March 30, 2024

Phil Mickelson is unlikely to retire from golf anytime soon – despite speculation growing about his future and his caddy calling it a day.


Mickelson, 53, hasn’t won a tournament since leaving the PGA Tour for LIV Golf two years ago. He’s currently ranked 39th in LIV’s individual standings and is struggling to make an impact on the Saudi-backed circuit.


Mickelson was also dealt a blow ahead of next month’s Masters after his brother Tim, who’s been his caddie for many years, announced his retirement from carrying the bag. But despite his lack of form and his advancing years, Mickelson is likely to continue in professional golf for a while yet thanks to his dream of winning the US Open.


Mickelson is one of the greatest golfers of his generation after winning the Masters three times, the PGA Championship twice and The Open Championship in 2013. Only 11 golfers in history have won more men’s majors than Mickelson.


He’s also the oldest winner of a major, having claimed victory at the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island in 2021 at the age of 50 years, 11 months and seven days. Yet the US Open is the one major that continues to elude him.


Mickelson has finished second or tied-second at America’s national championship six times during his glittering career and would love to complete a career slam before calling it a day. Although he’s has plummeted down the rankings due to LIV events not boasting Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points, he’s allowed to continue competing in majors thanks to being a six-time winner.


He’ll always be invited back to the Masters, PGA and Open as a former champion, while his victory at Kiawah Island three years ago granted him a five-year exemption to compete in all majors. That means he’s eligible to play at this year’s US Open at Pinehurst and next year’s event at Oakmont. As such, it’s unlikely Mickelson will call time on his career before 2025.


Mickelson has previously said: “Winning the US Open has been a lifelong and elusive dream, and I’ve come close so many times. You can’t win if you don’t play. I’m honoured and appreciative of the USGA for the opportunity and look forward to playing in my hometown on a golf course I grew up on.”


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Although Mickelson will have one eye on Pinehurst, his priority is performing well at LIV’s next event in Miami – starting on April 5. The tournament takes place a week before the Masters – the first major of the year – where Mickelson will try to win his fourth green jacket. Yet he’ll be without his brother Tim following his retirement.


Mickelson’s new caddie is expected to be Jon Yarbrough, who has worked with several golfers on the PGA Tour. “I’ve had some great accomplishments in my career and getting to share them with my brother Tim has been beyond special,” Mickelson wrote on X to announce Tim’s retirement.


“I’m very lucky to have had him on the bag for me the past eight years and as my brother for life. So much has changed since he was single and we started working together. He’s found his life partner, Maranda, they’ve had their second son, and hopefully their family will continue to grow.


“While Tim is retiring from caddying, I’ll always cherish the many great moments we’ve shared on the course and I look forward to many more special moments off the course too.”

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