But that appreciation, at least when it comes to the 18th hole, has been unrequited.
Lefty’s 15-footer for birdie on Friday was just his fourth birdie on the par-4 in 50 tournament rounds at Quail Hollow, and his first since Round 2 in 2011.
“It was 237 [yards for his approach into the green], it was a good one,” he beamed following a second-round 70 that left him tied for third place.
The 18th hole is one of the Tour’s toughest closing frames, and it’s been particularly hard on Mickelson. In 2010 when he finished second to Rory McIlroy he played the hole in even par for four days, and in 2007 when he finished third he was 3 over for the week at No. 18.
“It's a very awkward shot for me off the tee because if I happen to lose it a little bit left, obviously it's going to go in the water,” he said. “But these last two days I've just played up the right-hand side, and I'll take that every day on 18.”