"It's not easy for them," the golf tournament champ says of his wife and mother, both battling breast cancer

By Michael Y. Park
Updated September 28, 2009 06:40 PM
Credit: Chris Pizzello/AP

It was a bittersweet victory for Phil Mickelson, the pro golfer who won the Tour Championship in Atlanta Sunday, beating out Tiger Woods by three strokes.

It’s the first tournament win for Mickelson, 39, since both his mother and his wife, Amy, were diagnosed with cancer.

“You know, we’ve been through a lot, and I’m very proud of my wife and my mom on the fight that they’ve been through, and we’ve been fortunate in the long-term,” Mickelson told reporters after the win. “Although day-to-day is tough, and the meds are tough, and it’s not easy for them, we’re fortunate that our long-term outlook looks good. … To finish this year off with a win feels terrific.”

His win wasn’t just a big day for him – it was also an important moment for his entire family, including his daughter, who skipped a scout meeting to watch the tournament with her mom on TV, he said.

“I talked to Amy. She had a great day hanging out with her friends,” he said. “They ditched the Girl Scout meeting and hung out together watching it. So they’re excited. I’m excited to get home and see her and see the kids. I’m excited to have a week off. I’m excited to go on some dates and spend time with her and the kids.”

But he said the last two months have been a period for him to see both his golf game and life from a new perspective.

“I’ve got a lot of people that I’m appreciative of, not just the guys who’ve helped me with my golf swing, but the doctors that have spent their lives doing their work and specializing in their field to save so many people’s lives, my wife and mom included, and all the clinical trials that women have been a part of to be able to get the kind of information we have now,” he said.