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Phil caps off disappointing week with 73


AUGUSTA, Ga. – More than an hour before Sunday’s leaders teed off at Augusta National, Phil Mickelson completed a disappointing week at the event that means the most to him.

“I had an off year, played poorly. ... I don’t know what to tell you,” Mickelson said.

Mickelson closed with a 1-over 73, his second-best score of the week and the first time since 2007 he failed to shoot a round under 71. For Lefty, a week that began with high expectations – and plenty of hype with his introduction of the “Phrankenwood,” which Mickelson called a “driver substitute” – ended unceremoniously with bogeys at two of his last three holes and his worst finish (he was T-53 when he signed his scorecard) since 1997.

“It’s disappointing for me because this is my favorite place to be. I expect a lot more out of my game,” he said.

Mickelson said he saw signs of progress following a session with swing coach Butch Harmon before his final round and was confident he’d worked out the “technical” issues that caused him to have such a poor ballstriking week.

The three-time Masters champion also said he will need to find a better way to prepare for majors in the future. Mickelson likes to play an event the week before a major, but a scheduling change pushed the Shell Houston Open up a week on the schedule and prompted Lefty to take last week off.

“I just wasn’t as mentally sharp as I needed to be,” Mickelson said. “I need to find another way to prepare for big weeks if I can’t play the week before.”