How is Phil Mickelson the first reigning major winner to play PGA Tour Champions? ‘It’s just math.’

Phil Mickelson will make some more history this week when he tees it up in the PGA Tour Champion’s Constellation Furyk & Friends.

The six-time major champion and World Golf Hall of Fame member will become the first reigning major winner to play in a PGA Tour Champions event.

But Mickelson said this was by default after winning the PGA Championship last May at Kiawah Island.

“It’s just math,” Mickelson said on Wednesday after playing in the first of two tournament pro-ams at the Timuquana Country Club. “Nobody in their 50s has won a major [before him].”

Since Julius Boros had been the oldest player to win a major before Mickelson, at 48 — and since Champions Tour eligibility starts at 50 — Mickelson’s point was that he didn’t have to do anything, except show up.

But he’s here, heading an all-star field of past PGA Tour and international stars who came running largely because of two factors: the historic Donald Ross course and the respect they have for tournament host Jim Furyk and his wife Tabitha, whose foundation is running the tournament.

“Basically because of Jim Furyk, because what a quality guy he is,” Mickelson said. “He and Tabitha had done an…


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