Mickelson back at Honda for first time since '02
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – The last time Phil Mickelson played at PGA National he was a junior, and the last time he played the Honda Classic, it was 2002, and he had yet to win a major. But wanting to add an event after his children’s school break knocked him out of the Northern Trust Open at Riviera, and wishing to play two events in Florida, the big left-hander has returned to the Honda Classic.
He is one of seven top-10 players in this week’s field.
For Mickelson, who split his last two weeks skiing in Montana and working on his game at home in California, this week almost feels like the beginning of his season.
“I’ve had some good practice sessions, I feel strong and ready to play some good golf,” he said, “and so this kind of feels like the start for me.”
With the Masters sitting six weeks away, the three-time green-jacket winner knows it’s time to dial up the competitive juices. As for his game, he’s pleased with how he’s driving the ball, which is a key on the demanding Champion course at PGA National.
It was a balky back and his putting that held him back on the West Coast, where his best result in three starts was a T-19 at Pebble Beach. He continues to get treatment on his back, which he described as “fine,” and he said 30 minutes at home with Dave Stockton helped to sort out his putting.
“I’ve been putting really well,” Mickelson said. “I wasn’t really worried.”