“He had the flu after the first of the year. And going into Humana (Challenge), he was not 100 percent physically,” Cochran said. “At Humana, he got progressively better as the week went on.”
Despite two pedestrian finishes to start the year (T-37 at Humana, T-51 at the Farmers Insurance Open), Cochran said he wasn’t surprised by Mickelson’s inspired play at TPC Scottsdale following an offseason that began earlier than normal.
“Right after Thanksgiving, he got to work with me,” he said. “Typically, he doesn’t start swing work until after New Year’s, but he got started right away in December.
“I think it was just his motivation. He played great late in the year, (and) he was pumped up with how he played through the FedEx Cup, in Asia (WGC-HSBC Champions).”