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PGA golfer Phil Mickelson, left, and his brother, Tim Mickelson, watch from the sidelines during the first half of the NCAA Pac-12 Championship football game between Arizona State and Stanford, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX -- Former Valley resident and three-time Waste Management Phoenix Open Champion Phil Mickelson has been named to the tournament's hall of fame.

The announcement was made during a Thursday luncheon at the Phoenician Resort.

Mickelson said he is honored.

"I have such strong ties, friendships, and relationships here in the Valley that to be a part of the history of athletics here in the valley means a lot to me," he said.

Former Arizona Diamondbacks President Jerry Colangelo, a long-time friend of Mickelson, said that adding Mickelson to the hall of fame is a good choice.

"When his playing days are over, he'll be considered one of the greatest of all time," Colangelo said.

Mickelson also said he has made some improvements to his clubs and is excited about the future.

"Starting next year, I'm going to see myself playing some of the best golf of my career," he said. "That's because I'm driving it better than I ever have, and now I'll get to have more of my strength, which is my irons and my short game."

No one has ever won the Waste Management Phoenix Open four times.

"Well, that's something that I'm going to be working on," Mickelson joked.

The 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open is Jan. 30 through Feb. 2 at the TPC of Scottsdale.

Bob McClay, Reporter

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