Phil Mickelson will start the 2015 season slowly, electing to sit out two tournaments in February he normally plays: the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and the Northern Trust Open at Riviera.
In an announcement on his website, the five-time major champion said he will miss the two consecutive tournaments to spend time with his family.
“Those are two of my favorite events, two of my favorites courses,” Mickelson said, “but with the kids in two schools with different spring breaks I’ll take that time off. They’ve accommodated my schedule enough over the years. It’s time for me to accommodate theirs.”
Phil said he will begin his season at the Humana Challenge, which starts Jan. 22 in La Quinta, Calif.
Mickelson is a four-time champion at Pebble Beach, with his first win in 1998. That particular event has been dubbed one of the longest tournaments in golf; due to inclement weather and complicated schedule shuffling, the final round was played the Monday after the 1998 PGA Championship in August. Mickelson shot a 67 to win over Tom Pernice Jr.
Mickelson has also had success at Riviera, winning the Northern Trust Open in 2008 and successfully defending his title in 2009.
After playing what he referred to as the “most difficult [season] for me in 20-plus years on the PGA Tour,” Mickelson is using his struggles in 2014 as motivation for the season ahead. Mickelson was winless in 2014, despite two top-10 finishes, a first for Lefty since 2003. He’s been working out with a personal trainer four days a week.
“I’ve had some immediate results,” he said. “I’m getting lighter, developing more core strength and speed and increasing my ball speed. It’s been awhile since I felt so at ease.”