Mickelson Decompressing in the Desert

By Associated PressOctober 12, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Michelin Championship at Las VegasLAS VEGAS -- Lefty plans to spend a leisurely few days in the desert.
Phil Mickelson, decompressing after a fine season on the PGA Tour, is going to enjoy some golf, think about next year -- and maybe even win another title.
``It's hard for me to get back up after the majors,'' said Mickelson, who added this year's PGA title to the Masters green jacket he won last year.
``I'm using this time now to work on some things and kind of get myself ready and get things figured out going into next year.''
Mickelson begins play Thursday in the Michelin Championship, which is being held on two courses the first two days, at TPC at Summerlin and TPC at Canyons, with the final two rounds at Summerlin.
Although he's obviously not feeling any pressure to win this week, Mickelson's game is well-suited for the generally flat and narrow desert courses. As an example, the former Arizona State star has won the Chrysler Classic in Palm Springs, Calif., two of the past three years.
``It's fun to come here,'' he said. ``It's a different type of golf. The fairways aren't ridiculous, you won't get lost in the rough and the greens aren't crazy.
``It's a different kind of golf, but it's fun.''
John Daly, Fred Couples and Davis Love III also are in the field, along with three-time champion Jim Furyk.
Since Furyk first played the tournament in 1994, he has missed the cut just once, won three times and finished 22nd or better the other seven times, including tying for 11th last year.
Last year's winner, Andre Stolz, has an injured left wrist and won't be back to defend his title.
Local hero Ryan Moore, a four-time All-American at UNLV and the 2005 college player of the year, will get a home-course advantage in his ninth pro event.
The 22-year-old Moore is considered a rising star on the tour. He finished tied for 13th at the Masters while still an amateur last April, and tied for second in the Canadian Open to earn $440,000.
He's already earned $549,716 while playing just eight tournaments as a pro.
Moore, from Puyallup, Wash., said he would feel no added pressure playing this week in front of galleries who know him from his college days.
``I think of it only as an advantage, because I know the courses,'' he said.
The tournament has a $4 million purse, with the winner getting $720,000.
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