For a guy that has historically had a mindset of “Grip it and Rip it”, Phil Mickelson has come to The Blue Monster this week with a new strategy. For the first time, Lefty is hitting five woods off of the tee, and laying back to get optimum lines to the pins. It must be working, because Phil is tied for third place at The WGC-Cadillac Championship as we prepare for the weekend, three shots behind leader, Tiger Woods.
Mickelson shot a bogey free first round, with a phenomenal birdie on the 17th hole, from the cart path, and followed an opening 67 with another on Friday. He discussed his Body English not working at the par three 9th hole, as he missed a hole in one by mere inches. He said he was sure it was going in, and with tongue in cheek, said he didn’t give the shot enough a nudge with his chest.
Maybe Lefty has finally figured out, he isn’t 25 years old anymore, and taking a page from the book of Tiger, decided playing from the fairway, and short grass was easier than some of the places his driver takes him. He is a big hitter, who frequently finds himself having to invent shots to get a chance at birdies, and sometimes ends up with bogeys.
Mickelson, who teed off on the tenth hole, put up seven birdies on Friday, but gave a couple back. The one costing him an opportunity to play in the final grouping on Saturday, was at the seventh hole.
As The Masters becomes larger on the horizon, you have to wonder if this new strategy is his way of getting prepared for Augusta next month. With three Green Jackets in his locker, I’m sure he would like to have another. Maybe the new approach, and hitting 5 wood on the tee, is the key to getting another one, and who knows, another WGC title as well.
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