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Newz Forum: GOLF: Phil Mickelson focused on Masters

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posted on Feb, 15 2005 @ 01:58 PM
Phil Mickelson is not worried about having peaked too early this season.

Two months before his defence of the Masters at Augusta Mickelson has just won the last two events on the US tour. But he said on Tuesday: "I don't view it as peaking too early. I view it quite the opposite.

"I like to play well each week and last year I did for the three months before the Masters. It was not a question of will I have it or won't I? My run to Augusta has started right now.

"My main goal is to get that lonely jacket a buddy to hang with."

Every winner of the Masters is presented with a green jacket and Mickelson finally earned his first last April after finishing third the three previous years. It was also his first major in 47 attempts and in the months that followed the left-hander came second in the US Open, third in the Open at Troon and sixth in the US PGA.

"I have committed myself to the next six years to play as hard as I can and try and get as much out of this game and my career as I can," added the 34-year-old.

"I am working hard even in my weeks off. When I am 40 I will analyse what I want to do."

Mickelson has high hopes of this year being even more successful than in 2004. The US Open is at Pinehurst, where he was pipped by Payne Stewart in 1999, and the Open at St Andrews.

"It's the home of golf and Jack Nicklaus said that until you have won there it's hard to feel your career is complete," added Mickelson.

The world number four came in for fierce criticism at the Ryder Cup last September, losing twice with Tiger Woods and then being beaten by Sergio Garcia after a change of clubs. He blames that disappointment on the energy the four majors had taken out of him.

"When the PGA ended I was mentally and physically tired and ready to end the year," he commented.

"I was not willing to put in the work to play good golf."

He feels re-energised now and is thrilled by the fact that he is driving further without losing control.

"Last year (at the Masters) I was swinging as hard as I possibly could and was still 15 to 20 yards shorter than some of the guys I was competing with.

"Getting the distance back is going to be a tremendous help."

Mickelson is missing this week's Nissan Open in Los Angeles, but he returns for the Accenture Match Play down the Californian coast at San Diego next week.


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