Phil Mickelson has been in abysmal form since joining LIV Golf sitting at a cumulative twelve-over-par since making the move to the Saudi backed tour. But he insists he is close to winning again and he has shown signs of life at Augusta National.
Mickelson put on a back nine charge on day two of the Masters picking up birdies on 12, 13 and 18 to shoot 69 for a four-under total to lie eight shy of leader Brooks Koepka.
It was quite the turnaround for the three-time Masters winner who was looking over his shoulder at the cut line on level-par after a double-bogey on the par-3 6th but four unanswered birdies left him smiling and defiant as he left the golf course.
“I’m going to go on a tear pretty soon,” he revealed. “You wouldn’t think it. You look at the scores. But I’ve been playing exactly how I played yesterday, hitting the ball great, turning 65s, 66s into 77s. I’m ready to go on a tear.
“I don’t know why I’m playing well — actually, I do. I’ve been putting in the work.”
Mickelson has been taking driving tips from his Hyflyers teammate Brendan Steele and some putting advice from Cameron Tringale and he seems to have found the perfect formula.
“One of my teammates, Brendan Steele, has been helping me with the driver. All he had to do was say the same thing that Andrew has been saying, but I listened to Brendan a little bit more than I do Andrew.
“I don’t know. It’s the same thing, but I just — it resonated when Brendan said it rather than Andrew. I kind of fight him on it. Anyway, we’ve laughed about that.
“I’ve been able to talk to some of my guys, like Tringale is one of the best putters in the game. I’ve been talking to him about putting. I’m putting great. I’ve actually been driving the ball great coming in here. Drove it pretty well yesterday. Steely has been helpful with that.”
The 52-year-old made history when he became the oldest major winner at the 2021 PGA Championship. That proved a flash in the pan but the left hander insists he is showing signs of his best form from the 2000s.
“So I’m close to going on a tear. Even though the scores haven’t shown it, like I’m hitting so many good shots, pretty soon I’m going to have a really low one. When that happens and it clicks, then the game feels easy again. Then I stop putting pressure on myself, and the scores just start to fall into place.
“Like you wouldn’t think that at 52. You’d say, oh, well, what a great couple of days. Really all it is, it’s just on the precipice of playing as well as I played 15, 20 years ago because I’m seeing that when I’m at home, I’m seeing that in practice. I’m just not quite letting it happen when I’m out in the tournaments yet.
“Who knows when it will click. It could click tomorrow. I don’t know. Part of it is just slowing my mind down and letting it happen and then it clicks. But that’s kind of the biggest challenge in the game is not forcing it.”
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