The Masters 2014: Phil Mickelson still nervous ahead of first major of the year despite his three previous wins at Augusta National

Mickelson already has three Green Jackets and could match Tiger Woods and Arnold Palmer with a fourth but admits his preparation has been unusually hampered

Phil Mickelson insists he is nervous about competing at Augusta National this week, despite having won three green jackets and recording 11 other top-10 finishes in the year's first major championship.

Mickelson broke his major duck in the Masters in 2004 and went on to claim the title in 2006 and 2010, the left-hander also winning the 2005 US PGA Championship and last year's Open at Muirfield.

But a combination of indifferent form and injuries means the 43-year-old is not as confident as might be expected about his chances of matching Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods by claiming a fourth victory here on Sunday.

"I'm nervous about this week because I always like coming into this week with a win," Mickelson said.

"I like coming into this week being in contention a few times and having that confidence and experience to build on.

"But I have to give myself a little bit of slack because I have not been 100 per cent. Last week I felt great, which I was surprised by, because I had pulled a muscle in Texas and withdrew.

"Physically I feel great. The parts of my game, if I break them down, they feel terrific. But I haven't put them together this year. I haven't had the results to fall back on.

"I haven't experienced that pressure to feel comfortable in that environment and so I'm certainly nervous, because this is a week that I care about the most. This is the most special tournament and I have to rely on kind of past performances and past successes and past memories to build that confidence."

Fortunately for Mickelson he has plenty of such memories to draw on, while the lack of punitive rough allows him to display his wide array of recovery shots.

"What I love about this course is the lack of rough allows you a recovery shot," he added.

"The limbs (of trees) are higher and you always have a chance to recover and that frees me up to not have to play tight, because one bad shot doesn't mean you're going to lose a shot.

"You always have a place to miss it, even on 13 and 15 and 11. I feel a lot looser when I play here which is why I've played well for 10 years prior to winning it."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
News
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project