Mickelson expects to make weekend run at title


ATLANTA – If Phil Mickelson has designs on winning his first career PGA Tour Player of the Year Award, he likely needs to win this week’s Tour Championship.

Following an opening 1-over 71, a second-round 67 on Friday moved him a bit closer to that possibility.

“Since the British Open, this is the best I've felt with my golf swing, the best I've felt with a putter,” said Mickelson, who posted a bogey-free 32 on the back-nine. “I'm not sure if I put myself too far back after the 27 holes I played poorly, but I should play well this weekend.”

Tour Championship: Articles, videos and photos

After the round, he credited some range work with instructor Butch Harmon as the reason for his turnaround.

“Ball-striking-wise, I have not struck it well,” he said. “My alignment was a little bit off, setup was a little bit off, and swing was just not flowing. … We worked the last few days; I was able to stop worrying about mechanics and start feeling the shots, feeling the swing, hitting shots again. That's why I'm looking forward to the next 36. I know I'm far back, but I think I'm going to make a pretty good run.”

Mickelson maintained he could see parallels between his start this week and that of 2009, when he opened 73-67, but shot 66-65 on the weekend to claim the hardware.

“It was important to shoot something under par to get back in it, because I was too far back. But there's a low round out there. You know, there's a 5-, 6-, 7-under-par round out there. I've got two good chances to go get it.”