The last time Phil Mickelson won a major was in Scotland, at the 2013 British Open at Muirfield.
If Round 1 was any indication of what’s to come, Mickelson could surge at Royal Troon, host of this year’s Open.
Mickelson started strong on Thursday, especially with his tee shot on Royal Troon’s infamous Postage Stamp hole. The 46-year old sits at 6-under in Thursday’s first round.
As Mickelson vies for a shot at the Open Championship title, his family will be there rooting him on.
Here are five fast facts to know about Mickelson’s wife and their family:
1. Phil Met His Wife at Arizona State University
Phil and Amy met in 1992 at Arizona State University. At the time, Amy was a junior and cheerleader for the Phoenix Suns, and Phil, who had just graduated, was beginning his career on Tour.
Four years later, the two married on Nov. 16, 1996. They have now have been married for 20 years.
A focus of Phil and Amy’s life together has been their philanthropic work.
In 2004, they began the Phil and Amy Mickelson Foundation, which supports “a variety of youth and family initiatives.”
They also founded “Birdies for the Brave” to raise money in support of combat-wounded veterans. The PGA Tour then adopted the program, and expanded it to include a wide variety of military outreach and appreciation activities during Tour events.
2. They Have Three Children Together
Amy went into labor with their oldest daughter on the Sunday of the U.S. Open in 1999. However, she refrained from telling her husband she had gone to the hospital since he was in contention to win the title.
“That was a different time,” she said to PGATour.com. “Our world was centered around golf. He was very determined.”
The late Payne Stewart ultimately won, with Mickelson finishing behind him. Immediately following Stewart’s victory, he walked up to Mickelson telling him, “you’re going to be a great father.”
Amy said in an interview with PGATour.com, it is a moment she will never forget:
It was very, very emotional watching it. Payne makes this big putt at the end and it was kind of surreal. It never occurred to me that Phil wasn’t going to win. So that was hard.
But as we all know, Payne was the epitome of class at that moment. He walked over and said all those beautiful things to Phil about being a father at the same moment he was winning a major championship. It was incredible.
Four months later, Stewart died in a bizarre plane crash.
“I am covered with goosebumps right now, getting choked up thinking about it,” Amy told PGATour.com. “Him being the man he was at the time, it was his destiny. It was just meant to be.
“That major was meant to be Payne’s.”
Two years after Amanda’s birth, their second child, Sophia, was born in 2001. Their third child and only son, Evan, was born in 2003. However, the birth was life-threatening both for Amy and the baby.
“I didn’t really get into it too much, but Amy had a very dangerous delivery with the birth of Evan,” Mickelson told ESPN. “He had a very difficult delivery, too.”
“He didn’t breathe for seven minutes, and had the emergency nurses not been there with the equipment ready, he might have had some severe brain damage or other circumstances.”
During his birth, Phil worried he would lose both Amy and his son when Amy ruptured an artery in her uterus and Evan wasn’t breathing. Fortunately, both survived the difficult child birth.
“I am so excited about 2004 because my wife’s health is 100 percent, my son’s health is 100 percent, and my two daughters are doing great,” he said during an interview with ESPN a year later.
3. Family Comes First For Mickelson
Phil Mickelson is a proud family man. Before this year’s U.S. Open he showed his commitment to putting family first.
Mickelson, who has a record six runner-up finishes in the U.S. Open, left Oakmont Country Club after playing a practice round and flew back to San Diego to attend his daughter’s eighth-grade graduation.
That wasn’t a first for Mickelson. He also left Merion in 2013 to make his oldest daughter’s graduation. Mickelson made it back the next day, just in time to make his morning tee time. He finished T-2 behind Justin Rose.
4. Amy Is a Breast Cancer Survivor
In May 2009, news broke that Amy Mickelson has breast cancer. Her diagnosis stunned and saddened the sports world.
Phil told ESPN that he would be suspending his PGA Tour play indefinitely, but Amy urged him to go back soon after.
The golf community rallied around Amy, showing many signs of support, John Daly wore pink pants in support of her, while the PGA Tour held a “pink out.”
Although she missed a full year of tournaments that year due to frequent treatments, she was able attend the 2010 Masters in Augusta to watch her husband win one of the greatest tournaments in golf.
Mickelson completed his victory with a 16-under performance and embraced his wife in an emotional win.
Amy won her 11-month fight and now has a clean bill of health. Today she is still cancer free and active in many breast cancer charities.
5. His Brother, Tim, Recently Stepped Down as Arizona State Men’s Golf Coach
Tim Mickelson served five years as men’s golf coach at Arizona State before stepping down from the program earlier this week.
The 39-year-old said in a statement that he left to “pursue other business opportunities outside of the college athletics world.”
In his time at ASU, he helped the program, which was ranked 85th when he took over to as high as No. 2.
He was instrumental in developing of one of the school’s all-time best players, two-time Ben Hogan Award winner Jon Rahm. There was speculation this spring that Mickelson would join Rahm in the pros and become his agent
“I think I’m leaving it in a good position for whoever takes over to continue building on what’s been done the last five years,” Mickelson told GolfDigest.com.
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