LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Following his third round on Saturday at last week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational Phil Mickelson dejectedly figured, “It would be out of nowhere for me to play well. You just never know.”
From those expectations came a closing 62 at Firestone and newfound enthusiasm heading into this week’s PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club.
“I don't want to put too much into one round. I'm interested to see how it goes Thursday, Friday, but certainly my confidence level and my practice sessions are totally different,” said Mickelson, who for the first time in his career does not have a top-10 finish on the PGA Tour heading into the year’s final major.
“I don't feel like I'm searching. I feel like I'm just trying to now acquire that same feel from Sunday, and I feel like I've found what I'm looking for. I just have to maintain it.”
If Sunday’s finish proves to be the boost Mickelson had been searching for, it would be good timing considering his current Ryder Cup plight. Lefty is 11th on the U.S. point list and needs a solid week to earn a spot on the team. Otherwise, he will have to depend on Tom Watson making him a captain's pick.
Mickelson has been a member of every U.S. Ryder Cup team since 1995.
“I really do believe that after the way I played on the weekend (at Fireston), I think I'll continue that play into this week and I'm confident that I'll get on the team on my own and won't require that pick,” he said.