Phil Mickelson’s offseason basically consisted of a cross-country flight.
Days after taking Kevin Kisner under his wing and guiding the U.S. team to a decisive victory at the Presidents Cup, Mickelson is back in action this week at the season-opening Safeway Open in Napa, Calif. The 47-year-old is making his second straight appearance at Silverado Resort & Spa, and one of only two Presidents Cup participants in the field along with 2015 winner Emiliano Grillo.
“It really was a fun, special week last week,” Mickelson told reporters following his Wednesday pro-am. “It really was something that I’ll cherish. For us to have that kind of performance was exciting to be a part of.”
Safeway Open: Articles, video and photos
Full-field scores from the Safeway Open
Mickelson will be grouped for the first two rounds in Napa alongside former NCAA and U.S. Amateur champ Bryson DeChambeau and 2012 U.S. Open winner Webb Simpson.
Mickelson went 3-0-1 at Liberty National, including a singles’ victory over Adam Hadwin to notch the final point in a 19-11 victory for the Americans. While he is still more than four years removed from his most recent tournament victory, he hopes to get an early start on the new season while building upon his most recent campaign which took him to within a shot of making the Tour Championship.
“I feel like I’m actually really excited to play, because I’ve been playing well,” Mickelson said. “I love the challenge of competing. I don’t care what it is, I just love to compete. I love the opportunity to play against the best, and I love the challenge of trying to win and trying to get my game back to the level I know it can be.”