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Phil Mickelson helps kick off 2018 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

Phil Mickelson signs autographs at the KPMG Windy City Skills Challenge

Phil Mickelson helped host the KPMG Windy City Skills Challenge that kicked off the Women’s 2018 PGA Championship on Monday at Soldier Field. The event featured five skills stations for Chicago-area kids and a handful of Chicago’s top professional athletes.

“I love helping grow the game of golf,” Mickelson said, “and this is a very important part of it.”

Bulls guard Kris Dunn and Sky guard Diamond DeShields hosted a knockout challenge. Bears backup quarterback Chase Daniel and kicker Cody Parkey were in charge of the passing and field-goal challenges. Red Stars goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher and Fire midfielder Dax McCarty were responsible for the soccer challenge. Finally, Mickelson and LPGA star Mariah Stackhouse helped kids at the putting and chipping stations.

After the kids’ stations, all of the athletes participated in a few challenges of their own. Teams were separated by sport. All four teams competed against each other in the passing, chipping and basketball challenges. Naeher and McCarty were the winners.

After hitting a moving ball during the U.S. Open this month, Mickelson was at the center of a major golf controversy. After that storm, he wanted to become a positive force on the golf landscape.

“Since I’ve apologized, the best thing I can do now is to try and help promote the game in a positive way,” Mickelson said.