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Mickelson Begins Play in Unfamiliar Territory

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Phil Mickelson comes into the WCG-Accenture Match Play Championship in an unfamiliar position. For once hes not linked to Tiger Woods when discussion comes to the best two golfers on the planet. Now its Tiger Woods ' and Ernie Els.
 
Ive actually enjoyed it, said Mickelson of the perceived oversight. Its been fun.
 
Mickelson was speaking of the questions that he no longer has to face over and over ' no more Tiger vs. Phil queries. That has been nice.
 
What hasnt been nice is his play this year, under-par performances that have eliminated Mickelson from the picture and interjected Els ahead. That hasnt been fun, no, he said.
 
Ironically, he has finished in the top 10 in three of the four tournaments he has played this year. The statistics, though, are misleading, he says.
 
I have not played well this year, he began. I think the three top 10s in those four events are a little deceptive, because I havent had great chances to win other than in San Diego.
 
I feel as though this last week has been a good week for me where Ive worked on some things to the point where Im pretty close to being where I want to be for the rest of the year. But its still not comfortable yet, so Im not sure how Ill play this week.
 
The only way that Mickelson has been linked to Woods has been via remarks Mickelson made about Woods equipment. He said it, then he made his peace with Woods, then it all seemed to blow up again when Mickelson said it a second time. But Mickelson hopes this week he will make news for what he does on the course, not what he does off it.
 
He begins the Accenture by playing Robert Karlsson of Sweden. Mickelson hasnt seen him play too much in person ' only on the Golf Channel.
 
Ive watched him play on the Golf Channel, he said. He has a tremendous swing. He seems to have a ton of talent.
 
Hes not played too much in the States, so I havent seen him in person as much. But I have seen him quite a bit on television. He seems extremely talented, and to get in this field he has to be a heck of a player.
 
When he begins play this week, he realizes that every shot counts, and the early ones count twice as much as they do over a 72-hole tournament.
 
Each shot seems to carry a little more immediate value, because you dont have the luxury of carrying over your good play, lets say, from the earlier rounds in a stroke-play event, Mickelson said. Youre starting all over again.
 
And so, the final alternative of it - meaning if you lose, youre out. That seems to put a little more immediate pressure.
 
Mickelson is facing an uncertain month after the Ford Championship at Doral next week. He had announced that he would skip Honda, Bay Hill and the Players Championship to be with his wife as she is about to give birth. But recent events have made that eventuality somewhat up in the air.
 
Im not really sure, he started. If anything, our pregnancies have ended early. And its been a tough month, three weeks, because Amy (his wife) has been on bed rest, and she hasnt been feeling the best.
 
And the doctor is a little concerned, because she wants it to go term. So she hasnt been really able to get out bed.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage of the Accenture Match Play Championship
  • Phil Mickelson Bio