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The benefits of playing with Mickelson

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DORAL, Fla. – For Keegan Bradley his 2:40 p.m. (ET) tee time at Doral is little more than another bout with a hard-swinging southpaw. That there is a World Golf Championship on the line only serves to heighten the public’s interest.

Bradley, who begins the final round three strokes behind Bubba Watson, plays many of his practice rounds with Phil Mickelson. In fact, the two slipped up to Augusta National on Tuesday for a Masters tune up.

“I seem to go play with Phil, he gives me a good beating and I play really well the week after,” said Bradley, who famously played a practice round with Lefty before last year’s breakthrough at the PGA Championship.

“It's more intense playing against Phil in a match than it is out here. I don't know why, and it seems to relax me in some way or make me feel more comfortable. I seem to play good golf.”

Bradley has avoided a sophomore slump this year. In seven events he hasn’t finished worse than 22nd and rebounded from his playoff loss at the Northern Trust Open with a tie for 12th last week at the Honda Classic.