Amy Mickelson (nee McBride) is married to veteran pro golfer Phil Mickelson. The couple met in college in the early 90s and tied the knot in 1996. They have now been married happily for more than 20 years and have three children together.
Amy Mickelson is a breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed in 2009 and underwent treatment for several months. She had the support of her husband, their family, and lots of friends in the golf world, all of whom hold Amy in high regard.
As her husband competes in this year’s Masters Tournament, it is suspected that Amy will be on the sidelines, cheering on her guy.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. She Met Phil at Arizona State University
Amy met her now-husband back in 1992 when the two were still in college. At the time, Amy was a junior at Arizona State University and a member of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns Cheerleading Squad. Phil was a senior.
When Phil told Amy that he was a professional golfer, she wasn’t exactly sure what he meant. She certainly didn’t think that he was an athlete.
“When he told me he was a pro golfer, I thought he worked in the shop at a golf course,” she wrote in the book, One Magical Sunday, which was released in 2004. Little did she know, he would become one of the top players on Tour.
The duo’s first date was on a tennis court. Things went well, and Phil asked Amy out again, inviting her to the first tournament of many that he would play in, the Celebrity Pro-Am in Palm Springs, California. She happily accepted the invite.
At the event, Phil decided to joke around with his new lady. He had his caddie give her a note that was wrapped around a hotel key. It’s something that Amy will never forget.
“I didn’t understand why he handed it to me because Phil was standing on the edge of the green (only 10 feet away) with a big grin on his face. When I opened the note, the hotel room key fell onto the ground. And the ladies who were standing around me just gasped. Well, I was so mad, I picked up the key and threw it at Phil as hard as I could,” Amy recalled in One Magical Sunday, a book written by her husband.
2. She Married Phil in 1996 & They Have 3 Children Together
The Mickelsons tied the knot on November 16, 1996. Three years later, they welcomed their first of three children.
The Mickelsons’ oldest daughter, Amanda, was born the day after Phil was runner-up in the U.S. Open to Payne Stewart in 1999. At the time, Amy did everything she could to wait to have the baby after the U.S. Open, even though she was due during Phil’s favorite event of the year.
“That moment of her coming, that moment when we gave birth, Phil was there, he was the one pulling her out and cutting the cord. To this day that was the most spiritual moment of my life. What Phil and I feel about having a child when you are with the right person — it was such an amazing moment as a couple. Such a beautiful, bonding moment. I remember never feeling anything close to that in my life,” Amy said in an interview posted on the PGA Tour website.
The couple’s second child, Sophia, was born in 2001, two years after her big sister.
Their third child and only son, Evan, was born in 2003. Amy suffered a serious complication during childbirth and Phil worried that he would lose both his wife and the child. Amy had ruptured an artery in her uterus and baby Evan stopped breathing.
“I didn’t really get into it too much, but Amy had a very dangerous delivery with the birth of Evan. He had a very difficult delivery, too. He didn’t breathe for seven minutes, and had the emergency nurses not been there with the equipment ready, he might have had some severe brain damage or other circumstances,” Phil told ESPN in 2004. He added that he also almost lost his wife.
“They had to stop a six-inch tear in a major artery, or I would have been without my wife,” Mickelson explained.
Thankfully, both Amy and Evan pulled through and are both healthy today.
In June 2017, Mickelson skipped the U.S. Open as it coincided with Amanda’s high school graduation.
“Barring something unforeseen, I won’t be there. As I look back on life, this is a moment I’ll always cherish and be glad I was present,” Phil told the New York Times last year.
“She’ll be the one speaking about all the kids in her class, many of whom we’ve known since preschool. We’re very close to a lot of the families, so it’s going to be really special,” Amy told the outlet. At the same time, she encouraged her husband to play in the U.S. Open if he wanted and vowed to make it work.
“Phil desperately, desperately wants to win the U.S. Open. I would have totally understood had he needed to play the U.S. Open. We could have done a video or this or that,” she told the Times.
Amanda Mickelson is currently studying archaeology and the ancient world at Brown University in Rhode Island.
Sophia and Evan are still in high school.
3. She Was Diagnosed With Breast Cancer in 2009.
In 2009, Amy had been making less frequent public appearances with her husband, and some divorce rumors started circulating. However, the two were not having any marital problems. Rather, Amy was dealing with a very scary health diagnosis: She had breast cancer.
“More tests are scheduled, but the treatment process is expected to begin with major surgery, possibly within the next two weeks,” a statement from Gaylord Sports read at the time.
Before her diagnosis, Amy was present at almost every one of Phil’s tournaments and had become good friends with many of the other players and their wives over the years. During the year that Amy was getting treatment for cancer, her husband and many of the players and their wives wore breast cancer pins to support Amy and all those who have fought breast cancer.
You can see some of those photos below.
“We’re all just in shock. We know Amy is a strong person, and her attitude is phenomenal, and that’s going to help get her through this difficult time,” Mickelson’s former coach, Rick Smith, told Golf.
Phil told ESPN that he would be suspending his PGA Tour play indefinitely.
“We are saddened by the news of Amy Mickelson’s diagnosis, but are hopeful that with the support of Phil and her family and friends, she will come through this difficult time. The thoughts and prayers of everyone connected with the PGA Tour are with the Mickelson family,” PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said at the time.
Although Amy missed a full year of tournaments due to her cancer treatments, she made it to the 2010 Masters in Augusta to watch her husband win one of the greatest tournaments in golf. She is now a cancer survivor.
4. She Is Well-Liked & Well-Respected in the Golf Community & Beyond
If you’ve watched any tournaments that Phil Mickelson has competed in, you’ve probably seen his wife cheering him on from the sidelines. Not only does she strongly support her husband, but Amy is also really well-liked and well-respected amongst other players in the game — and their spouses.
She has become friends with many other golf WAGs and can often be seen hanging out with them at golf events.
“Every time I’ve been around her, she’s always had a smile on her face. She’s always upbeat. She’s a neat girl,” golfer Scott Verplank told ESPN after learning about Amy’s cancer diagnosis.
Amy Mickelson is also quite affable and hasn’t had any issues making friends. Below is an excerpt from a 2009 USA Today piece in which Amy demonstrated exactly that.
“The opening drives had just been hit in the titanic Tiger-Phil final-round battle in last month’s Masters when Phil Mickelson’s wife, Amy, came walking up in the gallery along the first fairway, just another member of the throng following the world’s two best-known golfers…”
“She spotted a couple of journalists she knew — ‘journalist’ often being code for “run the other way” in pro sports — put out her hand and gave them both a big smile. Then, inexplicably, she started walking with them, asking how they were. I was one of those writers, and when I got a chance to ask how she and her kids were, she told me they were getting over colds, and growing up fast.”
“Within a minute, we said our goodbyes and sent her on her way. There’s no telling who Amy Mickelson made friends with on the second hole, or the third, or …”
5. She Does a lot of Charity Work
The Phil And Amy Mickelson Foundation is something near and dear to Amy’s heart. She and her husband have been dedicated to helping others and “giving back” for the past several years.
“Family is our own number-one priority. Both Amy and I benefited by being raised in our own strong, loving families and now we’re fortunate and thankful to be in a position to help others strengthen their own family bonds,” reads a message from Phil on his website.
“We have not solicited donations but we have received them. We want those kind donors to know we’re truly grateful and that because our administrative fees are virtually nil, every cent that is contributed goes directly to our projects,” Amy adds.
This past September, the foundation donated $100,000 to help victims of Hurricane Harvey in the Houston, Texas, area.