MINNEAPOLIS -- For as long as he lives, Phil Mickelson claims he will never forget the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club.
For the 48-year-old who has played in more events than he can count, that three-day spectacle will always go down as one of the best.
“Just the way this community has supported the game has given me some of the most memorable moments of my career, specifically the 2016 Ryder Cup,” Mickelson said.
“I’ll never forget what that felt like on the golf course. Just being a part of the most exciting coming together of a crowd that I’ve ever been a part of is something I’ll always cherish.”
That’s the biggest reason Mickelson is over the moon about this year’s Women’s PGA Championship being held at Hazeltine.
The event, presented by KPMG — one of Mickelson’s biggest sponsors — will be June 18-23 at the Chaska, Minn., course.
Mickelson credited the amount of energy Minnesotans bring to these types of events.
“They have done that at every event I’ve ever played here, going back all the way to 1991 US Open,” he said. “Just seeing the support for those events, the people here are going to support this tournament in a way that no other place will.”
PGA of America president Suzy Whaley said she couldn’t be more excited about Hazeltine.
“We always want to take our major championships to the highly contested, traditional, amazing, competitive venues for everything we do,” Whaley said.
“We are also really proud of the fact that we have had the opportunity to put women on some of these golf courses that were traditionally only for major championships for men.”
The field will feature 156 of the world’s top female golfers, including Stacy Lewis, a two-time major winner who was present at media day on Monday afternoon, May 6, at Target Field.
“Obviously, I watched the Ryder Cup that was here,” Lewis said. “I’m interested to see what the setup will be like. It’s (a long course) and I’m OK with that; the harder the better. You want a championship that tests all aspects of our game.”
With memories from the 2016 Ryder Cup rushing back, Mickelson said holding the LPGA Championship at Hazeltine could elevate the event for years to come.
“I think the biggest thing is community and the way the people here support the game,” he said.
“They have the largest crowds; they have the most enthusiastic crowds — maybe because we haven’t had tournaments here every year, I don’t know. It’s a great sports town and they treat golf the same way, and I think the LPGA is in for a great treat being able to host a major championship here in this state.”