Phil excited for Masters, but 'relaxed' about game


AUGUSTA, Ga. – After 24 trips down Magnolia Lane to play the Masters, Phil Mickelson, perhaps more than anyone else, knows there is a point of diminishing returns.

More than any other tournament, the year’s first major holds a special place in Lefty’s schedule.

“This is a special place, and I think I look forward to it more and more as each year comes about,” Mickelson said on Tuesday.

But with that type of anticipation comes elevated expectations.

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The three-time Masters champion finished runner-up last year to Jordan Spieth, but at 45 years old, Lefty said he’s learned to temper those expectations despite his affinity for Augusta National.

“This year, I feel a little bit more relaxed heading into this event because I'm not trying to find anything,” Mickelson said. “I feel like it's a lot more stress‑free golf because I'm driving the ball in play . . . and as I'm doing that, my iron play, which I feel is the strength of my game, will be an advantage.”