The FedEx St. Jude Classic announced Monday afternoon that Mickelson committed to play in next month's tournament for the fifth-straight year. The 46-year-old has become a crowd favorite during that time, logging three top-three finishes at TPC Southwind and galvanizing the city's golf fans behind him.
"I think Memphis and the whole region, they like the superstars and for a superstar and a true legend of the game to constantly have Memphis in his plans is refreshing," FedEx St. Jude tournament director Darrell Smith said. "The city itself is a little bit of an underdog city and when you get a guy like Mickelson that likes Memphis, it makes Memphians proud. They're always pulling for him and they want him to succeed.
"When you're out on the grounds of TPC Southwind and you're following Mickelson, you feel like he's from Memphis because so many people are interested in his play and want him to play well. Everybody's pulling for him really, really hard and I think he's noticed that. It's been a great run with Phil and we're looking forward to it continuing here in a few weeks."
Known as "Lefty" because of his smooth left-handed swing, Mickelson is currently ranked No. 21 in the world and owns 42 career PGA Tour victories. He has won The Masters three times (2004, 2006 and 2010), in addition to capturing The PGA Championship in 2005 and The Open Championship in 2013.
Mickelson would complete a career grand slam if he were to win the U.S. Open, which takes place at Erin Hills in Wisconsin the week after this year's FedEx St. Jude Classic.
"We're thrilled," Smith added. "We expected this was going to happen, but it always makes you feel a little bit more comfortable when it does happen. To have Mickelson back for the fifth-straight year, it's really, really special. He's come here so many times now and played so well. We just hope he plays well, and it'd be even more special if he went on to the U.S. Open and won that major championship he's been trying so hard for."
Mickelson joins a 156-person field that now includes nine former major championship winners and 64 golfers with at least one career win on the PGA Tour.
Australian Adam Scott (No. 9 in the world), Danny Willett of England (No. 22), Americans Brooks Koepka (No. 19) and Kevin Chappell (No. 23), Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello (No. 25) and defending FedEx St. Jude Classic champion Daniel Berger (No. 39) are also scheduled to participate in this year's tournament and currently ranked among the top-50 golfers in the world.
South Korean Si Woo Kim, who became the youngest golfer to win The Players Championship this past weekend at age 21, is also expected to be in Memphis for next month's event. Smith said last week that the event is also attempting to secure a commitment from American Rickie Fowler (No. 10) before the action begins next month.
The FedEx St. Jude Classic is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year and will be held June 5-11.
This article is written by Mark Giannotto from Commercial Appeal and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to email@example.com.
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