Phil Mickelson lost out on the final hole of the Desert Classic on the TPC Stadium Course at PGA West on La Quinta on Sunday, and surprisingly he won’t get the chance to bounce back this week in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course http://www.torreypinesgolfcourse.com in La Jolla.
Lefty is skipping his hometown event for the first time in 29 years. He grew up about 20 miles from Torrey Pines and lives 12 miles away in Rancho Santa Fe.
“It’s a tough thing for me because I love that tournament and I love the community, and to play six (tournaments) in a row is just, it’s not going to happen,” said Mickelson, who tied for second in the Desert Classic when rookie Adam Long made a birdie putt to beat him in on the 72nd hole.
“I’m going to have to start limiting the number of tournaments that I play so that I can play those at a higher level, because I’m getting a little bit more mental fatigue and not able to focus and see the shot as clearly as I’d like for so many weeks in a row.”
Lefty, who has won a record 19 times on the West Coast Swing and 13 times in California, made those comments to reporters during his 2019 debut last week in the California Desert.
Like Tiger Woods, who will play for the first year at Torrey Pines, the 48-year-old Mickelson said he is cutting back his schedule this season.
“I want to share my updated tour schedule: … I will be playing in … Phoenix (next week), Pebble Beach, and then defending my title in Mexico,” Mickelson, who claimed his 43rd PGA Tour victory last year in the WGC-Mexico Championship, wrote later on Twitter. “My streak of 28-straight Farmers Insurance Opens will end next week. I will try to make it up to the great community of SD!”
Mickelson, who won at Torrey Pines in 1993, 2000 and 2001, also said last week that the course “is not a good place” for him any more. The South Course was renovated by designer Rees Jones the year after his last victory there.
When the North Course was reworked in 2015, Mickelson offered his services but was denied because of a decision by the California Fair Political Practices, which said that anyone who worked on preliminary designs could not take part in the design or the construction based on the bid for the contract.
“’I was quite surprised that Phil wasn’t chosen, to tell you the truth,” said Tom Weiskopf, who got the job. “It made all the sense in the world.”
Mickelson’s decision not to play this week is another big surprise.