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
Wednesday 09 April 2014
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."
Latest in Sport
How Liverpool can catch Manchester United and secure Champions League football next season
Arsenal transfer news: Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini set for showdown summer talks over future
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger reveals: 'We are not close to signing anybody. We need to lose some players'
Danny Jones: Keighley Cougars half-back dies after cardiac arrest during league game
Chelsea season player ratings: Grading the entire squad of the new Premier League champions
- 2 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 3 Russell Brand backs Ed Miliband: 'You gotta vote Labour'
- 4 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils