Might 42-year-old Phil Mickelson be in line for a career year in 2013?
That’s the suggestion from his short-game coach Dave Pelz, who said in an exclusive interview with Golf.com that Lefty’s psoriatic arthritis is finally under control, his ball-striking is “the best it’s ever been,” and if he can begin to make a few more putts – and stop tinkering with his stroke – then he “will have the best year of his career.”
This past season certainly was an uneven one for Mickelson, who experienced soaring highs – a final-round 64 to win at Pebble Beach, a reinvigorating Ryder Cup performance with partner Keegan Bradley – and also confounding lows, such as when he posted just one top 10 in 10 starts between May and August.
Though Pelz thought Mickelson’s putting “wasn’t up to standard this year,” Lefty still ranked 10th in the PGA Tour’s strokes gained-putting statistic.
Earlier this month, in his first start since the Ryder Cup, Mickelson showed almost no rust in shooting four rounds in the 60s and finishing tied for second at the WGC-HSBC Champions. That capped a season that saw the left-hander post seven top 10s – including a T-3 at The Masters – and earn more than $4.2 million. He is ranked 13th in the world.
“He’s had some problems the last couple years because of psoriatic arthritis,” Pelz told Golf.com. “He’s taken some medication that has made it more difficult for him to practice as much as he wants to. But he’s actually getting that under control, and this year I think he’s started hitting it better than he’s ever hit it. … If he can get his putter going, even at his age – he’s not old but he’s in his 40s – I think he’s going to have the year of his career.”