‘Hard Time Focusing’ – Phil Mickelson Opens Up About His Struggles on the PGA Tour

Published 05/01/2021, 4:00 PM EDT
Golf – The Masters – Augusta National Golf Club – Augusta, Georgia, U.S. – April 9, 2021 Phil Mickelson of the U.S. reacts on the 2nd hole during the second round REUTERS/Brian Snyder


Phil Mickelson turned pro in the year 1992. We’re now in 2021 and he’s still playing on the tour. It is no doubt that he has tremendous longevity, but Mickelson, who is in his 29th year on the tour, has admitted to facing difficulties, both mentally and physically. 

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It is no easy task to sustain on the tour as Mickelson has. The five-time major winner has been actively participating in tournaments, but the results aren’t pleasing as they once were. There’s no hiding the fact, and Mickelson addressed his shortcomings to the media. 

“I know what my problem is. I’m not physically able to keep my focus. As I’ve gotten older, I have a hard time focusing. And that’s my challenge right now and I’m trying to come up about with — I’m trying all different things to be able to elongate my ability to stay focused or to refocus,” Mickelson said. 

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He made this admission to the media at the 2021 Valspar Championship where he failed to make the cut. Mickelson’s missed cut was his second in his last five starts and the 50-year-old mentioned that he’s struggling to stay focused on the golf course. 

“But when I get called off shots, like cell phones ringing or people yelling or something, my physical ability to refocus, to back away and then refocus and so forth, I’m not able — I’m physically not able to do it right now. So I have to find techniques to be able to — I mean, to be able to do that.” 

Phil Mickelson is implementing unique ways to regain focus 

Phil Mickelson has zero Top 10 finishes this season. He had just two last year and the same in 2019 as well. So the numbers are proving that Mickelson in the final years of his PGA Tour career, but there is always hope. 

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“It’s a physiological thing. I’ve actually been meeting with a lot of people and trying to figure this out,” Mickelson mentioned. However, this is not all. The 44-time PGA Tour winner is consciously putting himself in challenging situations at practice. 

“But I go through spells of three or four holes, like I did Thursday, Friday at Augusta, where I’ll throw five, six shots away in a four-hole stretch and I just kind of go mind numb and my ability to regain focus has been the biggest challenge as I’ve gotten older. And I just, I don’t have a great solution right now. But I’m working on it,” he mentioned. 

Golf – The Masters – Augusta National Golf Club – Augusta, Georgia, U.S. – April 11, 2021 Phil Mickelson of the U.S. reacts after missing a birdie putt on the 2nd hole during the final round REUTERS/Mike Segar

It is indeed distressing to see Phil Mickelson struggling on the PGA Tour. His physical and mental strength isn’t the same as before and it is causing a downfall. It’s been more than two years since he won on the tour. 

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Arjun Athreya

2105 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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