November 8, 2009–It is starting to look like 2010 could be the PGA Tour season for the ages. Phil Mickelson, who works extensively with Las Vegas resident Butch Harmon, has won the last two big golf tournaments (beating Tiger Woods in the process, most recently today at the HSBC Champions in China), and appears ready to challenge Woods for all the marbles this upcoming year. And Mickelson continually credits Harmon, who operates the Butch Harmon School of Golf at Las Vegas golf course Rio Secco Golf Club, and short game coach Dave Stockton for his success. Several other golfers with Las Vegas golf courses ties also had great tournaments.
"I'm excited about where my game has been headed, the long game since I've been working with Butch, and my short game seems to be back to, or even better than, where I have been in the past," said Mickelson prior to winning the HSBC, a World Golf Championship event. "And so I am looking forward to next year … I'll see Butch the early part of January and I'll work with Stockton, but I'll also spend a little bit of time this off-season to stay sharp." Mickelson will now take some time off before the 2010 season.
Mickelson, who was paried with Woods, ended the tournament at 17-under par, one shot in front of Ernie Els, another of the world's best players who also works with Harmon. Els fired a 9-under par 63 in the final round but Mickelson was able to hold him off with a decent 3-under par score during the final round. Woods only managed a round of event par. Ryan Moore, a 4-time All-American at UNLV who also lived in Las Vegas following his UNLV days, finished alone in 3rd place in his best finish ever in a World Golf Championship event. Moore has been playing very well of late. Plus, Las Vegas resident Nick Watney–and you guessed it Butch Harmon student–had a solid tournament finishing in 5th place after a tough round of 1-under par in the final round. Watney held the lead of the tournament for quite of bit of time during the event.
Not a bad week for Harmon, who works with three of the top five finishers. Harmon has operated the Harmon School in the Las Vegas for more than a decade, and works with not only the best players in the world but also still conducts golf schools for the everyday player along with his talented staff of PGA of America golf professionals, some of which who also work with the world's best players. Click now for the official Butch Harmon School of Golf website and find out how you can reserve your official golf school and your VIP time with the World's Top Golf Instructor. Or click now to view the official website of Las Vegas resort golf course Rio Secco Golf Club, home to the Harmon School, in addition to some big Las Vegas golf events including the Wendy's 3-Tour Challenge that is being played in Las Vegas this week.
"Fortunately I had played a couple of events, two out of the three weeks prior to coming here, and I played well and kind of built up a little confidence," said Moore following the final round. "I actually I went from, you know, obviously happy I was in it to not really feeling like I could compete, to playing well and actually feeling very confident and excited to come over here. Fortunately that carried over into some good play. It doesn't always, but this week it did."
"It feels terrific to have won this tournament," said Mickelson. "This has been a very special event to have a World Golf Championships here in China, and to be the champion feels great. This is my last event of the year. I won't play again until end of January in the U.S., and so to finish the year with this victory feels wonderful." And now here's to a potentially amazing 2010 when Tiger and Phil get after it.