SAN DIEGO – Phil Mickelson has dazzled with his short game for more than two decades, but even he admits he has struggled at times with the short shots.
That’s why he said Wednesday at Torrey Pines that he believes that Tiger Woods will “have the last laugh” when it comes to his short-game woes.
“I don’t think he’s going to have any problems, I really don’t,” Mickelson said. “I think we all, myself included, have had stretches where we feel a little uncomfortable, we don’t hit it solid, and usually it’s just a small tweak. Because it’s such a short swing it’s not a hard thing to fix. I just don’t see that lasting more than a week or two.”
Woods has made only two starts since August, but in those appearances he has struggled mightily with his chipping and pitching.
Woods said the issues have cropped up because he is stuck between two swing patterns – his action under former coach Sean Foley, and his new motion under swing consultant Chris Como.
Mickelson had a different view, however: “You can swing it a million different ways and be effective. I think that you can putt a million different ways and be effective. But there’s only one way to chip effectively.
“So regardless of how you swing the club, regardless of how you putt, there’s only one way to chip, because the leading edge on a 60-degree wedge is coming into the ball first. And everything you do in chipping is to keep the leading edge down.
“There’s three or four fundamentals on chipping that everybody has to do to chip well – no matter who you are – and it has nothing to do with your swing.”
Like Woods, Mickelson is also coming off a missed cut at the Phoenix Open. In his season opener, at the Humana Challenge, he tied for 24th.
“I’m not overly concerned,” he said of his own game. “I think that I had a great offseason. I’m not going to put much stock into a week or two. We’ll see how it goes this week and then I’ll take it over to Florida and see.”