Without a doubt, Phil Mickelson is one of my favorite people on the the PGA Tour, and in the world of professional sports. I love writing about him, and think he could serve as a roll model for anyone in sports. After a disappointing end to the to the 2012 season where he faded after the Masters, fans and media alike were thinking his medical problems were taking their toll on the 42 year old four time major winner, and maybe we had seen the best of Phil Mickelson.
I mentioned to my wife last year after he lost in the playoff to Bill Haas at Riveria, that Phil looked very tired, and maybe just needed to rest. He typically plays all of the tournaments on the West Coast swing and doesn’t take time off until the Accenture Match Play to prepare for Augusta. Keegan Bradley got fired up during the Ryder Cup, and Phil looked like the old Phil at Medinah.
After a poor start to the 2103 season where he finished tied for 37th place at the Humana Challenge, and another dismal effort at the Farmers Insurance Open last week, Phil made a call to his coach Butch Harmon before the Phoenix Open got underway for a golf lesson.
Turns out, Harmon has flattened his swing, getting his right shoulder(Phil Is left handed) behind the ball on the back-swing, getting his power and laser irons back on track. It has proven effective so far, as Phil has a four shot lead going into the third round at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. His only bogey coming on a poor driving decision at the 18th hole on Friday where he put up a double bogey keeping the lead from being six to seven strokes going into play on Saturday afternoon.
Saturday action will pair Mickelson up with Bill Haas, and Keegan Bradley. This is the threesome that made the playoffs at Riveria last year. Haas made a 15 foot putt on the second playoff hole to take the win. Phil had won the previous week at Pebble Beach. Keegan Bradley loves playing with Phil, and I know I am excited to sit down for the afternoon to watch this tournament.
Phil Mickelson went to college at Arizona State, and recieved a two year exemption for winning the Northern Telecom Open in Tuscon as an amateur before he graduated. He was able to bypass the Q School and go directly on tour after graduating. He is a local favorite at Phoenix where he has won three times, and will be adorned by the raucous crowds which will be cheering him on at the famous 16th hole. They are expecting 180,000 people on Saturday. Sunday will fall off some, due to the Super Bowl.
With his new swing changes, I can’t wait to see him at the Masters where he will get a chance to tee it up with world numbers one and two, Rory McIlroy, and Tiger Woods. If he can keep it going, I think you just might see him with a new Green Jacket in April. It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.
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