Phil Mickelson has undergone a successful surgery to repair a sports hernia.
According to Tim Rosaforte of Golf Channel and Golf World, Mickelson had umbilical hernia surgery on Oct. 19, three days after the five-time major winner finished tied for eighth place in the PGA Tour’s season-opening Safeway Open in Napa, Calif.
“It wasn’t an outie belly button per se, it just looked like it,” Mickelson told Rosaforte. “It was a walnut-sized hernia behind my belly button. It was no big deal, nor did it affect me when I played. I pushed it back in every minute or so. I couldn’t work out as intensely as I wanted to. That’s all. It didn’t hurt or affect me. It was just annoying.”
The 46-year-old said he will be able now to engage in his planned off-season training and fitness program.
The 2016 campaign was a good one, by most measures, for Mickelson. He finished second three times on the PGA Tour: at Pebble Beach in February, in Memphis in June and at the Open Championship in July, in what is arguably the greatest mano-a-mano showdown in major championship history, to Henrik Stenson. At the Ryder Cup, Mickelson was effectively a playing captain, helping to engineer the first U.S. Ryder Cup win since 2008, including a Sunday singles draw against Sergio Garcia that included 10 birdies.
Expect to see Mickelson kick off his 2017 at the CareerBuilder Challenge in the California desert. Mickelson took over from former President Bill Clinton as the event’s ambassador, making Mickelson, for all intents and purposes, tournament host.