What is going on with Phil Mickelson this season? With all the talk about Tiger Woods being back and not up to his “usual self”, I’m surprised no one has raised this question more with Mickelson.
Coming off of a T28 finish at the US Open where he was attempting to complete the career grand slam, Mickelson has yet to finish in the top-10 of any event he has teed it up in this season.
Prior to completing the ‘UK Double’ in 2013 that saw him win the Scottish Open followed by The Open Championship the following week. Mickelson had already racked up one victory at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, along with four other top-10 finishes, including to runner ups at the FedEx St. Jude Classic and US Open.
His best finish in 2014 to date is a pair of T11 finishes at the Wells Fargo Championship and FedEx St. Jude Classic.
So what is the issue for ‘Lefty’ this season?
His driving accuracy has never been stellar so his rank of 141st on the PGA Tour in driving accuracy is not an issue to me. His greens in regulation rank of 38th is nothing to sneeze at with his short game mastery. Reflected in his 21st rank in scrambling.
No. I believe that a lot of Mickelson’s issues this season have stemmed from one club and one club only — The putter.
His struggles can be traced directly to the flat stick. If you take a look at his putting performance stats so far in 2014, Mickelson does not rank anywhere near the top of the PGA Tour in the majority of the categories.
Here are a look at some of the putting categories Mickelson is lacking in this season:
- Strokes Gained Putting – 107th
- Putting from Inside 5′ – 169th
- Putting from 3-5′ – 153rd
- Putting from 10-15′ – 107th
- Putting from 15-20′ – 119th
- 3-Putt Avoidance – 151st
In these stats, show exactly where the issues are this season for Mickelson. If you can’t get the ball in the hole on the green, it’s very difficult to score well. Backed up by his scoring average of 71, which ranks 81st overall this year on Tour.
Of course, number are just numbers right? Well, in golf numbers are everything.
Not to mention we all see his struggles on the green this season. The old adage of “Drive for Show, Putt for Dough” comes to mind, and Mickelson has not been putting well at all this season.
Will the return trip to the UK spark a winning feeling in Mikelson’s game and more importantly his putter?
Can he defy the odds and his own admission of links golf not suiting his game to find his form once again on foreign soil?