-handed player in golf’s history. Unsurprisingly, then, Mickelson had a stellar record since his junior days. But he was devoid of confidence in his freshman year, admitting himself to being “a little scared.”
Phil Mickelson’s jitters before college golf
The San Diego-born had already made headlines in junior golf circuits and was well aware of his abilities. “I knew I was ready to move up after three years of being a top junior.” a young Mickelson said back in the day.
However, the pressure of college golf, with tight competition for spots, was a little nervy for him. “I was a little leery… a little scared. You’re new (in college), and you are now surrounded by 15 top golfers competing for five spots,” he confessed.
Though supportive of his dreams, Mickelson’s parents weren’t optimistic about their son’s freshman year. “We thought this would be a humbling year for him,” his mother, Mary, said. “We told him to remember that this is a different plateau and that he will have to start over and work his way up. He’d say, ‘Yep, Mom, right, Mom, anything you say, Mom.’ ”
How was Mickelson’s performance in his first year in college?
While the family didn’t hold many expectations, Mickelson went on to have one of the best freshman years in college golf history. His performances put him on top of Arizona State’s golf team.
The statistics from his first year were staggering. In 14 competitions Mickelson missed out on the top 10 merely four times. He also secured three victories, with one of them arriving at the NCAA championship, which put him on an elusive list of players to have won the title in their freshman year.
Mickelson never slept on his success as he continued to rack up titles and glory even after turning professional. Now 52, he holds 45 PGA Tour titles in his stead, including 6 major championships.