ORLANDO, Fla. – This week Phil Mickelson will be working on shots he’ll need to defend his title at the Masters in two weeks, but he will be doing most of that work on the practice range at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
While Mickelson will be trying to hone shot trajectories he’ll need at Augusta National, he doesn’t want to sacrifice a chance to contend at Bay Hill.
After a lackluster start to the season, Mickelson wants the confidence that comes with contending. He hasn’t won since the Masters 50 weeks ago.
“I need to, or want to, get into contention as best I can,” Mickelson said. “I want to give myself an opportunity to shoot a low score because even though I feel like my game is there, I haven't put the numbers on the board that I need to. So, I'll be working hard on just getting the ball in the hole and shooting a number this week.”
While it probably doesn’t really matter to Mickelson, he has yet another chance to bypass Woods in the world rankings for the first time in nearly 14 years. The scenarios are complicated, but Mickelson must finish ahead of Woods at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. How much farther ahead depends on where Woods finishes. For example, if Woods finishes 10th, Mickelson must finish fourth or better. If Woods finishes 20th, Mickelson must finish seventh or better.