Golfer Phil Mickelson

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on August 25, 2002

Why did Phil Mickelson drop out of the PGA Tour for a few months?
—Peg H., Wisconsin

When Phil Mickelson's wife gave birth to their second child, Sophia Isabella, on Oct. 23, 2001, he decided to take a few months off from golf to spend with his family. "I've been playing golf for 29 or 30 years," he said at the time. "So it's not like I'm going to forget how." After a few months of staying away from golf tournaments, Mickelson, 32, proved he hadn't forgotten a thing. He took top honors at his first return outing, the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. Mickelson, who grew up in San Diego, started swinging a mini-club when he was just 1 1/2 years old, imitating his father's practice swings in the family's back yard. At 3, he tried to run away from home because his parents wouldn't let him play at the local golf course with his father. When he was 4, he played his first full 18 holes, crying at the 18th because he realized that meant the game was over. That love of the game continued through his teen and adult years. He's won numerous tournaments, but a "major" still eludes him. He and his wife, Amy, live in Scottsdale, Ariz., with their two daughters, Amanda and Sophia. Fans can find out more about him at his official website,