It was a good first day for Phil Mickelson at the WGC-Mexico Championship as the 46-year-old jumped out to a share of the lead at 4 under.
But his post-round comments may have been even better.
Talking with Golf Channel’s Steve Sands (you can view the whole interview above), Mickelson started off by listing his credentials when it comes to playing in altitude (as players are playing at some 7,500 feet above sea level this week at the Club de Golf Chapultepec in Mexico City):
“I’ve had some success at altitude winning the (1990 U.S.) Amateur at Cherry Hills and the International (former PGA Tour tournament) a few times,” Mickelson said.
Nice, off to a fantastic start. Mickelson launched off that, proceeding to go into a lengthy discussion about the effect altitude has on iron distances and why altitude suits his golf game well.
It was awesome. Here it all is, unedited:
“The thing I most love about the altitude is that you have a great discrepancy in your irons, a greater ability to hit the ball shorter or longer.
“What I mean by that is, at sea level, I might hit a 9-iron 150 yards. If I need to hit it a little harder, I might be able to get 155 out of it. Let’s say, I hit it 170 here. If I want to get a little more out of it, I can get 10-15 more yards out of it. I can hit it 180-185.
“So it’s all dependent upon angle of attack, speed, draw, trajectory. Because what happens is, the extra spin – when you hit it hard – it doesn’t have the same type of drag or resistance you have at sea level. It soars through the air, so you get more out of it.
“And that bigger difference in between irons, I enjoy because it lets my feel and touch to be more of an instrument throughout the round.”
Bryson DeChambeau’s not in the field this week, but it sure seems like Mickelson filled in his role just fine. His two-part TV interview with David Feherty begins airing next week, too. Considering the preview clips, that one will be more than a gem.