One taste of Wine Country wasn’t enough for the man affectionately known in the sports world as “Lefty”.
World Golf Hall of Famer Phil Mickelson announced earlier this week that he will tee it up in Napa later this year to play in the Safeway Open at Silverado Resort and Spa for the second year in a row.
Mickelson, a three-time Masters champion and the winner of five majors, tied for eighth place at the Safeway Open last October after shooting 14-under-par on the North Course. Mickelson carded rounds of 69, 69, 69 and 67, finishing four shots behind winner Brendan Steele.
Mickelson, 47, will make his grand return to the Safeway Open — which is the 2017-2018 PGA Tour season-opener — when the event gets underway from October 5-8.
“I look forward to playing in the Safeway Open at Silverado again this year,” Mickelson, a 42-time PGA Tour winner, said in a press release. “Bob Miller and Safeway/Albertsons have been one of our best PGA Tour sponsors for over 27 years, and Amy and I always enjoy our time in Napa.”
October’s Safeway Open marks the fourth consecutive year that the PGA Tour will make its way to Silverado, a course that has hosted professional golf tournaments before, dating back to the 1960s.
The North Course has since been redesigned by golf legend and current NBC golf telecaster Johnny Miller. Mickelson enjoyed the layout so much, he couldn’t help but want to start his season in Napa for the second straight year.
“I like the feel of the golf course,” Mickelson said. “It reminds me of the old Torrey South. The way the holes move, the way the greens have similar contours to them, and the length wasn’t overpowering but you had to be very precise to get it close to some of the holes.”
Last year’s eighth place finish at the Safeway Open was Mickelson’s first time competing in a PGA Tour event held in Napa. The charismatic left-hander drew large crowds, impressing locals with his perfectly straight drives and legendary short game around the greens. He also made sure to flash his signature move — a thumbs up-grin combination — more than a few times.
While it was his first time playing on tour in Napa last year, Mickelson has had plenty of success in Northern California, including four wins at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am over the course of his legendary career.
But the North Course at Silverado caught his attention, enough to make him want to come back for a rematch of sorts.
Mickelson brings with him a resume that includes Masters titles in 2004, 2006 and 2010. He was a PGA Championship winner in 2005 and brought home an Open Championship in 2013. He’s played on 11 Ryder Cup and 11 Presidents Cup teams.
For tickets to the 2017 Safeway Open, visit www.safewayopen.com.
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