‘I Was Sort of Taken Aback’ – Xander Schauffele Reveals Inspirational Phil Mickelson Story

Published 06/01/2021, 4:30 PM EDT
Mar 20, 2021; Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, USA; Phil Mickelson gestures to the fans in attendance on the 17th hole during the third round of The Honda Classic golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports


The PGA Tour often treats fans to plenty of surprises. Just a week ago, we saw Phil Mickelson become the oldest major championship winner at 50. Prior to entering the 2021 PGA Championship, Mickelson was on a poor run of form and was never considered a favorite. Moments like these are what separates great athletes from the elite ones and Mickelson is the latter. 

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Xander Schauffele, a four-time PGA Tour winner has a lot of experience playing on the professional circuit. He’s often delivered his best when it really mattered and has earned a solid reputation owing to his consistency. 

Schauffele recently met with the media ahead of his participation at the 2021 Memorial Tournament where he brought up an interesting anecdote about Phil Mickelson. When the whole world was forced into lockdown last year, Schauffele and Mickelson were tied up together in Santa Fe, New Mexico. 

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Of course, the game of golf was all they had to kill time during the lockdown. The duo often teed off from a golf course called ‘The Farm,’ which is apparently a narrow course, and one that Mickelson isn’t a fan of. 

Xander Schauffele learned a valuable lesson from Phil Mickelson

Xander Schauffele and Phil Mickelson played a lot of golf during the lockdown last year. Since the course wasn’t really Mickelson’s type, it was Schauffele who was enjoying all the success. The 27-year-old even admitted that Mickelson was “playing probably some of the worst golf he’s played.” 

“But I think the biggest takeaway was, he’s always joking around. But to watch a five-time major champ ask me all these questions, I was sort of taken aback,” Schauffele mentioned. “And so what I learned from playing with him was that he’s really a student of the game and he’s never stopped learning,” he added. 

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

Schauffele, just like every other avid golfer out there, is majorly obsessed with golf. He was under the impression that there’s no other person who could match his love for the game; that was until he got together on a personal note with Phil Mickelson. 

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Schauffele expressed that Mickelson is “so obsessive and so passionate” about the sport and that people shouldn’t be surprised that the veteran won a major at the age of 50

Phil Mickelson is still keen on learning more about golf. That’s what makes him get better in spite of carrying years of experience. Do you think he can win one more major before stepping away from the PGA Tour?

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Arjun Athreya

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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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