Excited Mickelson targets unfinished business

Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:53pm EST
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(Reuters) - Phil Mickelson is fast approaching his mid-forties when many players begin winding down their careers but the five-time major champion says he still has a lot of unfinished business left at the game's highest level.

Significant improvements in his putting and driving helped him enjoy a successful 2013 campaign and he makes his first PGA Tour start of the year at this week's Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego feeling better about his golf than ever before.

"I am really excited for two reasons ... the two areas of my game that have not been as efficient as I would like in the last three or four years have turned into strengths," Mickelson told reporters at Torrey Pines on Wednesday.

"One of them is putting. I putted great last year and I had a remarkable turnaround.

"And the other is the driver. As we have done a complete reversal on the direction, technologically speaking, it has made a world of difference for me and my game. I'm more excited about this year than any year ever."

Mickelson, who clinched his fifth major title last year with a sensational three-shot victory in the British Open at Muirfield, said his driving had improved considerably due to technological improvements in the club.

"Having the center of gravity lower and more forward has allowed me to make the same golf swing as my irons and hit the drives and the shots that I want and that I expect," the left-hander explained.

"It's just made driving a lot easier. I drove it the best I ever have Sunday in Abu Dhabi when I needed to hit fairways, I drove the ball great."


Phil Mickelson of the U.S. tees off on the 11th hole during Abu Dhabi Golf championship January 19, 2014. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah