AUGUSTA, Ga. — Phil Mickelson still believes he can win — at the Masters and anywhere else on the PGA Tour. But Mickelson, 50, has been feeling a tug to play some more Champions Tour events.
“My game feels better than the scores have been, but I’ve got some work to do, and it’s been a fun challenge for me to get back to playing at a high level,’’ Mickelson, a three-time Masters winner, said Tuesday. “I’ve seen a lot of progress in my game without a lot of results. I enjoy the challenge of it. The difficulty is when you’re on a plateau and you’re not really making advancements and you’re putting in the work and you’re not seeing the results, to stay consistent and to stay committed.
“I need some results to keep me motivated to compete against the best players. Otherwise, I really enjoy the Champions Tour. I enjoy being able to play more aggressive. But yet the challenge that gets the best out of me is trying to play and compete against the best players. It’s what gets me motivated to be in the gym and to try to be physically able to swing fast enough to compete against these guys.
“That’s what drives me and motivates me. I still want to have that challenge in my life because it brings the best out of me. The Champions Tour is a lot more fun than I ever thought, and I enjoy playing those events, and I will play some. I won’t play it full-time if I’m able to compete out here or feel I’m able to compete out here.’’
Rory McIlroy, for the first two rounds, is paired with Jon Rahm, whose wife just gave birth to their first child last week. He reminisced about having his first child and how it affected his golf.
“My first round as a dad, I shot 64, so he’s got that to live up to,’’ McIlroy said jokingly. “He’s probably just had the greatest few days of his life. It’s such a cool feeling. You’re riding high. There’s so many emotions that are involved.
“I think Jon’s an awesome player and he’s played well here over the last couple years, and I’m sure he’s going to handle everything really well. I don’t feel like that’s going to distract him at all. If you can sort of just keep that mindset going into this week, then you know, being here and being relaxed and maybe having your mind not fully on Augusta and the Masters and the green jacket is not a bad thing.’’
There are 10 players from England in the field, the most of any non-American contingent. When Lee Westwood, 47, was asked if there’s any sense of pride amongst the Englishmen, he said, “I don’t get that, no. We are all here as individuals. But I think en masse, yeah, we are probably the strongest contingent of Englishmen for quite some time.’’
Originally published at https://nypost.com/2021/04/06/phil-mickelson-on-where-his-game-career-stands-right-now/ on .