Mickelson hasn't played since missing the cut at the U.S. Open, when he wore a brace on his wrist.
'I'm going to be leery all year,' Mickelson said. 'But I think it will be OK.'
Mickelson was asked if can earn some bragging rights against Tiger Woods this week if he wins a tournament with Woods' name on it.
'Well, if he passed out the trophy, it would be pretty cool,' Mickelson said.
TIGER AND BUSH ON FIRST TEE
It took an ex-president to steal the spotlight from Tiger Woods.
George H.W. Bush and wife Barbara caught up with Woods' group at the 16th fairway during Wednesday's pro-am at the AT&T National. Bush walked the final holes with Woods in front of a huge gallery and even hit a couple of tee shots at the 18th.
That was a warmup for the big event. Woods drove the former commander in chief in a golf cart to the first hole for the opening ceremony. Woods placed a ball on a tee so that Bush could hit the ceremonial first shot of the tournament.
'If anybody laughs when I hit it, they're dead,' Bush said with a chuckle. 'We've got Secret Service here.'
Looking down the fairway, Bush added: 'There's no way I can hit it down there.'
His drive went 100 yards or so and landed in the rough, just a few feet short of a 60-foot-long American flag held by local veterans. Bush tipped his cap and the crowd cheered. He then greeted wounded veterans who were special guests for the ceremony.
'It's just a great way to celebrate the Fourth,' Bush said, referring to his decision to participate. 'It's what they call a gimmie.'
FRED'S IN NO FUNK:
It's clearly a big Washington-area tournament when Fred Funk isn't one of the main attractions.
Funk, the former University of Maryland golf coach, always did his best to promote the PGA TOUR's previous stops in the nation's capital, even as many top names stayed away. The big blow came last year, when the tour pulled out altogether.
'I was really upset,' Funk said. 'The tournament has always been well-supported, a lot of fans have come out, and then we lose it. That just didn't make sense that we were not in the capital.'
Now golf is back, and so is Funk, who is playing some of his best golf at age 51 with no plans to make the full-time jump to the Champions Tour any time soon. His goal is the make the Presidents Cup team.
'I've worked so hard to be on the PGA TOUR that I don't want to leave it until I have to,' he said.
Funk is a year older than Nick Faldo, who recently spoke of being envious of Funk for playing so well at that age.
'Nick saying that, he doesn't want to work at it as hard anymore,' Funk said. 'He's been there, done that. For me, I'm still hungry to do it. That's the biggest difference, I think.'
ANOTHER WOODS WHO CAN PUTT:
That guy named Woods who made the birdie putt at the seventh hole? It wasn't Tiger.
Sgt. Michael Woods was serving as Tiger Woods' guest caddie for the hole and was stunned when the world's top golfer asked for advice on the 12-foot putt.
'He asked me to put the bag down and called me over to him, and he asked me: 'What do you see?'' the sergeant said. 'I said: 'Fairway leans to the right; you should hit it to the left.' And he said: 'Here you go.' So I took the putt.'
The ball went in. Tiger Woods raised his arms in celebration and gave the other Woods a hug. Instant celebrity followed.
'I've been playing golf a little bit. I'm trying to get decent at it, and that was probably the best putt I've ever seen in my life,' said the 32-year-old soldier, who works in administration at Fort Belvoir, Va. 'I'm nervous right now. I'm shaking.'
DEFENDING CHAMPION, SORT OF:
Ben Curtis won last year's PGA Tour stop in Washington, the final Booz Allen Classic at the nearby TPC at Avenel.
That makes him the closest thing to a defending champion at the AT&T National.
'It does sort of feel like you're defending, even though everybody knows it's the inaugural year of the event,' Curtis said. 'It's just good to be back in a familiar area and somewhere where you get some good feelings.'
Curtis won twice on the tour last year, and both tournaments went belly-up. His other win came at the 84 Lumber Classic.
'It just seemed like I won last year, and they decided to take it off the schedule,' he said.