Phillips, who moved to Rangers in the summer for a reported £5million, paid some of his fee back with a second-half strike before Charlie Austin sealed the points on 73 minutes.
The hosts dominated the first 45 minutes, though, and ought to have taken the lead before the break after creating four good goalscoring opportunities.
In the 16th minute Jack Robinson’s left-wing cross found the head of Steven Davies and his effort was well saved by Rob Green in the QPR goal.
Barry Ferguson’s inswinging free-kick moments later caused havoc in the visitors’ 18-yard box and after Kirk Broadfoot’s header was half cleared by Richard Dunne, a follow-up header from Craig Cathcart was tipped over the crossbar by Green.
From the resulting corner another high, lofted delivery worked its way through to Cathcart at the back post – but he could only find the fans behind the goal rather than the back of the net.
It was one-way traffic, with the visitors pinned back in their own half for long periods and with the opening period drawing to a close, Dan Gosling fired narrowly wide of the left hand post from the edge of the box, as the Seasiders failed to find the goal their efforts deserved.
An injury to QPR defender Clint Hill saw boss Harry Redknapp forced into making a change at half-time, with Nedum Onuoha on in his place.
In an entertaining start to the second half, Phillips tested Matt Gilks with a 35-yard shot, before Tom Ince’s half-volley from the edge of the box was superbly saved by Green at the other end.
The home side then went close again on 51 minutes, with Ince again involved, as his dinked cross from the right side of the area was wastefully headed over by Gosling at the back post.
There was a sense that a goal was in the offing and the deadlock was eventually broken just past the hour mark as Phillips’ 25-yard shot, on his weaker left foot, sent Gilks the wrong way before nestling in back of the net.
Buoyed by his strike, the 22-year-old then went close to doubling his tally afternoon minutes later, as he surged into the area and fired goalwards, with Gilks doing brilliantly to tip the ball wide, one-on-one.
Redknapp’s side were looking increasingly dangerous and more good play from Phillips down the right saw the Scotland international find the head of Austin, six yards out, and the striker made no mistake with his header to secure top spot for his side.