Mickelson Still Talking a Good Game
PHIL MICKELSON plays a good game. He also talks a good game - always has, always will. If you take a trawl around the internet you will quickly discover that Lefty comes out of hibernation on an annual basis with predictions of how good the coming year is going to be. And this year is no exception.
With the West Coast swing about to begin in his native California, it is little surprise that Mickelson can't wait to get going. Remarkably, this will be his 27th season on the PGA Tour, and 13 of his victories have come in California. Mickelson loves having the sun on his back.
Twelve months ago he was returning to action after a couple of hernia operations, but this time he reports that, just like his old rival Tiger Woods, he is fit and raring to go, even at the age of 47.
He is also determined to make the US Ryder Cup team. “I really would like to be on that team,” Mickelson said as he prepared for the CareerBuilder Challenge. “I’m putting in a lot of effort to get ready, so I play my best to get on a team.”
Mickelson has not missed a Ryder Cup since 1995. If he makes Jim Furyk’s squad and plays in France, it would be his 11th successive Ryder Cup appearance, which would be a remarkable feat. Performance wise, he knows that he needs to improve. He hjas slipped to 40th in the world rankings after a season in which he managed five top-10s, but missed the cut at both the US PGA and The Open and could only muster a tie for 22nd at The Masters. He missed the U.S. Open for daughter Amanda’s high-school graduation.
This year’s U.S. Open holds a special place on Mickelson’s playing schedule. The most recent of his victories came at The Open in 2013, and he still believes that he is good enough to complete the career Grand Slam at Shinnecock, where he finished fourth in 1999 and second in 2009.
“I’ve put in a lot of time in the off-season, getting ready [for] this year,” he said. “I’m physically a lot stronger. I’ve been practicing and working to get my game sharp. I don’t know how it’s going to start out, but I’m very optimistic.” Let's hope he is right.
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