AUGUSTA, Ga. — Simply because the Drive, Chip and Putt Nationwide Finals had been ending Sunday at Augusta Nationwide, Phil Mickelson took to the apply floor to start a marathon putt, iron and drive session of his personal.
For almost three hours, Mickelson frolicked sending golf ball after golf ball towards the horizon on the pristine apply vary. He additionally spent greater than 90 minutes on the placing inexperienced. Then he performed a 9-hole apply spherical.
Mickelson has hit so many balls since arriving for his 29th Masters look that he confirmed up for his Tuesday assembly with the media with a closely bandaged left index finger.
“I had some work to do to make it possible for I had the setup within the bag that I wished and that once I practiced this week, that I used to be working with the best golf equipment; that I wasn’t looking for issues, that the whole lot was dialed in,” Mickelson stated. “I assumed it went properly. I really feel like I’m taking part in properly. I’ve bought some good issues going.
“I’ve made progress, however I haven’t performed on the stage I count on to just lately. I truly benefit from the problem of getting my sport again as a result of there’s actually nothing bodily holding me again from taking part in on the highest stage, however mentally I’ve bought to be sharper. And I’m engaged on that.”
Mickelson, who turns 51 in lower than two months, was inducted into the World Golf Corridor of Fame 9 years in the past. However the winner of 44 PGA Tour titles – his most up-to-date coming within the 2019 AT&T Pebble Seashore Professional-Am – nonetheless thinks he can add to that complete regardless of his latest struggles.
He racked up two wins on the PGA Tour Champions in 2020 however had simply three top-10 finishes in 17 begins on the PGA Tour. This yr, he hasn’t been higher than a tie for twenty fifth in six PGA Tour begins and missed the minimize 3 times.
His most up-to-date of 5 main triumphs got here within the 2013 Open Championship at Muirfield. His three Masters wins got here in 2004, 2006 and 2010. He tied for second in 2015 when Jordan Spieth sped away from the sector however has missed one minimize and completed in ties for 22nd, 36th, 18th and 55th in his final 5 begins right here.
“I’ve seen a whole lot of progress in my sport with out a whole lot of outcomes,” he stated. “The problem is once you’re on a plateau and also you’re not likely making developments and also you’re placing within the work and placing within the work and also you’re not seeing the outcomes, to remain constant and to remain dedicated.
“As I proceed to try this, I would like some outcomes to maintain my motivated to compete in opposition to one of the best gamers. In any other case I actually benefit from the Champions tour.”
Mickelson gave no trace how quickly he has to see outcomes competing in opposition to one of the best gamers on the planet earlier than the Champions Tour turns into his first pursuit. However listening to Mickelson speak about taking part in extra with the elder set signifies it won’t be lengthy until these outcomes on the PGA Tour begin arriving.
“I take pleasure in having pins which can be 5 (paces) from the sting and never 2 1/2 or three, and I take pleasure in having an opportunity to short-side your self and nonetheless get up-and-down,” he stated. “And I take pleasure in having 15 ft across the gap the place you possibly can have an aggressive putt and never having the pin on a fall-off ledge like three ft from it like we appear to have each week. And I take pleasure in having the ability to play extra aggressive.
“I’m having enjoyable, much more enjoyable than I assumed on the Champions Tour, however but the problem that will get one of the best out of me is making an attempt to play and compete in opposition to one of the best gamers. It’s what will get me motivated to be within the fitness center and to attempt to be bodily capable of swing quick sufficient to compete in opposition to these guys, and to be robust sufficient in my core to have the ability to apply as a lot as I must and hit balls, such as you stated, on Sunday for hours and nonetheless be tremendous and ready to try this.
“That’s what drives me and motivates me.”