American golfer Phil Mickelson is expecting big things this week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale having recovered from two hernia surgeries late last year.
Mickelson, a winner of the Phoenix Open in 1996, 2005 and 2013, feels that he is now ready to get back to 100% this upcoming week and focus on winning again, this, after his last two outings where he finished tied for 21st at the CareerBuilder Challenge and tied for 14th in the Farmers Insurance Open.
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In an interview ahead of Thursday's Scottsdale tournament, the 46-year-old Mickelson said he felt that he played better than expected in the first two events, saying: "My game came around quicker than I thought it would and I felt the best place to sharpen it and to see where I was at was to play last week and this week."
"I'm really glad I did (play) because my touch is starting to come around a little bit," the five-time Major winner said. "The sensitivity to shot-making, chipping, putting on Tour caliber greens and rough and things that you can't replicate at your home course is getting sharper because I did play these last two weeks."
He'll play the next three weeks, too, heading to the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am next week and the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club north of Los Angeles the week after that. He hasn't played at Riviera since 2013.
At 46 with a world ranking of 20, Mickelson feels that he is in better shape these days than he was 10 years ago and credits golf swing coach Andrew Getson with the big improvement.
"I am really pleased with the way that I'm swinging the club and I feel really good," he said. "This is the best I've swung in a while, and I'm excited about these upcoming events and hopefully I'll put it all together.
"Currently I'm probably 75, 80% percent of where I was before (the surgeries), and it's slowly coming back. I'm now six weeks removed, so I should be pretty much 100% here fairly quickly."