Another Honor for Phil: Soon-to-Be Hall of Famer
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Thank you, thank you very much

Phil Mickelson has been announced as the newest member of the World Golf Hall of Fame during his press conference at the European Tour’s Singapore Open (which the Times-Union‘s Garry Smits scooped yesterday). It’s no surprise the four-time major champion received enough votes in the first time his name appeared on the ballot.

Mickelson received 72% of votes — the highest since Greg Norman won 80% in 2001.

“I think all of us would agree that Phil has been by all of our estimations destined to be a part of the Hall of Fame since he was an amateur,” said Commissioner Tim Finchem in the presser.

Among Phil’s countless achievements and accolades, he has won three Masters, a PGA Championship, 39 PGA Tour events and played in 8 Ryder Cups and after next week, he’ll have played in 9 Presidents Cups.

“To be called a Hall of Fame golfer, that actually does sound like I’m a little old,” said Phil (who I’m betting was smiling). “So I think what I really like about being a member of the Hall of Fame is really being a part of that group, part of the players that have made the game great, has grown the game over the years, and the history, being a part of the history of the game, which is so cool.

“All those things are what I feel and sense when I am called a Hall of Fame golfer…to be part of this group of the players that have made this game great is really special.”

I didn’t catch the Golf Channel’s Morning Drive today, but I’m told by a reliable source that Mickelson joined Gary Williams and Erik Kuselias via phone to talk about this great honor. When asked whom he wanted to thank, Phil talked about a guy who worked at the same golf course he did as a kid. This guy would stay late to help Phil with his game and drove him to tournaments when he needed. He also caddied for Phil at city amateur events, etc. Phil admitted he doesn’t keep in touch with him enough, but that he plans to call and thank him.

The induction ceremony will take place on May 7th, 2012, at the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Florida, the week of the Players Championship, which Phil won in 2007.

(AP Photo/Bryan van der Beek)