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Phil Mickelson named to Waste Management Hall of Fame

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.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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