PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – As the calendar approaches March, 2015 already looks a lot like 2014 for Phil Mickelson – and that’s not a good thing for the five-time major champ.
Mickelson called last year the worst of his two-decade career,and he has yet to get things going in the new season. While he led the field in birdies en route to a T-24 finish at the Humana Challenge last month, he then missed the cut at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and Farmers Insurance Open in consecutive weeks.
This week he returns to action at the Honda Classic in search of a spark, but clearly short on answers.
“Just trying to put it all together,” Mickelson said Wednesday. “We’ll see. I don’t know when it’s all going to come together.”
Mickelson almost salvaged last season with a runner-up finish at the PGA Championship, but that remains his lone top-10 finish in 27 PGA Tour starts dating back to the 2013 Deutsche Bank Championship – a stretch that includes a missed cut last year at PGA National. Traditionally one of the best players around the greens, Mickelson has pinpointed a balky putter as the biggest reason for his recent struggles.
“I putted great in the off-season but started the season terrible,” said Mickelson, who averaged 32 putts per round at Torrey Pines in his last start. “I can putt as great as possible back home, but (when) you come out on Thursday, you need to make putts … It’s the one area that I was not overly concerned (with) in the offseason. It was just the one area that let me down the first couple of weeks, but it’s a long season.”
Mickelson is still in search of his first win since the 2013 Open Championship, but he holds steadfast to the belief that the hours he logged this winter will begin to pay dividends – eventually.
“I feel like starting the year, I felt ready and was able to work on my game and practice uninhibited,” he said. “I feel like I put in the time, so hopefully the scores will start to reflect that. I don’t know when that will happen, but hopefully soon.”